Oz cover of ML

Penguin Australia decided to go with their own cover for Magic Lessons because they found the USian cover a bit too dark. At first I was miffed by this because I love love love that cover (plus they’d used one of my photos on it). Then they showed me what they’d come up with:

All miffage vanished. Isn’t it beautiful? Plus the St Stephen’s cemetery photo is by Scott.

The USian cover was designed by Marc J. Cohen and the Australian one by Cathy Larsen.

Here they are side by side:

Whatcha reckon?


  1. Hannah on #

    Wow, I almost like it better than the American version. It’s gorgeous. When Magic Lessons came out one of the first things I did was inform my mum that I want to move to Sydney. Oregon, USA is looking pretty grim right now. All we’ve got is pine trees.

    So, this has probably been asked a million times but…any word on the last in the trilogy? Hints, perhaps? *beg*


  2. Justine on #

    It will be out next March in the US of A. It will be a hardcover and there will be a glossary. It will be about 65,000 words long. Does that help? 🙂

  3. shelly rae on #

    Both those covers are terrific Justine. I do think I prefer the USA version because it is darker. Congrats on getting terrific artwork for your most excellent books!

  4. jennifer, aka literaticat on #

    Ah! I like them both. The Oz one looks a little more creepy, somehow. The graveyard-rainbow-running is compelling. Like whimsy mixed with doom.

    But the US one has gravitas. And I like the way the font looks heavier, if that makes sense.

  5. marrije on #

    the new one is pretty – i like the added bit of colour. i think the running girl looks a tad young, though (if it’s at all reasonable to say that about a mostly blurry picture, the girl in the photo may be 15 in real life for all I know): she looks like the group 8 girls in my son’s school, who are 11 and 12.

    and i do keep forgetting that julieta and reason are only fifteen, but fifteen is still miles older than 12.

    and congratulations on your forthcoming italian edition! i keep hoping the dutch edition will be next!

  6. niki on #

    i think the aus one will stand out more on the shelves – i like it

  7. Sherwood Smith on #

    I love both of them for different reasons…but the Oz one I think has the edge because of that faint red-glow ring that, I dunno, just imbues the whole with magic. Wow, I can hardly wait to read it!

  8. Stephanie on #

    I really like both. A lot. But… a graveyard is less “dark” than a tree?

  9. Justine on #

    Marrije: Fifteen year olds come in all shapes and sizes. But, yeah, she sure is a small, skinny one.

    Stephanie: They meant “dark” as in “lack of light”.

  10. sara z on #

    they are both great covers. jennifer’s “whimsy mixed with doom” is the perfect way to describe the Oz cover – i would definitely pick it up!

  11. Justine on #

    Sara Z: Yup, it’s an excellent description especially so given what happens in the third book.

  12. orangedragonfly on #

    i like it…although i have been quite taken by the tree on the american cover since the first time i saw it, so i have to say i still like that one best. (and, woo hoo, it will be on its way to my house from amazon in a few days!! 😀 )

  13. niki on #

    oh just make sure they remove the blue spill on her before publishing…

  14. Shawn on #

    I’m a 25 year old male and I discovered Magic or Madness by accident while surfing the internet one day at work. I’m a writer myself so I try and read as much as possible when I’m in between projects, as I find it helps me flow to and from various works with ease.
    Magic and Madness ended up on the top of my read pile about a week ago and just finished recently.
    This book is awesome. It is everything I’ve wanted to read in a book about magical characters since I read the first Harry Potter series. Your goal to develop a workable magic system (and success in that endevor) make this book and it’s sequels a MUST-READ series that I’ve been reccomending to everyone I know. Thanks for the entertainment. Can’t wait for the new book. The covers both look great.

    –Shawn D.

  15. Tempest on #

    They’re both so pretty! I like that font, too. They kept the font, this is good. And they’re both evocative of two different parts of the book. So… yah, good deal 🙂

  16. innle on #

    I like both of them, actually, but I think the Oz one is going to work better if it’s going straight into paperback. The US HB has that beautiful textured stock for the dustjacket that lightens the feel of the cover as a whole; if your Oz publisher’s going with the same PB format as MoM, the texture won’t translate over and it probably will come over as too dark.

    Anyway, yay! Oz publication soon! *plans pimpery campaign*

  17. Justine on #

    Orangedragonfly: I’m very fond of the Moreton Bay fig, too. They’re very common back home so the USian cover reminds me of home very intensely.

    Hope you like it!

    Niki: I’m pretty sure this isn’t the final final version. I imagine there’ll be a few more tweaks. (But jeeze you’re picky, picky, picky!)

    Shawn: Wow, thank you. What a wonderful comment. I’m so pleased (not to mention blushing!). Especially that you were into the magic system. It was something I thought about long and hard which is exhausting! I much prefer to put my feet up and think short, shallow thoughts 🙂

    If by new book you mean Magic Lessons—it’s already out in the US of A in hardcover, the paperback comes out next March at the same time as the third and final book.

    Thanks again! It means a lot to me.

    Tempest: Hey! Lovely seeing you at WisCon. They two covers do capture two different bits of the book. I hadn’t thought of that.

    Innle: The Oz will indeed be the same paperback format as the MorM. And I think you’re probably right about why they decided to go with a lighter (in colour) cover.

    Well, it’s not that soon. Magic Lessons comes out in Oz in late August/early September. A winter verging into Spring book. Wish I could be there for it’s arrival . . .

  18. jennifer, aka literaticat on #

    Yup, it’s an excellent description especially so given what happens in the third book.

    EEP! WHA!

    The mind, she reels.

  19. Justine on #

    Jennifer: Just messing with ya!

  20. Susan Loyal on #

    Both covers are haunting and lovely introductions to an excellent book. Extraordinary series–one of the few serious treatments of the genuine menace that (mostly) benevolent adults present to a young person’s process of individuation. (We mean so well that surely we can legitimately represent ourselves as kind, wise, just, right, overpowering, oops.)

  21. Justine on #

    Thanks! I hadn’t thought about it like that. One of the coolest things about having books published is all the different ways people read them. I feel kind of dumb for not knowing as much about what I’ve written as some of my readers do. If that makes any sense . . .

  22. Susan Loyal on #

    one of the benefits of being over half a century old is that you can still (vaguely) remember being an adolescent and not trusting adults, and you’ve also survived your kids being adolescents and–despite having done your best by them–you’re all too aware just why they shouldn’t trust adults. not a perspective you’re likely to have yet (and with luck, never), but a truth you seem to grasp entirely. (of course, there are also excellent reasons for adults not to trust adolescents, but those are obvious.) good that there’s more in your writing than you’re consciously aware of (and that you’re not inclined to lit crit yourself!) speaking of lit crit, thanks too for daughters of earth, which gave me a chance to reflect on the full length of my life with feminism and sf. many thanks for a great spring.

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