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I know I posted about design cover artwork before, but after following 99designs and their interesting design contest concept, I had to jump in. After you do your design brief and open the contest, many designers put forth their concepts based on your request. I didn’t realize that you could (and probably should) run the contest as ‘blind’. That means that designers don’t see other designers work and potentially steal their ideas.

The best thing you can do to foster good competition and participation is to give the artists feedback. In my case, most of the artists came back with another entry based on my suggestion. At the time of this post, and the first of two rounds is practically over, I had 56 different entries! This has been a really great response and I think part of it is because I gave the best feedback I could and thanked the artists for their time and effort.

So without much ado, I have a favor to ask. Would you please click on the link below and rate the covers I posted?
Feel free to write your own comment if you think adding, removing or tweaking a specific design element would be helpful.
From these choices, I will slim the list down to a select few and choose a winner. At that point I will even be able to ask for more changes and get this just like I want.

To help with perspective, I’m including the rough draft of my back cover copy. Below that is the link to get to the polls.

James Randall Parker is a synthetic biologist who has heard enough at a conference in Rome. He’s now sure that no one else has implemented artificial DNA into humans like he has. But out of the lab and out of the U.S. for the first time, he’s not prepared for the gauntlet of dynamic personalities and powerful forces that want to steal his work. 

His world is quickly turned upside down when he’s seduced by a beautiful spy and embroiled in a deadly game of scientific espionage that he learns is driven by a secret underground society known as the Nexus. 

Now Jim Parker must team up with the wife he just cheated on, a busy executive with a secret of her own, as they evade the far reaching influence of the Nexus, stomping around some of Italy’s most ancient and storied cities. But when the Nexus assassin tasked with finding and killing him discovers a buried incident that ties him to her own broken life, does she become an ally or motivated enemy?

The Carrington Event will take you through life and death, adventure and discovery. All while being strangled by a hidden solar catastrophe that will disrupt the world order within the next 48 hours…

Vote on your favorite cover design!

In my search for the right kind of cover art for my book, The Carrington Event, I’ve perused some websites that I like and some that I don’t. Well, many that I don’t. It’s tough to find someone to help deliver your vision or something that falls within your particular taste.
Here’s one I actually like. Found out later that they’ve also done work for my friend Joanna Penn. So they can’t be all that bad 🙂

If you’re in for a bit of adventure, try hosting a design contest. 99designs has an amazing collection of authors vying to win your business. The hardest part with this approach is wording the ‘design brief’. The artists use this to work on your cover. But it’s probably a good idea anyway, because it’ll help you put down in words what you want. You’ll have to take the time to describe it the way you see it. So get crackin’ and let me know if you have any other good places or ideas to generate cover art that sucks readers in like a vacuum.