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5 seconds for book cover and 15 seconds for back page text!

That is the average attention span to entice a book reader. That is the time span needed to convert a ‘maybe book buyer’ into a ‘definitely interested book buyer’.

This is my story, my exciting journey – as my Cover Design Artist and myself  made a memorable foray into concepts, ideas and colors.

Premise & target audience

Aim high’ – I thought hopefully, when asked to state my target audience. Indians, NRIs, pan-Earth Mythology buffs, Aliens

Mahabharata may be an Indian Epic, but its emotions, its philosophy and its characters are rich & relevant across religion, region, language and Time.

My book focuses on 3 protagonists of Mahabharata  – Arjun, Draupadi and Krishn.

My book blurb had to condense a 96,000 word manuscript into 132 words.

My book cover had to complement those 132 words in a vivid 5 second vision. Easy , huh?

I found the perfect artist to capture my dream idea in Champa Srinivas, my exquisite Cover Designer. She is an Architect cum artist who loves to ‘capture the beauty of aesthetic spaces and colors’.

Concept, symbols, colors, ideas.

Symbolism: My 3 protagonists:

1] Arjun – The ace archer and superlative warrior.

2] Draupadi – his feisty Queen.

3] Krishn – God who walked Earth in human form.

Their symbols: Arrow, Blue Lotus and Peacock feather respectively.

Concept behind symbolism:

Arrow was a no-brainer, given Arjun’s authoritative excellence in archery.

Blue lotus (for Draupadi) , since she possessed the inborn fragrance of a blue lotus.

We tossed our coin over Krishn’s symbols – the flute (artistic, melodious, poetic) or Sudarshan chakra (his discus weapon) or peacock feather (his flamboyant characteristic head gear) – before finalizing the latter.

Color palette:

Silver Arrow : ‘Arjun’ in Sanskrit = spotless/luminous as silver; just like its sound-alike ‘Argentum’ in Latin. {Such an amazing coincidence!}

Sleek and honed like Arjun’s razor sharp focus. Yet – humble and understated in comparison to his 2 soul mates.

Blue Lotus : Apart from the fragrance factor, Draupadi was a dusky beauty with lustrous blue-black hair, which essayed a pivotal role in the epic’s turning point.

She was also the most desirable & exotic Lady in her era. In Oriental writings, powdered Blue Lotus is used as an aphrodisiac!

Peacock feather: Multi hued, flamboyant and striking as Krishn’s multi-faceted persona.

3 symbol placement : In the decisive Kurukshetra war, Arjun was the skilled warrior, Draupadi was the passionate inspiration and Krishn was the cool headed strategist and mentor.

Hence, my blurb says ‘The Missile (Arjun) … The Trajectory (Draupadi) …The Vision (Krishn).

Lotus and peacock feather stems entwined : symbolic of Krishn-Draupadi’s divine relation as friend & protector. In addition, their spectrum of blue hues signified their rhythmic thoughts. Both were firm, resolute and decisive in their Danda neeti (War for Justice).

The stems curling around silver arrow: symbolic of their deep emotional entanglement and mutual love for Arjun.

Flames as background: 2 cool colors – the 2 blue symbols needed to be balanced by a warmer color. What better than glowing yellow-orange flames to bring the image vibrantly alive?

Why flames? Flames carry significant implications in Indian Vedic context. They play a role in sacrificial fires, in marriage ceremony, in funeral pyres, fire as purification, fire for passions, fire from which Draupadi arose as a divine gift for her Father.

Arjun: book cover design

Thus culminated my book cover’s journey. A dream idea captured in a Vision.

Champas’s Artwork Facebook Page :

Visit https://www.facebook.com/ChampaArtworks to sample more of Champa’s artistic endeavors.

Arjun’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ArjunTheNovel

Did the symbolism get translated well enough?

Share your own book cover journey with me…