Cover Reveal: Redesign for Essential Magic

A while ago, I posted a blog describing the formation of the cover for Essential Magic. It was a very long process, involving a great deal of trial and error, and the purchase of a number of image licenses that I didn’t end up using (I later learned to download comp images until I was absolutely certain about what I wanted).

So you can understand how reluctant I was to go back to the drawing board. But I already knew that the cover for A Theft of Magic felt different. Although the prequel isn’t as widely read, its cover seems to exist in a different world, too. And when it came time to design the cover for Memories of Magic (which will be revealed soon!), I had to admit that my original vision had altered, and I needed to make a change.

In addition to completely redesigning Essential Magic, I also decided to update the fonts and some other details on A Theft of Magic and A Merge of Magic to tie the whole series together. You can see those new covers at the top of this post.

But Essential Magic needed more than a few details. I needed to start over from scratch. Thus began a very long and headache-inducing hunt through stock photography across the internet. At some point in my career, I will have the funds and time to set up a photo shoot with models wearing period-appropriate clothing and who look at least somewhat like the image in my head of the characters. But until then, I have to go with what’s available online.

I finally found an image that spoke to me, and a model who was close enough in looks, but well-matched in spirit, to Etta. Even better, it fits well into the look of the rest of the covers in the series. Here it is, the new cover for Essential Magic:


That’s the eBook cover. There is also a new print version:


The new eBook cover should go live in about 24 hours. The print cover may take a few days (up to a week) to go through the review process.

BUT, when the update goes through, the eBook will also be on sale for $0.99! This sale will only last a short time (through 3/1), so if you haven’t started the series yet, now’s your chance to do it for super-cheap!

If you already own copies of the eBooks, Kindle will not automatically update the cover. I am planning to upload a new version of the text on books 1 and 2 soon that corrects some missed proofing errors and adds buy links and excerpts for future books. When I do that, I will flag the new versions as being substantially different, and that should prompt Amazon to push the new files out to everyone who owns a copy.

For those of you who own the print version–you now have a rare first edition! 🙂 Unfortunately, if you want the new cover, you will have to buy it again. BUT–if you send proof of your original purchase to me (cara at caramckinnon dot com), I will send you a CreateSpace coupon code to get 50% off of the cost of purchasing a new copy. Note that I would discount it even more heavily, but there is a minimum price that I can’t go under for CreateSpace. 50% off is about as far as I can go before we reach the actual printing costs for the book.

So what do you think of the new cover? Do you like this vision of Etta as much as I do? Let me know in the comments!

To get the shiny new cover on your eBook go to:

For a new physical copy:


3 thoughts on “Cover Reveal: Redesign for Essential Magic

    1. I know!! It was such a tough decision, but in the long run it’s the right one. The series deserves the best I can give it in terms of marketing and pizzazz, and this cover is way more awesome. Sorry old cover!!


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