Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Great GATU Sticker Design Contest

It's time for another great Girl Against the Universe contest! Maybe you're not the writerly type so designing a book boyfriend wasn't for you. Maybe you want to show off your design skills instead. Well you're in luck! I'm looking for an awesome sticker to use as part of my GATU promotional material. This sticker will be a 2 inch x 2 inch finished product that I will give out at events and as part of a swag pack for future giveaways, including possibly a pre-order incentive.

Here's an example of a sticker designed by Yun-A Kwak. Note that this sticker was not
created specifically for this contest, so it might not fit the template below.

If you're interested in starting a graphic design business or amping up the business you already have, being able to tell potential clients that you've designed for a multi-published Big Five author might be a nice thing to add to your resumé. The contest is open internationally. Winner gets their choice of a signed finished copy of The Art of Lainey, a signed finished Liars, Inc., or a signed ARC of Girl Against the Universe, plus a $25 B&N gift card. If you live outside the U.S., instead of the gift card I'll let you pick one book from The Book Depository, max price $25. If you win and live in a non-TBD country, I'll give you your choice of any second paperback YA book and pay the shipping to your country. Winner(s) will also receive 5 copies of their printed sticker.

In order to win, the sticker will need to incorporate either the title or part of the GATU cover design/colors in some way. You do not need to do both, unless you want to. You can use your own graphics as long as you are the copyright holder, and/or come up with your own tagline or text. Your sticker must fit the template below and the design must keep the critical graphics and text within the safety lines but extend out through the bleed lines.

In other words, what should print out is everything inside the blue dotted line. However, because the machines aren't perfect, for error-margin reasons, the critical elements need to be inside the green and yellow lines, and the image needs to extend out to the red. This template is from Here is a link in case you need specs, sizes, color information, etc. You can also download templates specific to your design software. In order for your design to be printable, it will need to be high resolution. Here is a link to a high resolution cover image. Let me know if you can't access it.

If you have never designed for printing before, you might want to hang onto your idea because next month I'm doing a GATU quote/image and fan art contest. The prize will be just one book but there also won't be as many technical requirements.

All submitted designs will be shared via my social media. If I like more than one design enough to print it, I will award runner-up prizes. Please note that if you use the cover design, selling these stickers without permission from the designer and artist is a violation of copyright.

Possible text for your sticker:
Your sticker does not need to have text, but it can. If you've read the book, you can use anything that stood out to you. You can also use part of one of the quotes that are listed on Goodreads.  You can make up your own tagline or phrase. Or, if you like, consider this huge list of tags I submitted to my editor when I was flailing for a tagline myself. (Did you think there was some genius in promotions with the title of Executive Tagline Generator? I wish ;D)
  • Life is risk.
  • Luck is a game of inches.
  • Worlds are about to collide.
  • Everything is riding on this.
  • It's time for an upset.
  • Don't count out the underdog.
  • The ball is in your court.
  • Sometimes the Universe just takes what it wants.
  • Sometimes you have to fight for everything.
  • There's a fine line between luck and tragedy.
  • You can't win if you don't play.

  • You can use any part of the cover design and any quotes from the book or make up your own quotes. You can also use one of the suggested taglines from the list above. You cannot use other artwork/images unless they belong to you.
  • My skill in design is very limited, so I am unable to help with technical questions beyond referring you to the Printrunner webpage that is linked above. Again, this contest is primarily for people who have designed for print in the past. Next month's contest will be for digital graphics.
  • Submitting a design means you are giving me permission to share the graphic on my social media and, if selected, print the image for use in distribution for book promotion.
  • You can enter up to three times.

  • Despite the fact that Printrunner shows a bordered sticker in their image, I recommend a solid or repeating pattern background. The problem with a border is that these are machine-printed and if the machine is off even a hair you're going to end up with a thick line on one side and a thin line on the other.
  • Be sure to preview your image at 2 inch X 2 inch size to make sure your text is readable before submitting.
  • Don't worry if your design looks like there's too much space on the outside. Again, what's between the blue and red dotted lines isn't going to print.
  • Have fun with this :)

Final designs need to be emailed to me in your file format of choice plus a .JPG for easy sharing at pstokesbooks [at] gmail [dot] com by March 31, 2016, subject: GATU sticker design contest.

General questions? Put them in the comments.


  1. I suck at anything design but I cannot wait to see what the talented people out there come up!!

    1. Perhaps next month you can use one of your photographs and do a quote/image pairing for social media :)


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