R.M. Archer got their new book cover by running a design contest:
Cover for a reflective, Asian-inspired YA fantasy novel
Check out R.M. Archer's Book cover contest…
R.M. Archer has been an avid reader since the time she could first make out words, and has always been a lover of story. That interest developed into a love of writing when she was seven, and she's been pursuing a career as an author ever since. Archer lives in Virginia, where she seeks to write culture-influencing fiction that glorifies the Master Author.
Dragon ink allows calligraphers to set time in stone—or to change it. Lai Duyên’s dreams are realized when she’s admitted into the ranks of the calligraphers, authors considered trustworthy enough to defend time from those who would change it. She’s thrilled at the opportunity to record her country’s history, and to work with the other calligraphers in her village. But when Duyên’s guild is set upon by ancient dragons demanding a time-changer be destroyed, her world is flipped upside down. Her guildmates turn on each other, suspicion coloring their every move. To make matters worse, she’s begun hearing the dragons in her head and finds them impossible to block out: a condition that rendered her grandmother insane. With the calligraphy guild in turmoil and Duyên’s ever-present fear of madness clouding her vision, will the group be able to discover which of their guildmates has altered time before the dragons pass judgment on them all?
Teen girls between the ages of 15 and 19 who are tired of cookie-cutter, Medieval European-inspired fantasy settings and enjoy heavily character-driven stories.
Book cover type
Paperback dimensions: 5.5" x 8.5", with about a 3/4-inch spine. The title needs to be legible when looking at the cover at thumbnail size. My initial vision was a watercolor scene resembling the attached window image, though with clearer colors and higher contrast, with calligraphy supplies and flowers on a desk in front of a window looking out on a porch and a jungle. A small green or purple dragon tail along the windowsill would be a nice touch. The watercolor would fade out onto a parchment-style background, similar to the cover of Child of the Kaites. The title would sit on the blank parchment above the scene. Then I made a mock-up just for fun, and I actually really like the spine and back cover, but the front is neither professional nor eye-catching enough to work. I like the concept of the mock-up, too, with a dragon as the focal point on a subtle green background. The fonts I used for my mock-up are "Tribal Dragon" (which feels too insubstantial, to me) and "Allura," but I'd also be curious to see how it would look to use a font that appears to be dripping ink for the title. I like the look of Allura on the back cover of my mock-up, but I'm open to different options. I want a more substantial font on the front cover, but something that still feels gentle. Something with a similar style to the attached calligraphy artwork might be a good fit, particularly on a watercolor cover. Calligraphy Guild is slow-paced, focused on characters and their relationships (community is a significant element), and setting-focused, so something that reflects a calm and reflective tone would be preferable.
What to avoid
In testing different dragon fonts for my mock-up, I tried "EG Dragon Caps" and found it too clunky.
It all began with a design brief.
A quick, interactive guide helped them understand their design style and captured exactly what they needed in their book cover.
Designers across the globe delivered design magic.
R.M. Archer collaborated with designers to refine their ideas
When design entries come in, you can rate them so designers know what you’re looking for in your logo design.
99designs has great collaboration tools so you can pinpoint and capture your ideas
And then… they selected a winner!
Alli did a great job of understanding the heart of the story this cover represented and executing a design that communicated that story beautifully.
Along the way, they met lots of talented designers…
We think contests are a super fun way to get design.
Recently completed contests:
People who enjoy reading thrillers in international settings with cool but complex characters. And people who like watch
Martial Arts School Owners. Predominately Male between the ages of 25 - 65 in the United States
Who is going to read this book? Premenopausal women ages 40 - 45 that want to avoid symptoms Menopausal women ages 45-
Creative and Eye-Catching ebook cover to appeal to low back pain readers who enjoys holistic health!
30-40-year-old female, married with kids (2), most still have to take care of their parents and have office jobs. Their
Fantasy readers from young adult to adult, fans of Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks.
Adults, general fiction