07 June 2011


Note: this post is saturated with the author's emotional self-reflective dribble. Any attempts to get anything meaningful from this essay will be laughed at. Or ignored.

I've written, and finished three novels, but this is the first time I've ever put one to bed. This is the first time since I began writing that I've ever been able to truly write 'the end.'

Publishing limbo has always made it impossible for me to ever see a book as finished. With each rejection letter came another attempt to make the book better, to tweak the plot, to look for typos. So for me, the publication process has involved finishing three novels simultaneously for the last ten years.

Friday night I got a call from Hatch Show Print in Nashville, Tennessee about my book cover. I'd been in touch with them off and on since January, but money problems kept me from being able to totally commit to the project. The income tax check went for new brakes. The contract I was supposed to sign never materialized. Checks for little jobs here and there always found their way to necessities rather than luxuries. So when Brad from Hatch called and said my project was next in the cue I freaked out a little. I'd forgotten that I had committed to the cover about six weeks ago. Just like jumping off a bridge.

So this week the posters will arrive. My book cover, as printed by one of the premier print shops in the United States. Hatch has been in business for over a hundred years. They've printed posters for Wilco, The Beastie Boys, Dwight D. Eisenhower, B.B. King, Elvis, Johnny Cash. And now Jason Jack Miller. With this cover, THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK is done. There will be no more tweaking, the typos that are in there stay in there.

Is the book perfect?

Now it is. This book is the result of ten years writing and a master's degree. This book, from the first word, conforms to my ideas about what a book should be better than anything else I've ever written. I've never been more proud of anything I've ever done with my life.

The writing process, and the publication process and defending the publication process have made this a very special time for me. This is the book that made me a writer because I learned what it means to truly be passionate about something--to live it and breath it, to rewrite in my head as I drift off to sleep.

I've written to contract. Professional or not, that's not writing to me. Writing is about YOUR plot and YOUR characters and YOUR values and pursuing YOUR passion. It will always be, for me.

This book is a part of me. It is all mine, to share with readers and the writers who have helped me along the way.

Now I'm on to the next one. Literally, right now.

Take a look at more of Brad's work: http://bradvetterdesign.carbonmade.com/


  1. Congratulations, Jack! I love to hear how enthused and proud and confident you feel at this point. You've earned it. Can't wait until I can say the same.

  2. I'm a little confused. Is the cover I see everywhere associated with your book not the permanent cover? I kinda like it, but Hatch Show does incredible work. Can't wait to see it.

  3. It's there for the taking. I believe that 100%. We're standing at the edge of a writer-focused era. Stories get written--stories get read. The pursuit of publication method will vary from writer to writer, but the end result, for the first time ever, will be immediate distribution to thousands of readers.

    Thanks for reading and sharing!

  4. Matt,

    The cover that's all over the place now was always kind of temporary. I had Hatch in mind, and another artist and my goal was to always upgrade when the $$$ became available. I'm stoked to have Hatch do the cover. It's amazing. It's the cover the book deserves.


  5. Hatch is amazing. I stumbled upon it years ago while chasing a sports story down to Nashville.

    Jason, this is very exciting. I'm thrilled for you. I pray for the day I can put my baby to bed.

  6. Thanks, Jody.

    It's been an amazing experience. The guys at Hatch have been very patient and too kind. Have make a trip to Nashville this summer to thank them for everything.