There’s nothing quite like opening that Jiffy bag and seeing the first copy of your new book, hot(ish) off the press.
The first thing I do is check they’ve spelled my name right. Yes, I’ve pored over proofs obsessively but the second t in Elliott sometimes inexplicably goes AWOL. Jolly good, all t’s present and correct.
The cover is a strong design and says what it needs to, but the weight and feel of a book is important too. Does it feel good to handle and is the paper a decent gsi? What colour is the hard cover beneath the jacket? A nice cream with gold lettering on the spine, good choice. How has the plate section come out – are the photos hi-res and glossy and are the captions as I recall writing them? Like many book-browsers, I always turn to the photographs first to give me a flavour of a non-fiction book.