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Life After Genius Guest Post and Book Giveaway

October 29, 2008

M. Ann Jacoby is the author of the newly released book Life After Genius.   Once she decided she wanted to write a novel, it took her ten years to complete it.  (Let’s hope her next one doesn’t take that long.)  Jacoby designs book covers and submitted a sample cover with her manuscript.  Here’s what she has to say about designing book covers and pursuing a dream.

Designing a book cover is in many ways similar to writing a novel. You start with a blank page and an idea. You rough out your first concept. You explore, you develop, you edit until you have something you like. Then you show it to a few people. They make suggestions. They like this but not that. You pull your hair out of your head because they obviously have no idea what they are talking about. They don’t get your design/story at all. A day goes by. Then two. You’ve dismissed most of the suggestions but a few have stuck in your gut so you go back into your design/story and explore some more and develop some more and edit some more until you have something you really like.

The trick to all this going round and round is to hold to your original vision while simultaneously improving upon it.  Don’t dig your heels in so deep that you miss out on an opportunity for growth but you also shouldn’t allow yourself to be talked out of something about which you feel strongly. The bottom line is: the appreciation of art is subjective. But nothing feels better than when you hit a collective nerve.

Having designed book covers and dealt with feedback from editors and marketing people for twenty years well prepared me for the feedback and criticism I received in developing and writing Life After Genuis. I think it made the process, if not easier, at least less personal. That does not mean that I did not pull out my hair and cry many times, but it did help me hold to my dream knowing that the process—however long it took—would eventually lead to an end.

Miriam, from Hachette Books, has provided me with a copy of this refreshing new book to give away.  If you would like to win a copy of this book, enter by leaving a comment here by midnight EST, Tuesday, November 4.  For two more chances to win, post about this giveaway on your own blog and link back to here.  This contest is open to US and Canadian residents.  I will use to determine the winner and they will be announced on Wednesday, November 5.

This post is part of the Early Birds Blog Tour celebrating today’s release of Life After Genius – head to Booking Mama to continue on the tour.

69 Comments leave one →
  1. October 29, 2008 8:21 am

    No need to enter me, but I wanted to say thank you for posting this guest post about the intersection of her cover art career and her first novel experience. I really enjoyed the post. I had forgotten to ask her this question; I’m glad it was covered! Did you post a review of the book yet?

  2. stacybuckeye permalink
    October 29, 2008 8:49 am

    Please sign me up!

  3. October 29, 2008 8:56 am

    What a great guest post! I love learning more about the way in which book covers come into being. Please sign me up. I’d love a chance to win this novel.

  4. Carla Pullum permalink
    October 29, 2008 8:58 am

    Wow count me in!! Great accomplishment!!

  5. October 29, 2008 9:32 am

    Interesting post and info about the cover art. I’m working on an interview/post with Unbridled Press about their cover art selection process; it does seem to vary from house to house.

    I’d love a chance to win this book. Please enter my name in the giveaway.

  6. Ruby permalink
    October 29, 2008 9:39 am

    This book sounds like a very interesting read. Please sign me up!!!

  7. October 29, 2008 9:44 am

    Great post. I like the idea of linking for the tour; I didn’t hear about that. Was it your idea? Please do not count me for the giveaway as I already have the book.

  8. October 29, 2008 9:48 am

    That’s fun, her intersection of design and writing. Makes sense.

  9. October 29, 2008 9:49 am

    No need to enter me! I’m part of the tour, too! Just wanted to say I enjoyed the guest post. It’s good to see that perseverance pays off.

  10. Karin A permalink
    October 29, 2008 9:59 am

    Count me in….thanks!

  11. October 29, 2008 10:05 am

    Hi Kathy can you count me in please. That is really interesting about the cover.

  12. October 29, 2008 10:19 am

    There seem to be reviews of this book everywhere. I’d like to be entered too please. Thank you.

  13. October 29, 2008 10:58 am

    No need to enter me. I love the quest post. Great idea!

  14. October 29, 2008 11:05 am

    What a great read!! I like the info you put up on the author 🙂

  15. October 29, 2008 11:15 am

    Great post. To me, a books’ cover plays a huge role in whether or not I pick it up. Very interesting. Oh, and enter me in the contest too!


  16. October 29, 2008 11:16 am

    Very interesting. I love cover stories 🙂

  17. October 29, 2008 11:34 am

    No need to enter me, my friend. I’m just dropping in to say I’ve got you posted at Win a Book. Thanks for the e-mail; keep ’em coming because we really appreciate them.

  18. Sara Miller permalink
    October 29, 2008 11:51 am

    Please enter me, thanks!
    Sararush at hotmail dot com

  19. October 29, 2008 12:03 pm

    Enjoyed reading her experiences as designer of book covers…just another interesting tidbit about a great new author.
    don’t enter me…I am part of the blog tour.

  20. October 29, 2008 2:05 pm

    that was interesting.. have always wondered about what one was thinking while designing the book cover.. i must say that it is such an important part of the book… i pick books off the library shelf solely based on the cover when i haven’t heard of the book or the author!
    do enter me for this giveaway..:)

  21. Darby Lohrding permalink
    October 29, 2008 2:40 pm

    I always wondered how authors came up with their covers…..did they create them, did another, etc. Great post, thanks for the info!
    Please enter me
    darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

  22. Anita permalink
    October 29, 2008 4:13 pm

    This is a part of the book publishing process that I hadn’t really thought of before. Please enter me in your giveaway.

  23. October 29, 2008 4:55 pm

    So jealous of her mastery of all of these different arts! Great post!

  24. October 29, 2008 5:04 pm

    Please enter me, and I’ve added a link to this giveaway on my blog. 🙂

  25. October 29, 2008 8:36 pm

    For aspiring novelists, it’s nice to read it took her ten years. 🙂 Love the insight into designing book covers.

  26. October 29, 2008 9:15 pm

    No need to enter me – just stopping by to say Hi!

  27. October 30, 2008 8:26 am

    Thanks so much for the chance to win!!

  28. Christy permalink
    October 30, 2008 9:50 am

    Life After Genius sounds like an interesting read. Please enter me.

  29. October 30, 2008 10:04 am

    I’ve been hearing good things about this one and would love to read it. Will link to this on my blog, too. (I’m enjoying your blog very much!)

  30. October 30, 2008 10:40 am

    No need to enter me Kathy but the book sounds great and I loved the cover! It is interesting to hear about how the cover was chosen. My impression was that authors often have no input in this decision but it seems that Jacoby did, which is nice.

  31. Anita Yancey permalink
    October 30, 2008 10:45 pm

    I’m very interested. Please enter me. Thanks!
    ayancey at dishmail dot net

  32. November 1, 2008 12:57 pm

    enter my name please!
    covers are very important…I realize that after getting a few self published books frok Bostick with terrible covers. You can’t help but have a negative attitude before you turn the first page.

  33. November 1, 2008 5:07 pm

    I’d like an entry, please!

  34. November 1, 2008 9:14 pm

    I would love to check it out too 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway 😀

  35. November 1, 2008 9:41 pm

    I would love a chance to enter to win a copy of this book, Kathy. I was just looking at it today while browsing Borders with my husband. Thanks!

  36. Katie Montroy permalink
    November 2, 2008 12:18 am

    Sounds like an author with knowledge to share and the book sounds good the character in the strory with his struggles is relatable even though he’s a Genius. Hope I win

  37. November 2, 2008 12:28 am

    Oh, please count me in!

  38. November 3, 2008 8:41 am

    I love reading new authors. Can’t wait to read this, no matter how I get it. 😉
    hematopoiesis at hotmail dot com

  39. November 3, 2008 9:01 am

    Please count me in! Thank you for providing us with the author’s information about her trials and tribulations of designing the book.

  40. November 3, 2008 9:08 am

    Please add my name to the hat! Thanks and have a great day!

  41. Stacie Mc permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:39 am

    Please enter me. I think it would be a fascinating read.

  42. Amy permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:58 am

    Enter me please and thank you.

  43. November 3, 2008 10:03 am

    A book cover to me can make or break the decision to buy the book. enter me in your contest please.

  44. Terra Heck permalink
    November 3, 2008 11:38 am

    I’d like to read this book.

  45. November 3, 2008 11:43 am

    This sounds like a book I’d really enjoy reading. Thank you for the chance

  46. November 3, 2008 1:23 pm

    This book looks great. Thanks for the chance to win.

  47. November 3, 2008 1:40 pm

    Thanks for having a contest. Will be posted on my site.

  48. Jenna permalink
    November 3, 2008 1:56 pm

    Count me in! Thanks for the giveaway!

  49. November 3, 2008 1:57 pm

    Looks like a great read. thanks for the chance to win.

  50. November 3, 2008 3:12 pm

    Count me in for the giveaway! Thanks,

  51. November 3, 2008 3:37 pm

    Please enter me 🙂

  52. Paradox permalink
    November 3, 2008 4:00 pm

    Please enter me! Thank you!

  53. November 3, 2008 4:00 pm

    This looks like it would be a great book. Thanks for the giveaway!

  54. November 3, 2008 4:04 pm

    Book looks great!

  55. Mia J. permalink
    November 3, 2008 6:14 pm

    Thank you for the great author post. It was interesting to learn how book covers come to be. I have heard good things bout this book and would like to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  56. November 3, 2008 7:39 pm

    I’ve heard good things about this book but haven’t read it yet.

  57. November 3, 2008 8:25 pm

    Sounds like a great book!

    I blogged it too on

    Blessings, Angela <

  58. November 3, 2008 9:52 pm

    Always looking for new and exciting books to read. Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

  59. November 3, 2008 10:25 pm

    Please enter me. It looks so good.

  60. Deb Klein permalink
    November 3, 2008 10:47 pm

    Please enter me in this great giveaway~Book sounds great~Thanks!

  61. November 4, 2008 7:41 am

    How encouraging to all would-be authors that a book that was 10 years in the making is now published! Thank you for this give-away opportunity!

  62. November 4, 2008 11:59 am

    What fun it would be to design a book cover!

    smchester at gmail dot com

  63. November 4, 2008 12:44 pm

    I’d love to read this, please enter me!

  64. Theresa N permalink
    November 4, 2008 8:22 pm

    I’d like to read this book. Thanks:)

  65. November 4, 2008 8:29 pm

    This sounds like an interesting read. Thanks!

  66. November 5, 2008 8:26 pm

    Sounds like it’s going to be a great read. Thanks for the inset about book illustrations.. ALL art is that way… which is why most of us choose to work in our little desk caves. I think the illustration is really eye-catching, especially with the orange socks on the blue sky.

  67. Angela J permalink
    November 6, 2008 2:30 pm

    Sounds like a good read.

  68. Linda permalink
    November 6, 2008 8:10 pm

    I would love to win this one.

  69. Piroska permalink
    October 18, 2009 7:01 pm

    It sounds like a great read! I love reading about the “behind the scenes” look at writers…and their process.
    pippirose59 at gmail dot com

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