I first discovered Martin W. Ball’s “The Fate of Miraanni” in a second hand bookstore in Taiwan, and bought it despite the cover, which I disliked (I’ll tell you why in a minute). However, it was the best book I’ve read in a long time, and that’s saying something since I major in literature. Martin does a whole lot of awesome things, and like me is from Oregon. The book is kind of a Buddhist-mysticism meets fantasy RPG meets clash of cultures (nomads vs. aliens/high and low technology), but also a sharp and penetrating commentary on religion, with plenty of action, intrigue, and damn good writing. It’s a pity that not too many people are reading this book – so I decided to do a cover makeover for it.
First of all, what do I dislike about the current cover?
1) I don’t like the flat green boxes, the blurry green background. Wasted space.
2) I can recognize all the fonts used immediately as very basic windows fonts.
3) the gradient (blue to gold) is one of the standard gradients with basic photoshop; it also makes the text harder to read.
4) I don’t like the lens flare in the title. Seems out of place.
Altogether, this is a very home-made cover, which unfortunately will hurt book sales.
Below are my attempts to redo the cover. The book has so much to offer, it’s hard to know where to start – and there’s definitely the risk of adding too much and making it too busy. But at the same time, readers need to know what the book is about enough to build intrigue. I started with a landscape because the book involves a lot of travel through wide open spaces, mountain battles, etc. I added the UFO – the book has a mysterious race of beings with higher technology. They may not really be “aliens” but they seem to use something like flying saucers. I added a kite – the prominent feature on the original cover, and the young girl (the plot surrounds a young divine child).
Then I started in with a snake image; Miraanni meets a spiritual snake guide and needs to decide to abandon herself into oblivion or return to help the living.
Getting a little busy, so I took some back out:
The sword is optional, but helps establish the genre. There is a wicked awesome sword involved but I don’t have the exact description with me. There’s also a cool place in the mountains, an ancient place of power with carved faces and 3 women arriving to a collected gathering; that would make an amazing cover if I had time to create it. Obviously I would need to get hi-res images and clean it up a lot, and it may not be ideal, but I still think it’s an improvement over the original. What do you think?
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