Situation No Win is finally revised and re-released! Along with the new chapter and polishing of the prose, comes the new cover.
I think it’s my best yet, even better than Three Million’s A Crowd. Scroll to the end of the post to see the final 2020 cover or read on.
The Situation No Win cover has come a long way from the hastily one done over a couple of late nights after class in Harbin. It’s actually taken over three years to complete! That sounds like a lot but it’s been an on and off project. After all, this revision of Situation hasn’t been that easy for me, with the big a-ha moment of what needed to move things into focus regarding the story only happening last year during the prep for my Tarot For Writers course, and then…Well, this year just about everything has been delayed by one thing or another, right?
So, I thought I’d take you on a walk-through on the evolution of this particular cover in celebration of the book being available again!
The Original Brief
As a new writer and cover creator, I wanted Situation No Win’s cover to reflect the main, unique location of the Mu Desert. For me, back then, that’s what made the story special. Also, as a reader, I hate when book covers mislead as to content and location. I didn’t want to be that cover. I also didn’t want readers to think the story was related to No Distance To Run—a cover that had been quite effective. So, I settled on dunes as the main image.
I had wanted to draw some kind of artifact on the image as well, but didn’t have the illustrative abilities. I had a limited range of fonts and limited software as GIMP wasn’t quite as advanced then, or so I thought, compared to Photoshop that I’d been used to working on as a DTP/Junior Designer. I loved the 2013 result, but it’s underwhelming…more so by today’s standards.
In 2015, when I began my first effort on the revision (yes, there was more than one), I decided to bring in some effects of the device after realising I couldn’t draw the intricacies of the device in a way that would also signal that the story is an adventure thriller with fantasy elements. So, I added some effects over the sky to bring in a sense of tension and mystery. I had still a lot of growing to do as both a writer and cover creator. You’ll see that I was still hesitant to deviate from my original cover. This was the result.
By 2017, I was maturing as a cover creator (and writer) and decided to experiment away from my original brief. I wanted to signal the power of the device even more, and what better imagery to use than lightning, shot in Ladysmith by my trusty of Canon D10. I added a snazzy font from dafont.com to bring in the some flavour of the device and region. The faded hieroglyphs were just random scribbles from the original notebook I’d written the story in. They were my attempt at getting a visual of the glyphs as Lui and Tom would have seen them.
I also darkened the overall feel tending towards more black as I’d enhanced the No Distance To Run cover to a purer black and liked how it look. By this point, I also wanted to readers who looked at No Distance To Run to consider Situation No Win, too.
If I had completed the revision in 2017 or 2018, I would have definitely used this cover. For that period, I think the cover would have stood a good chance of capturing eBook readers attention. What do you think?
Along Came 2020…
Then we got to 2019/2020 and I realised that last cover wasn’t good enough. I did two more versions, adding one totally new concept using photos from Yulin and integrating some of the elements from my 2017 cover.
I polled my Patrons as to which cover they most likely would click on. Which one would you choose?
Using my patron’s suggestions, I tweaked the most liked cover and ended up with this:
It’s come a long way, but I’m glad the cover has completely matured. Best of all, it remains true, although re-conceived, to the intentions of the original brief—to reflect the story and story elements inside.
What do you think?