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I am the author of the Middle Grade children's book "Mason Wilson And The Dead Bird Debacle". This is the first book in a series, aimed at 9-12 year-olds. My intention is to work with the winning designer on the other two books in the series as and when completed.
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I am looking for a full book cover design (front, back and spine) for Createspace publishing. The target age range for the book is around 9-12, with the subject matter likely to appeal to boys in particular. I consider the content to be "for thinking people" - it's quite educational and for children to like to think outside the box. The genre is primarily a mystery/detective but also has urban fiction elements. The main character of the book is 12-year-old English school boy Mason Wilson who needs to solve a mystery to win a newspaper competition - why are flocks of dead birds falling to the ground? After drawing a blank in internet research, Mason spots a cat in his back garden with a bird in its mouth and it disappears into the back of a nearby truck with many other cats. Intrigued he ends up in the back of the truck and arrives at an old Victorian factory run by the eccentric Mr. Finch. Mason discovers that the bird feathers are made here into all kinds of everyday items, but to his horror, also discovers that the claws and beaks are the secret ingredient to his favourite beverage! Not only that, the factory cannot get enough birds to meet demand, and the CEO of the beverage makers has a plan to get more by using high radio frequency technology to blast them from the sky; hence the flocks of dead birds. Mason must somehow foil this evil plan, which will be an environmental disaster if not stopped, as well as blow the whistle on this illicit ingredient. At the same time, his parents have found out he has gone missing!
The book is approximately 290 pages (paperback) and size 5.06 x 7.81 inches. The book is written in the first person by Mason in a diary format, with hints of Wimpy Kid mixed with Roald Dahl. The story is a bit grotesque and dark at times but never gets too scary, there is quite bit of humour throughout. I am looking for an atmospheric, quirky cover which will draw on one or more of the main elements. The cover should ideally be integrated across the front and back covers and spine - i.e. not just a plain back with the blurb (which will be supplied later). I really like the idea of a silhouetted dead bird (like a sparrow) on its back with legs in the air, and also birds in a leaf-less tree, plus the old Victorian brick factory with cast iron gates would be good features, but also open to other creative ideas. I suspect that monochromatic might work quite well. I am not looking for some stock photos to be thrown together - I am looking for some real creativity and uniqueness, which is tailored to the plot line. The book title (and to a lesser extent, the author name) should be reasonably prominent so the front cover can double ideally as an ebook cover. I do like attention to the font and potentially making that a feature with some connected imagery. Remember that I am an English author and the book is set in the north-west of England.
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