Guest Post: The Story Behind the Cover of Spellhacker by M.K. England + Giveaway!

How, HOw, HOW do you create a cover that simultaneously says:


Super cool glowy magic fantasy 

Flashy hi-tech sci-fi!

Sarcasm and jokesssss


Let me tell you, it’s nearly impossible. Getting to the final SPELLHACKER cover was a journey. The design team at HarperTeen was so creative, and they came up with so many cool ideas, but as we kicked them around they all ended up being a little too sci-fi, a little too fantasy, a little too grungy, a little too dark, and so on. Hitting on all four elements was hard

The first draft of the cover didn’t work at all—it was four characters in hazmat suits, and it looked 1) too much like spacesuits, and therefore, 2) too much like a DISASTERS sequel. No false advertising here! The core colors were the same, though, with that blue and yellow contrast. We ended up returning to an earlier concept, the sort of neon tube with threads of glowing light inside, which looks like the magic in the book. They hired an artist who specializes in 3D type design, and the team created the amazing cover you see now.

That finally did it! A text-centric layout that’s a bit techy, a bit magic, and when you add the tagline, you get the full package:


Immense thanks to Alice Wang and Jenna Stempel-Lobell, who were responsible for this beautiful cover design that so perfectly reflects the story!

M.K. England is an author and YA librarian who grew up on the Space Coast of Florida and now calls rural Virginia home. When they’re not writing or librarianing, MK can be found drowning in fandom, rolling dice at the gaming table, digging in the garden, or feeding their video game addiction. They love Star Wars with a desperate, heedless passion. It’s best if you never speak of Sherlock Holmes in their presence. You’ll regret it.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr| YouTube

From the author of The Disasters, this genre-bending YA fantasy heist story is perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Amie Kaufman.

In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

No pressure.

Amazon | Goodreads | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Win a signed hardcover of SPELLHACKER (US only), and one swag pack including a sticker, postcard, signed bookplate, and bookmark (INT)! Giveaway ends on January 28, 2020. Click on the Rafflecopter image to enter!

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2 thoughts on “Guest Post: The Story Behind the Cover of Spellhacker by M.K. England + Giveaway!”

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