IT'S DELIVERED! The Sketchnote Handbook is off to the publisher. Whew!
I'm near the end of The Sketchnote Handbook project, with the covers, 224 interior pages, master videos and video packaging files sent to Peachpit for final print production. Now my focus turns to preparing for launch and promotion of the book and video.
It's oddly surreal to be done with all of the writing, illustration, design and production tasks. Something massive took over my life for many months and I think I've adapted to the flow of pushing to get it done so well, that with it complete, there's a bit of a vacuum.
A Long, Hard Road
I have to tell you, the last month and a half has been a crazy, sleep-deprived marathon of pushing and clawing to complete the book. Days and days of nearly continuous work from morning until late at night, with breaks for eating and sleeping. Many of those nights I had no idea how I would pull it all off.
They best advice given to me during this project was from one of my advisors, Stefan Bucher, He told me the key to writing a book is to make progress every single day. Many nights I would drag myself to bed, feeling drained, only knowing that I'd made some progress. That was enough to keep me going.
In September, some of the pressure was not knowing when our baby would arrive. Looking back, I think Landon's arrival on September 19th was probably ideal. It forced me to let go of the project and take a little break, though even on days at the hospital, I was always making progress. And once he did arrive, that unknown situation was lifted, so I could focus on the book and finish strong.
The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done
I've come to realize that writing, illustrating, designing and producing print-ready artwork for The Sketchnote Handbook, along with the shooting and producing The Sketchnote Handbook Video has been the single hardest project I've ever done, hands down.
I've done my share of huge projects — they don't even compare to the hundreds of hours poured into this book and video. Had I known what I was in store for when I accepted this project, I might have declined it.
However, all of the projects I've been most proud of have followed a similar pattern. In some way, not knowing the pain and challenges when I begin is how I trick myself into the big, daunting projects I end up being most proud of.
There were many times I wanted to take the easy way out, but chose the harder way. For me, this is a life's work project. I hope you'll sense my love and dedication when you read the book and see the video.
With all of the final files off for production, it's time to prepare for the book launch, review the final galley proof (a mocked up book to show how the book will look when final) and promote the book ahead of release.
I'm also resting up a bit, taking my wife out for some dates to compensate for the months of work at night, spending time with my kids and just getting restored mentally. Writing also impacted my eating and exercise routines, which I need to get on track again. So, normal life, more or less.
I already have some promotional ideas in the works — once I have those finalized I will share them here. One of my tasks is to update the book page with more samples, blurbs and other info — look for that soon.
In fact, here's an interview just posted by Collaborate Meetings Magazine, about how I came to sketchnoting and some insights about the book.
I'm also open to other ideas if you have them. I'd love to setup interviews for websites, or appear on podcasts to talk about the book, either before or after launch. If you'd like to propose something, get in touch.
Book Tour Ideas
I'm starting to think ahead on how to handle the book tour, which is challenging with a new little baby in the mix. I can't take a week-long trip around the country. That would be tough on my wife and my day job. However, I'm imagining local single-day tours, starting in the midwest and maybe expanding as the book is out there, gaining readers and fans.
If your company or organization would be interested in a possible tour stop when the book is released, I'd love to hear your ideas. drop a line and let's talk.
One way you can really support me now is by pre-ordering The Sketchnote Handbook online. I highly recommend the Video Edition, because you get both the book and video together, for a great price. Here are the places where the book can already be pre-ordered:
I want to take a moment to say thanks to everyone who has encouraged me as I've fought my way through this project. Emails, tweets and kind words really have supported me through this project and I hope to make you all very proud and pleased with this book and video.