Monday, April 18th, 2011

A Lovely Thing: The English Cover of The Magician King

It’s churlish to say it, but it’s the truth: I was never totally satisfied with the English cover of The Magicians. This is partly because I could never tell it apart from the English cover of Codex.

Here, I’ll put them side by side:


There’s a family resemblance. And I never felt like the cover of The Magicians was fantasy-y enough. To put it bluntly, you couldn’t tell there was any damn magic in it.

You can’t really blame Random House UK for that. Codex sold well, and they wanted the people who bought Codex to buy The Magicians, so they made them look alike. I screwed this up for them by making The Magicians a very different buy zithromax online ireland book from Codex, so the people who bought it got something very different from what they were expecting, and the people it was meant for couldn’t find it at all, because it doesn’t look like what it is, which is a fantasy novel, not a literary thriller. I changed brands on them, basically.

Still, The Magicians sold OK in the UK (and other Commonwealth nations!) A lot of publishers would have shrugged and said meh.

But the people at Random House UK thought about it and came up with a totally new look for The Magician King. It looks like this:


Click to embiggen. Pretty, right? I love it. It feels very right to me.

28 comments on “A Lovely Thing: The English Cover of The Magician King

  1. Rita says:

    Oooooooh. I like it!

  2. Karen Attaway says:

    That is SO cool! I love it!

  3. Aldrin says:

    It’s wonderful. I wonder who designed it.

  4. Kat says:

    That is amazing. Perfect for the book. And I’d buy a print of that for my wall, I love it so.

  5. M says:

    less ominous, dont know if that’s a good thing.

  6. Jaimie says:

    But I like it better than the US version and I live in the US! NO FAIR.

  7. It’s quite lovely, and indeed better than The Magicians cover. Perhaps a reissue with a complementary is in order for the first book? i know you have no control over that, but a suggestion is in order, I think.

  8. Leverus says:

    @Christian I agree!

    Check out the designers who did it: http://www.kaiandsunny.com/publishing/publishing.php

    They do David Mitchell’s books too #reflectedglory

  9. Sam M-B says:

    This is a wonderful, wonderful cover. I agree with Jaimie. (My favorite so far is still the US The Magicians cover, though. This one comes close, though.)

  10. Jaimie says:

    Yeah, Sam, I still like the US Magicians best.

  11. Jaimie says:

    What is it with trees anyway? I’m kind of obsessed with trees.

  12. sevedra says:

    That cover is AWESOME

  13. Becky says:

    Really awesome cover! Ditto what Jaimie said, I live in the US and I like this better than the planned US cover!

  14. K.M. Walton says:

    I’m digging this one too. I like the colors a lot. Very cool.

  15. Truly stunning. Congratulations on the re-do. 🙂

  16. Marilee says:

    Keys: check. Bees: suspiciously absent. Can’t wait!

  17. The cover looks fabulous! Will certainly turn heads.

  18. dennitzio says:

    1) Whatever happened to oil-slicked babes in metal bikinis with curved swords and pastel dragons who barely appear in a book? Fantasy books these days are trying way too hard to seem respectable. 2) something about the key-gesture on the lower left makes me think it could be the cover to some kind of 90s steampunk-fetish Ent-porn DVD. “Hoary Ent-Wives 3: All Keyed Up!” 3) You’re lucky to have a marketing team looking out for you with such good work. Many a movie’s spirit has been quelled by a bad poster…

  19. c says:

    It’s beautiful! I love a good cover.

    One of the reasons I picked up The Magicians was because the cover/title combo reminded me of The Magician’s Nephew (I grew up with Diggory staring up at a tree), and I wasn’t disappointed at all.

  20. Awesome! That’s an iconic cover. Huge improvement. Might have to look for a copy when I’m over there this summer.

  21. David Olsen says:

    Isn’t the cover of “Codex” the arches in Central Park?

  22. Little My says:

    “Click to embiggen”?? Isn’t that totally Rothfussian?

  23. Leverus says:

    @Little My Can you ever be to Rothfussian? tho we’re both alluding to The Simpsons…

  24. Tricia says:

    I love The Magician King cover!! I think you should do the same one or very similar for US version. 🙂 please? 🙂 It would pair very nice w/ The Magician US cover.

  25. Okie says:

    slick, stylish…very nice indeed. cant wait to read it!

  26. Saj says:

    Hey, this cover and your books got brought up on the D&D Planescape Site!:


  27. 02A says:

    Dude! where the book at!? Where the movie at!? Cats waitin’ I feel like a Harry Potter fan! Only these mutha fuckaz bailin back into Fillory full of narcs. Not really. I know there’s more to it than that. Is Alice still around?

  28. uncdevil says:

    It’s not only perfectly cromulent, it’s lovely.

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