It's always a magical moment when you see the book cover for the first time. You never know quite what to expect so you just hold your breath and keep your fingers crossed it looks good. If not, like the original cover for Lovers and Strangers Revisited, which I immediately rejected, you pray they find a great replacement. They did! I loved it immediately! For Tropical Affairs all I had in my mind was the color blue; other than that I was open to all kinds of possibilities. A coconut on a beach, taken at eye level, with waves splashing around it...seems alive, fluid, a moment in time. Yes, it could be sexier or more romantic, but in doing so could also border on cliche and I wanted to avoid that.
But seeing the cover in a bookstore, will it catch your attention, prick your interest, and make you want to pick it up, if only to take a better look at it. While you're at it, will you take a peek at the backcopy to see what the book is about? And, hopefully, open the book to get an even better idea by sampling some of the pages. If so, then the cover has served it's basic purpose, so long as it hasn't misled you or offended you in anyway. Then all you have to do is take it to the counter, along with your other purchases...and eventually read it!
Here are links to some of my author-to-author interviews of first novelists:
Ivy Ngeow author of Cry of the Flying Rhino, winner of the 2016 Proverse Prize.
Golda Mowe author of Iban Dream and Iban Journey.
Preeta Samarasan author of Evening is the Whole Day.
Chuah Guat Eng, author of Echoes of Silence and Days of Change.
Five part Maugham and Me series
Beheaded on Road to Nationhood: Sarawak Reclaimed—Part I