Buy my Books!

The Sketchnote Workbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, showing how to use sketchnotes in new ways, along with advanced tips and techniques.
Learn about and buy the book →
Download a FREE chapter →
Watch a FREE video sample →

The Sketchnote Handbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, designed to teach regular people how to create sketchnotes.
Learn about and buy the book →
Download a FREE chapter →

Mike Rohde (Color - Square)

ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes on design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books & coffee.
Read more about Mike →

SIGN UP! Get the Rohdesign Newsletter.

« The Sketchnote Podcast | Main | The Sketchnote Handbook: Update 14 - Maintaining The Momentum »

The Sketchnote Handbook: Update 15 - Good News All Around

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.

Before I get into the good news about book sales and impact, I want to share two podcast appearances I've had on the 5by5 Network in a single week — one on Mac Power Users and another on Systematic.

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.

Picture standard

Mac Power Users #120: Taking Notes with Mike Rohde (1:42)

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.

Picture standard 1

Systematic #27: Mike Rohde, Master of Note Sketching (1:10)

Sales Update

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 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.

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.


Reader Comments (7)

Congratulations on the success so far, Mike! You deserve it.

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWill

Thanks Will! I appreciate your kind words.

January 16, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Any news on the Kindle edition fix? Anxiously waiting for it to come available again. I'd love to have the paperback, but living in Seoul, the shipping makes the cost a bit too high for me

January 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick

Nick, no updates this week. As of last week they had not narrowed down what was going on — reminds me to bug them again this week. Thanks for checking. I sure hope it's soon.

January 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

I actually already purchased the Kindle version in order to read it on my iPad... Then followed up with a support chat with Amazon once I discovered hundreds of blank pages.

Looking forward to having a working publication!

February 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndy Wolber

Andy, I'm looking forward to this as well. Test on documents have been going on for a while - I am hoping this week to have it resolved - fingers are crossed.

February 10, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Awww. Boo. I wish I knew you were @ SXSW. I'm an Austinite. Very inspirational talent you have here! Kudos. :)

April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLindy

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.