I'VE BEEN HEADS DOWN, working hard at getting The Sketchnote Handbook sent to reviewers, communicating with readers and appearing on podcasts these last few weeks. I've wanted to provide an update here, and now I have enough new information to share an update with you.
Mac Power Users Episode 120 with David Sparks and Katie Floyd
David was one of my early review copy recipients of the book, so when he got the book and applied the concepts to his own workflow, he was very interested in having me on the show. David, Katie and I had a great time talking about sketchnoting and note-taking in general.
Systematic Episode 27 with Brett Terpstra
Brett Terpstra's podcast, Systematic was my second podcast appearing this week Tuesday, and we too had a great time talking UX design, drawing, sketchnotes and note-taking. I was also able to share 3 favorite picks with Brett, two of which were coffee related.
I'm learning that book sales are initially pretty nebulous and that real numbers take a while to filter in. I suppose that's to be expected with a physical object, spread around the world. I've learned that the estimated sales data from the launch on November 30 through December 31, 2012: 1,300 books sold.
Since I have no context of good or bad, I had no idea what to think of that number, until both the Peachpit team and my literary agent told me that sales number is pretty darn good! I think the even better news is that The Sketchnote Handbook appears to be what they call an "evergreen" title in the business — not tied to software versions or changes in other ways — so that it continues to sell, month after month. I love that.
The second bit of good news about the book is that the Video Edition (with a video streaming code) has been sold out at Peachpit.com and they've ordered another run of that edition.
Of course, not all 3,000 of those books are "sold" as many are stock shipped to Barnes & Noble or Amazon for reselling. Still, it's really good news when a book sells out and must have reprints created.
I can't wait to sell out of the regular edition!
Positive Amazon Reviews
On the more good news front, the book continues to do very well with reviews on Amazon. As of this writing there are 47 reviews on the US site (40 are 5-star), 6 reviews on the UK site (all 6 are 5-star) and 1 new 5-star review on the German book page.
These reviews are so critical for sales and interest in the book, that I'm always asking people to leave reviews on Amazon (even if you didn't buy the book there). It impacts bestseller status at Amazon, so if you love the book and haven't yet added your review — please take 5 minutes and add one now.
Viral, Word of Mouth Effects
Something you hope for with a book, but can't predict, are how viral it can become. We did our best to create a cool book that feels great and looks great, with great content — but you never know how that will impact readers. Well, preliminary feedback suggests The Sketchnote Handbook has gone a little viral.
Got "The Sketchnote Handbook" from @rohdesign, and it's now on my list of canonical design books. Reminds me of "Understanding Comics."— Dave Seah (@daveseah) December 21, 2012
I'm pleased to see people on Twitter or in email spontaneously writing me about the book. Very often those notes include stories of showing their copies of the book to other people, who get excited and buy their own copies. In one case, a copy of the book made its way to a co-working space in Brighton and has been making the rounds with the artists and others in the building.
It's very exciting to hear that the book sells itself in readers' hands. I couldn't have hoped for a better reception or word of mouth sharing.
Kindle Issues - Almost There (I Hope)
Not all of the news is good, in particular issues with the Kindle edition on iPad.
The Kindle version issues have been tougher to solve than I think anyone expected them to be. I worked with the Peachpit team to created some modified documents to help troubleshoot the issues, and hopefully that will identify and rectify the problems we're seeing.
I'm pretty sure the issue is only affecting Kindle Reader on the iPad, as I was able to see the entire document on Kindle Reader for the Mac. If you have the Kindle edition on a Kindle Fire or Android Tablet, I would love to hear your feedback. Right now we have the Kindle book pulled while we resolve the issue - hopefully soon. I apologize for this and appreciate your patience.
More to Come
I have more posts in store — one about the events I have lined up for the next several months, one about the workshop I'm exploring and a third post about the sketchnote typeface status. As I'm catching up from everything going on, I will write and post those here, so keep an eye out!
Thanks again for your support everyone. I couldn't do this without you.