Jack Canfield, Chicken Soup, bestseller, George Foster, book cover, cover design

Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marci Shimoff, Jennifer Hawthorne
Cover design by George Foster

#1 Bestseller

How did one book start the most successful book series of all time? It was 1996 when Jack Canfield proudly showed his friends, Jennifer Hawthorne and Marci Shimoff, his new book entitled Chicken Soup for the Soul. The ladies loved it and had an idea, “Jack, you should publish a companion book just for women.” and the franchise was born. Jennifer and Marci are friends of mine so they asked me to design the cover with them. They sat for hours with my then-wife Felicity because the book was meant for women and the three of them giggled together for days, choosing shades of red, photos of roses and color schemes for the title. My job was really just quality control, though they did ask for my creative input sometimes. Then they’d huddle again, giggling. I had no idea at the time this book would sell 6 million copies.

Within a few weeks after finishing the book, the ladies prepared the next in the series, Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul. The same cover design process started again — three giggling ladies in my office — but it finished quickly this time. A few months later, believe it or not, they were back again with A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul. It was the same process.

Then the unhappy call came a few weeks later. They had developed A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, but learned the cover would be designed in-house at Jack Canfield’s new publishing company, Health Communications, Inc. because the franchise was expanding really fast and Jack wanted to keep the book production under his direction. Jennifer and Marci tried to get us on board but failed. We were just too far way (this was before email). OK, we all were sad about it. They really enjoyed the process. So did we. And we moved on.