Sabahat Quadri Works


In my real life and day job, I’m a graphic designer, and creating a book cover is routine, to say the least. It’s still a tense moment, however, when I present the first round of ideas to the public (read client) and wait for the critics to pounce.

It’s far more nerve-wracking, however, to do a cover reveal for one’s own book. I don’t have a say in it (not really—the publishing company has their own designer, their own illustrators) other than ‘yes, that works’, or ‘I hate it!’ after the cover has already been done. There has been a debate on what would work best for a contemporary romance novella from South Asia, keeping in mind South Asian sensibilities, which tend to be a little delicate. Marketing wisdom seems to dictate having a sexy man/woman/couple on the cover, because—and we all know this—sex sells (hordes of despairing teachers, designers, artists, some complete strangers, just reached across the internet to smack me one. Ow!).

On the other hand, thousands of books with covers sporting great-looking people in compromising poses already grace every romance lover’s bookshelves. Isn’t there some value in standing out from the crowd?

We thought so.

So we chose an abstract concept, a soft winter landscape and a bare tree reaching out to the skies—I quite enjoyed the dichotomy. This is a romance, no doubt about it, but it has a harsh edge to it.

Here it is. My (pseudo) name on the cover of my book. Here’s to many more!

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