dgryoun8 got their new book cover by running a design contest:
Cover for contemporary YA novel. A teenage amputee being bullied at school joins a gritty MMA gym.
Check out dgryoun8's Book cover contest…
Kid With One Leg Wins Ass Kicking Contest
I'm a novelist and screenwriter. I'm also an above knee amputee who competes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu against able-bodied opponents. This is my first YA novel but I've published a lot of thrillers (the Ryan Lock series) and those books have been translated into over ten languages.
A fast, funny and inspirational contemporary YA novel. Imagine John Green (The Fault In Our Stars) writing a novel about The Karate Kid, only The Karate Kid has one leg. (There's a link below if you want to download a review copy and read some/all of the book.) Following a car wreck, sixteen-year-old Dylan is struggling to adjust to the amputation of his left leg. When a fight at his preppy new high school goes viral (Kid with one leg loses ass kicking contest!), online humiliation leads him to doors of a local MMA gym where he learns the gruelling, ground-based martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Here Dylan runs into Santana, a larger-than-life Latina MMA fighter with one arm, a string of beautiful girlfriends, and her eyes firmly set on becoming a UFC champion. Not exactly thrilled by Dylan's arrival, she reluctantly takes him under her wing and via some very tough love, teaches him not just how to fight, but how to accept himself. It's a story about resilience, self-acceptance, and human connection (both figurative and literal), themes that are perhaps more important than they've ever been. You can download a copy of the book here: https://BookHip.com/WXRTCWV
There are several potential overlapping audiences for the book. First and foremost it's a Young Adult novel for teens over the age of 13, particularly those with an interest in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The second audience would be people who train and are interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (which is a ground based grappling/fighting system). The third audience would be parents of kids/teens with a disability who are looking for an inspirational/uplifting novel that might help explain what their child is dealing with. Finally, I think it's a book that will appeal to people who love books about personal development as that's very much the theme of the story, so think people who listen to podcasts like Joe Rogan and Russell Brand.
Vibrant colors are fine. Go big on the title. Something that will work well as a thumbnail. In terms of the title, Dylan loses his first fight at school so if you wanted to include play with 'loses an ass kicking contest' with a strike through 'loses' that might work well. It's a YA novel but one that I also want to appeal to a crossover audience of adults. If you have a totally off the wall idea that you love then go for it. I'm 100% open to something I would never have thought of. It's obviously a click baity/newspaper headline so that might inform a design choice. If you want to use more phrases as background (as I think happened with cover for The Fault in Our Stars) then some of the more memorable ones that crop up in the book are: Stump of Justice, Toughen the F**ck Up, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Sweep the Leg, Shark Tank, Tap Snap or Nap.
What to avoid
No wheelchairs but I'm cool if you want to show someone with one leg. For instance the gi (pajamas) I wear to compete has one leg cut off and that could be an interesting visual.
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.
dgryoun8 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!
Nate really engaged with the brief and came up with something unique. I selected this design by running extensive A/B testing so his cover clearly engaged prospective readers as it tested. A lot of the designs were absolutely first rate but his worked for my audience. He was super responsive as well, even with a different time zone being involved. Highly recommend working with Nate.
Along the way, they met lots of talented designers…
We think contests are a super fun way to get design.
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