A book cover for Aachen suitable for use both on a trade paperback (through CreateSpace) and on an e-book. Please see the short synopsis of the book in the Background Information/organization description section.
Image needs to be suitable for both thumbnail and full size viewing. Title ("Aachen") should be at the top and author ("Gary Ludlam") should be at the bottom, with fonts chosen to be readable in thumbnail view. The cover needs to be usable for both a physical book and an ebook.
The fonts should have a medieval "flavor" to them, but they shouldn't look like actual medieval writing. I'm looking for more of a "modern medieval" flavor, if that makes sense. I have attached a thumbnail for a book called "Fallen in Love". I like the style of that font, thought I'm not asking for it exactly.
The mood of the book should be conflicted, a bit dark and somber, but with some element of light/hope present. I have attached a few book covers that show the kind of mood I would be going for. These include Fallen In Love, Woods Runner, Clockwork Prince, and Clockwork Angel.
I like the idea of having a central character present, but I do not like a full face such as Clockwork Prince. I like shadowed profile face like Clockwork Angel or Fallen In Love, or just a silhouette like Woods Runner. The character should be Stephen, and he should look like a medieval peasant. I would be open to seeing him in monastic garb, but he should not have a tonsure. Again, I don't want to see his face (I want the reader to have their own vision for what he looks like).
In the background, I like the idea of a city or a cathedral patterned after the real Aachen. I have provided a picture. I like the way both the "Clockwork" covers have buildings in the background. The presence of the city is not a requirement and I'm open to other suggestions.
There are two central conflicts - girl vs city and sin/redemption. I am open to having some image of the girl on the cover, but I don't have a good idea of how to do it. Perhaps a partial face transparently shown over the sky, as if he is thinking about her? I am open to any ideas on that.
A sword is an important symbol throughout the book. It is a symbol of the boy's dead father, of his guilt, and of his redemption. I don't want to give the idea that the book is centered around battles and action, but it might still work into the image as a smaller piece of detail.
(If you think you want to work the villain Lewis in, he has blond hair and a pointed nose, but while I am open to any suggestions, I'm not inclined to have him present.)
I do want some sign of hope present in the image to counteract the sense of conflict. It could be as simple as the sun peeking through clouds.
These are all just ideas. The only must-haves are the mood and readability comments at the beginning. Otherwise I am very open to and eager for creativity. (Nothing racy, though, as there is nothing particularly racy about the book. It should be suitable for the shelf of a 13 year old, but also appealing to a 33 year old.)