Hello, and thank you so much for looking at my contest!
First of all, this will be published on Amazon KDP, so please make sure your cover conforms to their specifications.
The tone of the book is gritty and quite dark, so the font should reflect that (no curly, romantic letters please!) The font and colors are up to you but the text color should be different to the background and stand out very clearly. I'm not keen on red text, as it's hard to read, but beyond that I'm fairly easy-going.
Author Name, Title and Subtitle should be in all capitals. The Tagline and Blurb should be in normal English.
There are two you can choose from; city or wild landscape:
1. SEDNA (Cityscape)
CHARACTERS PRESENT: Tau and Kata
The first place Kata and Tau escape to. Sedna is a dwarf planet in Earth's solar system, beyond Pluto, and it's a dump. Picture neon signs with half the letters fizzled out, sleazy motels, the occasional wrecked shuttle, boarded up windows and narrow alleyways...basically, this is the kind of place you really don't want to find yourself in after dark.
Night sky, no moon. Rain is optional.
Vehicles are fine, but cars have been replaced by car-sized shuttles. Buildings should be fairly dark, dirty, grungy; please remember this is a city.
The setting is looking down/into an alley or a street with Tau and Kata. The pose is up to you, but they've just been put through hell, they're exhausted, being hunted, and pretty battered (Tau is worse than Kata, who spends much of their time physically supporting him) and so this should be reflected in their poses. Themes: Dark, desperate.
2. ATTHIRAS (wild landscape)
An Earth-like planet with very little in the way of towns/cities (no buildings). At this point, Tau and Kata are a lot healthier than they were on Sedna, so you have a lot more freedom with the poses. However, this is a planet where people-hunting is not just legal, but one of the main tourist industries, which means that both Tau and Kata should be either hiding or taking cover. The setting is a forest (either the middle or edge is fine) and as with Sedna, Tau and Kata should be central. Time of day and weather (sunny/raining) are up to you. The most important thing is that Atthiras is clearly an alien planet, but how you convey this (alien creatures, pink grass, seven moons, yellow sky etc) is entirely your choice.
Hair: Blonde. Messy, but not too long (nothing below the jawline please)
Eyes: Blue. No glasses. Kata also has a very piercing stare
Height: Around 5'8 (172cm)
Clothes: Depending on which setting you choose:
Standard issue white t-shirt (or tank top if you prefer) and gray sweatpants. However he's dressed, it should match Tau's clothes exactly.
T-shirt (any solid color) and black jeans. Barefoot
Character Details: Kata is fairly good looking but not a knockout. Most noticeable traits are camouflage (think Predator, only the technology is integrated inside his body) and black claws about two inches long on his fingers and toes. This is a guy who's a snarker and who gives off some seriously dangerous vibes. The training also means he's very athletic looking, so if you want to go tank top, we should be able to see his muscles.
Please Avoid: Anything remotely resembling a cyborg. Apart from the claws, Kata looks fully human
Bulk. Kata is muscular but he's lean, not bulky; think dancer
Long claws or claws that look like super-long fingernails a la Freddy Krueger. Kata's claws are actually quite short and although they're artificial, they should look completely natural (either like a bird's claws or very sharp, pointy fingers. Regardless; Kata doesn't have fingernails).
Hair: Black. Fairly short and clean but not styled or brushed
Height: Around 6' (180cm)
Clothes: Depending on which setting you choose:
Standard issue white t-shirt (or tank top if you prefer) and gray sweatpants.
However he's dressed, it should match Kata's clothes exactly.
T-shirt or sweater (any solid color, but NOT the same color as Kata's clothes) and black pants, either sweats, jeans or cargo. Shoes: either sneakers or boots.
Details: On their first meeting, Kata describes Tau as "good looking enough to walk into any modeling agency" which just about sums it up. Tau is movie-star handsome. Living according to a strictly regimented diet and exercise plan means he's also very, very fit (not bulky, but slightly heavier than Kata).
Please Avoid: Facial hair of any kind
If you want to add more people beyond Tau and Kata, that's fine, but please no more than 2-3. If they're on Atthiras, the people will either be targets (dressed roughly, dirty; these are people who have been living off the land for weeks, months or even years) or hunters (any style you like, so long as they're armed).
Please note that this book will be translated into Japanese at some point, so ideally I'd like two files from the winner; one with English text which will be used for the English version, and one with no text so the Japanese translation can be added later.
I uploaded the cover (also from a 99designs contest) from the previous book, if anyone wants to see the kind of style I like.
Thank you again and I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's designs!