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Cover Art For The Book of Transformations – You Decide

You can have any cover you like, as long as it’s one of these two. Here we have a cover art draft for The Book of Transformations, the third book in the Legends of the Red Sun series, and there are two different crops of the artwork. I repeat: this is a draft. It is not finished: it’s low-res, the character isn’t quite set into the picture properly, and the final will be much more detailed and painterly, to bring it in line with the others, but first we need to decide which crop is better. Neither my editor Julie nor myself could come to a thorough conclusion, so we thought we’d put the question out to the blogosphere. I think I prefer the close-up version. So what do you think?

Oh the figure here is Lan, a new character: she’s a transwoman, and one of the leads of the novel.



By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

61 replies on “Cover Art For The Book of Transformations – You Decide”

I like faces on covers, as a rule. But the girl looks like she’s trying and failing to do heian nidan, which as any karateka will tell you is a yellow-belt kata, so not even very advanced. I’d vote for even more of a close-up than you’ve got in the first one, and a much better pose.

They are both awful. The pose is terrible, she looks bored, and why is the “Legends of the Red Sun” illustrated by a YELLOW sun blaring away in the middle of the pic?

A bit late to the party but I’m not keen on the figure at all, though the cityscape is pretty cool, so I’d go with #2 as she is less prominent. No, not keen on the girl at all… too timid-looking for me. A stronger pose might help, but at the moment she looks like she is doing the dance from Adam Ant’s Prince Charming video!

I posted this over at A Dribble of Ink:

“If the model and the background are set in stone, I would prefer bringing the model even more into the foreground like #1 but keep more of the city visible like #2.

In a perfect world you would have a tiny figure and the city looming in the background, like the Spectra Nights of Villjamur cover. That’s just me.

With the full body shot, she looks like she might just be getting her freak on.”

…And then I saw your twitter comments…

Thanks for opening the discussion to readers.

Hi Mark,

The first jacket gets my vote, although I think the girl is too distinctive as a visual character, she should be more ‘generic’ along the same lines as ‘City of Ruin’ so readers can fill/flesh out the details themselves.



Definately the first Mark. Though I like the view of the city in the second – so maybe a figure sitting on the edge of the sunlit patch looking away ie at the view. Would seem more in keeping with CoR – more of a sense of mystery.

So much hate! I *love* this cover (the first one). Admittedly the sun could be redder and the model isn’t a martial arts expert, but who really cares because I think Lan will sell books!

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