Deliberations about Zeven Pogingen om een Geliefde te Wekken opened with the observation from a panel member that the book was no better and no worse than other entries. Only later did appreciation grow for the way this debut novel was designed and produced. That has to do with context and with intrinsic qualities.
To begin with the context, even in a market in which, compared with its best years, almost twenty per cent fewer books are finding their way to the buying public, publishers are still prepared to put money on their first-time authors. It is here, after all, that the writers of the future for the readers of the future are to be found. So publishers will still invest in debuts even when, as in this case, they are not prepared to pay for a first impression of anything over a thousand copies.
The intrinsic qualities of Zeven Pogingen om een Geliefde te Wekken lie in the generous page size, ditto chapter openings with vignettesque illustrations by the author and a strong jacket illustration (her work again) on non-shiny material. With the reservation that most members of the panel thought the jacket typography could have done with a little more attention. By and large, though, this was felt to be a modest book that still managed to make a splash.