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The Sketchnote Handbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, designed to teach regular people how to create sketchnotes.
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Mike Rohde (Color - Square)

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« The Sketchnote Handbook: Update 1 | Main | Sketchnote Guide to Speaking at SXSW »

Writing a Book on Sketchnoting!

EXCITEMENT would be an understatement in describing how I feel about getting a deal to write a how-to book on sketchnoting for Peachpit Press.

Thanks to a recommendation from my friend Von Glitschka, I was introduced to Nikki McDonald at Peachpit Press. I pitched my idea to her about a book designed to show people — regular people — how to include sketchnotes in their regular note-taking process.

Nikki and Peachpit loved the idea and made an offer. On Saturday, I signed the contract to write, illustrate and design the book.

Book Details

Here are some details about my forthcoming book:

  • Final Title: The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Notetaking
  • I will write, illustrate and design the 240 page book, with lots of help from the team at Peachpit and a variety of friends.
  • The book will be visual — crafted in my sketchnote style. Sketchnotes should be teaching sketchnoting, after all.
  • To make it work as a sketchnote, I'm creating hand-drawn sketchnote fonts to achieve the look while maintaining complete control over the written text.
  • A variety of top sketchnoters will be featured in the book. I'll share the principles of sketchnote technique using my work and theirs, along with our tips and tricks from years of live sketchnoting work.
  • There will be a section dedicated to hearing, listening and capturing ideas, along with many practical tips and how-to techniques you can use right away.

I've already started writing, creating fonts and contacting sketchnoters for the book, so this is rolling down the tracks, full steam ahead!

Discovering and capturing what I and other sketchnoters do, in a process which can be shared and taught to others should be an interesting and challenging task. I'm both excited and a little scared — a good sign.

Keep tuned here as I work through the book. I'll try to share updates here and there as they make sense, though I know book-writing is a tough business. If I'm quiet on the blog for a while, now you'll know why.


I'd like to thank my friend Von Glitschka for the connection, my acquisitions editor Nikki McDonald for her guidance, my agent David Fugate for his wisdom and my lovely wife for her encouragement.

Reader Comments (30)

This is great news, Mike! Big congrats.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris Guillebeau

Congratulations sir - as someone who's followed your journey for a number of years now it's no small testament to the hard work you've put in - many congrats and can't wait to see the book :-)

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDK

Mike, I've been following your sketchnotes for a while now and it's helped me break out of my habitual linear/verbal think box. I'm a pastor and preacher and I've recently been incorporating sketches, fonts and such into my sermon notes and board presentations. I'd love to know how to better capture ideas on paper via sketching, doodling and such; so I'm definitely looking forward to your book.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSam Wilder

Congrats, Mike! Looking forward to the finished work!

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStep Morgan

Wow... I'd happy to see it. Ever since I read REWORK, I was following you and wondering how you do it. Eagerly waiting for your book. Thank you.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarath

This is so cool Mike - can't wait to see it! Congratulations :-)

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaria

Congratulations Mike! When do you expect the book to be available? I saw you posted a comment recently about resuming work on the Sketchnote font. Will your work on this book facilitate that effort? Love your stuff so thanks for keeping us informed!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff De Cagna

Great idea. Who better to write a book on sketchnoting than you! When do you anticipate completion?

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAga Artka

You so crazy! Jk - great idea - you are the master after all. Can't wait!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Thompson

Very Cool! Can't wait to see it.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan Voell

Fantastic! I snatched up the Sketchnotes Field Guide and will anxiously await this new book. How exciting!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin Norris

Outstanding! I'm really looking forward to seeing all the skill and enthusiasm you pour into sketchnoting on the printed (digital too, perhaps?) page.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Brust

Congratulations. I very much look forward to your book. I am already thinking of all the people I will give it to as a gift.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Tofias

All of the best Mike, can't wait to see and BUY the finished product!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWayne

Fantastic! Can't wait to get the book!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjonny goldstein

Great news! Looking forward to it! :)

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRasagy Sharma

Congratulations, Mike! I can't wait until this comes out now. What a wonderful project.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterender

Great news Mike. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to buying it! Any idea of timescale??

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStuart Eggleston

Thanks Chris, DK, Sam, Step, Sarath, Daria, Jeff, Aga, Ryan and Dan for all of your kind words!

The book will be available in the fall of 2012, targeting October. And yes, fonts are a big part of the design so that's one of the tasks I'm doing as I write the text.

I'm also hoping to document the process here - maybe not tons of posts, but from time to time I think it would be handy to record my experience here and share some interesting tidbits.

March 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Great news Mike. I taught myself to sketchnote, basically learning from your examples and good old fashioned practice. I am glad you are planning to sketchnote the book on sketchnoting.... how else would you do it?? Please include lot's of examples and introduce us to other's styles of sketchnoting. Thanks and I look forward to your book..... Cheers, Rathindra

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRathindra Roy

Ben, James, Michael, Wayne, Rasagy, Ender and Stuart - thanks for your kind words as well. They are much appreciated!

March 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Congratulations, Mike. I always look forward to your sketchnotes (simply adorable). I hope to get my hands on your book as soon as possible (no pressure)

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGerald

Congratulations - I consider myself a fan, an admirer and a student. I will buy a copy for home, one for the office and one for traveling. I can't wait. I hope that it goes smoothly and quickly.

March 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

Thanks Gerald and Kevin!

March 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Congratulations in advance!! I bet this book will do good once you've launched it! Keep us posted on your forthcoming book!

March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLia

When can we pre-order?

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLen Kendall

Probably a few months away Len, but I'll definitely post here and tweet when it's ready.

March 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Thanks Lia!

March 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Hi Mike!
Just started reading your book! Amazing! Congratulations! And on top of it, I know Bauke Schildt personally and his amazing work. So, it's great to see him on your book!

I've entered in what I like to call visual mode a few months ago and I'm hooked! I wrote this little article about my beginner's experience:

Hope you like it! Your opinion means so much to me! Your work is such an inspiration! Thank you!

January 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusana Salgado

Susana - thanks so much for the kind words! Great to hear you know Bauke - I really love his style!

Thanks too for your article link - that's so wonderful to hear you've adapted visual thinking into your life. That kind of change is what drives me to create books and share these ideas with the world.

Have a great day!


January 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

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