Cover Lust

How does an author manage to get not just one, but four(!) fantastic covers?

I read Maria V. Snyder’s “Poison Study” about a year ago.  While I liked it, I didn’t love it enough to shell out for the sequel “Magic Study” in hardcover.  Anyway, I was just on Amazon to see if “Magic Study” was out in paperback – and came across these four beautiful covers for “Poison Study”. 

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The first (far left) is the original hardback one, which is the version I have.  I don’t mind admitting that I bought it partly for the cover – I love the rich colours on this one.  This is a Luna book, and despite my hit-and-miss record with their stories, they always have fantastic covers!

Then there are two Mira versions, one marked Young Adult Edition (second from left) and the other Adult Edition (third from left).  Both of these look to be mass market paperbacks.  I hadn’t realised Mira had a YA line, and it’s interesting to see how they’ve done the covers slightly differently for each market.  The YA cover implies that there is more action in the book – you have Yelena holding a staff, looking as though she is about to go into a fight, and the tagline is “Magic, excitement and adventure you can almost taste…”.

The adult version has the same fonts and tagline, but a completely different feel – more emphasis on the magic and mystery side of it, I think.  It looks as though they’ve gone for a ancient diary or spellbook(?) cover.  Maybe it’s a play on the Study part of the title.  The silhouette reminds me of Trudi Canavan’s “Black Magician” trilogy books.  Probably my least favourite cover out of these four.

The fourth one is also a Mira book (far right) – I think, but am not 100% sure, that this was a trade paperback.  This has a more dreamy and mystical quality compared to the other two Mira covers – while you see a figure on the front cover, her face is hidden from the reader.  Also, it’s set on a winding staircase, which gives a sense of mystery and implies that it’s set in another world.  A Publishers’ Weekly (starred review) quote is used as the tagline (the same as on the Luna cover).  This is my favourite out of the four.

The “Magic Study” covers are beautiful as well – here are the two I found.  While the Luna one (left) is again lovely, the girl on this cover appears to be younger than the one for the first book – or is that just me?  The Mira cover is just fantastic – it echoes the theme of the winding staircase from the first book, while moving it to an entirely different setting.

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2 thoughts on “Cover Lust

  1. That fourth PS edition is a trade paperback. I’ve been wanting to buy it for a while, but I already have a mm, so I’m trying to resist. The one I have is the Luna edition, and I really like the cover too, which is surprising as I usually don’t like to see people’s faces on covers.

    I think that the Luna line has been discontinued, right? So Mira put out the series in trade paperback. You should get Magic Study. I really liked it, in some ways even more than PS. I can’t wait for the third one to come out. In March, I think.

  2. My problem with Poison Study was that I felt disengaged from the characters. I liked the plot, especially the food-tasting angle, but the characters never really came alive for me. Does that make sense? There was no sense of connection, I never really felt as though I understood Yelena and her feelings, which is unusual for a story with first-person perspective. And the romance sort of came out of nowhere for me – there was no slow build-up.

    Hmm… I obviously remember quite a bit about it – I really wanted to love it, but it ended up just being so-so for me. But I will get Magic Study, partly because of the cover!

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