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The Souls of Wuhan

The author says:

War drama between China and Vietnam. Much suffering on each side. Eventually, America and other nations unite to beat China at sea, forcing their retreat. This united action brings the world together and ushers in a new world order of peace.

Prologue: It was the enmity between China and Vietnam that was the prompt for changing the world. Their shared animosity through war and bitterness created the circumstance for a new philosophy that set the world on a course to the closest thing it has seen to a Utopian state of being. But the course getting there was filled with tragedy that God could never imagine. It is said that changes for the good usually grow from disaster. The disasters were of a scale that humankind had rarely seen. The good that resulted had never been seen before. Over nineteen centuries the pain has continued for Vietnam until these modern days.

Into this arena stepped Matt Anderson, Deng Tao, Zhuang Chen, Trung Kiên and Chuck Wallace. An American teacher, a Chinese naval commander, a Chinese politician, a Vietnamese soldier and the American Secretary of Defence. These men shake the world to its core as it teeters on the brink of disaster. It simply never stops between China and Vietnam but there is always hope that some people will step forward and change history. It had taken a desperately poor country with little ability to threaten anybody to teach the world a lesson. They stood up and said, “We are going to fight for what is right and just. If you do not help us, then here we may die”. They did die, and they created more heroes! They are not just Vietnamese heroes, they are world heroes and thank God for them! For the Americans who participated in the drama and others who watched the events unfold it was almost beyond belief. In Asia, hate based in history seems never to be forgotten. In Europe the animosity related to the two World Wars has subsided and life between friends is much better. But in Asia, history seems never to be forgotten. It is always the worst of that history that still lives in the hearts of people who should be friends. This book lives out those animosities and it also shows to the world that there is always hope for a new beginning and a new world order of friendship. America took a long time to act, as did the rest of the world. But eventually they did act and it became an example for all people who joined the effort for peace and a future for their children. The world had grown up! As Asia limped from one disaster to another and millions died, Matt did not know it but his die had been cast. He had a decision to make that would change the world. As Julius Caesar sat beside the Rubicon River he weighed his risks and formulated a course of action that would change the world. He “crossed the Rubicon” with his legions and went on the rule the Roman Empire. Matt had no idea about where his future was headed. Unlike Julius Caesar he knew nothing about the future that awaited nor the risks he would take. Whist history would never remember Matt, his moment lay ahead. His decision more momentous than Caesar’s.

Nathan says:

I think I’ll just cut to the chase on this — the cold, cruel chase: This may be a barely adequate cover for a dry historical treatise about the military in southeast Asia.  For a “gripping drama,” it falls flat.

I could delineate the ways in which it misses the mark, but they are so many — literally the whole cover — that my advice is simply to find someone who has the skill set to create an appropriate cover and give them some money.  The alternative is to spend multiple years learning design skills and wisdom that you do not have.

Comments

  1. I never like seeing tooting your own horn on the cover or making claims such as “and so it is in this gripping drama.”
    Whether or not it’s gripping will be revealed on the pages within.
    The cover images don’t indicate gripping drama.

  2. I agree with Nathan. There is really nothing about this cover that conveys any sense of the book you describe.

    Aside from the cover’s innocuous blandness, the flags are from all-too-obviously different sources…and the flag cutting off the trail of the missile simply looks unfortunately placed.

    I understand the symbology you seem to be aiming for by having the US and Chinese flags on one side of the cover and the Vietnamese flag on the other…but only because I read the description of the plot. A casual browser would not have the advantage of that preknowledge…and the success of a book cover should not depend on someone being already familiar with the story.

    (Something that one all too often sees is a bad line break. That occurs here in the title, where “The Souls of” is on one line and “Wuhan” on another. It would both look and read better as
    The Souls
    of Wuhan)

    But the first thing that should concern you is the inadequacy of the cover. The image needs to be rethought entirely from scratch.

    You should probably get someone to help you with the cover, but if you either want or have to do the cover yourself, you might want to check out the image resources available from all of the various armed forces. Each maintains large collections of images, usually of very high quality and all free to use. For example http://www.navy.mil/viewGallery.asp where the US Navy stockpiles over 11,000 pages of photographs. For historic images of the US Navy there is https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography.html

    All of the other services have similar resources and all are free to use. These galleries might be a good place for you to start.

      1. Savoy, I liked the look of this cover but why may I ask does it emphasise America and there is no references to Vietnam. Vietnam is the main player. Is there somewhere within your design that a reference to Vietnam may be inserted? Thank you for your efforts Savoy.
        I looked at Clancy’s book covers and he seems to have a tank, ship, plan or missile on many of his covers. Not that I think these are so important but I think some reference to Vietnam may be.
        Rob

        1. Rob:

          Perhaps, instead of the stars with the US Flag as the background for them, you could arrange the stars as they are arranged on the Vietnamese flag, and use that same flag as the background for them? The challenge is that Savoy’s background is already heavily red, as is the Vietnamese flag, but…if that could be worked around, this has potential, I think.

          And I really like the fonts, too, which I’d intended to speak to, but don’t need to now. 😉

        2. Oh, thought it was a book about America and China banding together. Didn’t realize the major focus was Vietnam. But sure, anything could be done. The trick is getting a great idea…lol

          maybe have the Vietnam flag burning to symbolize being attacked? but you need something that says America and China are attacking. I need to ponder it.

          1. Savoy:

            I can tell you that I’m 100% certain that Rob would be most grateful for a cover as good as the one you designed with that little extra emphasis on Vietnam. 😉

          2. Savoy, Vietnam get hammered but fights back brilliantly and with the help of America, Vietnam wins the day. China ends up the loser.

            1. …. I got this all wrong….
              I read it as China and America attack Vietnam. Granted I read it at like 1 am but still…

              its still a solid idea for a cover if you change the flags around and Hell, maybe you don’t even need them, just use the regular flag. The cover just needs to say war drama. when they read the blurb they’ll get the China America thing. Getting the cover to say war in Vietnam but NOT the old war in Vietnam will be tough, You might need a tagline to convey that info for browsers or a future date Like: 2050 The Souls of Wuhan,, although the tag line a new world order does say this is new…

              it would be easy to make the letters red and white striped with the yellow star in the center but that might be confusing. Or the yellow stars for china could go on the sub and just use the normal American flag in the background and use more at a glance American jets.

              you could use a guy in a Vietnamese uniform or one of those hat things they wear. the problem is there is no aircraft or military boat that screams Vietnam because they use Russian ones.

              Maybe try an American and a Vietnamese in Uniform standing together? or saluting each other?

  3. To your credit, the thumbnail did have me figuring this for some kind of political war story, but my colleagues have a point: this looks a lot more like a non-fiction military textbook than the political thriller you were apparently trying to make of it. About the only remotely salvageable part is the picture of the ship itself; the flags merely clutter the cover, the fonts for the titles and tagline and byline are all wrong, and they end up merely cluttering the cover too. In short, everything but the picture of the warship is going to have to go.

    As for the warship, it should work about as well as any piece of military equipment for the cover to this kind of novel, but you’ll have to filter it through some kind of color wash (red would be good) and restrict it to about half of the cover at most. My suggestion: study the covers of Tom Clancy novels (he being the master of your book’s genre), and copy what his cover designers do with the covers to his books. One important modification: since Tom Clancy is famous and you (so far) are not, put the title for your book where his designers typically put his byline, and put your byline where they typically put the title.

    One optional modification: if you want to emphasize this story’s specific setting on the cover, you can slip exactly one of the flags (I’d recommend the Vietnamese one, since Vietnam seems to be at the center of the action in this story) in under the title in what will otherwise be the solid-color upper half of the cover. Use some kind of military-looking font for the title and byline (some kind of stencil font would probably suffice), and skip the tagline altogether. What your prospective readers mainly need to realize when they look at the cover is that this is a thrilling war story; all the rest of the details in your (very, very detailed) description, they can learn by reading the book.

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