The cover image for Try Not to Breathe (my novel coming out in January) that appears in the publisher's catalog and on the advance review copies is this:
It's a beautiful image that captures much of the symbolism of the book (rain, glass, etc.), and I was certainly happy with it. In fact, assured by the catalog copy and the ARC covers that this was the final cover, I had some bookmarks and postcards made.
But publishers are no different from authors in tweaking their work until they achieve the desired effect. In fact, the cover of my previous book changed from the hardcover edition to the paperback. And Try Not to Breathe now has a new cover, which will (I believe) be on the finished copies:
This new cover is bolder, edgier, more modern-looking, I think. And so I will have new bookmarks made, and those of you who have the earlier version can cherish them as "limited edition rare original versions!" ;-)
I'm endlessly fascinated by book covers. Seeing a cover is just about my favorite part of the publishing process--my cover, other authors' covers, it doesn't matter. I love seeing official covers and fans' reimaginings of covers and comparing covers on different editions. I would be both thrilled and scared by the opportunity to design my own cover. As it is, I love seeing how my publisher's designer envisions the book. It's a visual response to a text work, and it acts as both a translation of and an advertisement for the work.
I always hope you like the cover. But at the end of the day, I really hope you like the words inside!