The Book is Finished!

By Nancy Duarte

The book is officially done. I finished editing it last week  when I was on “vacation” and it’s at the printers as of 3pm yesterday. I can’t tweak it or refine it anymore. It will be printed with all remaining flaws still on its pages. Today I’m relieved only until Monday when I dig into building the seminar curriculum. The book writing process was more demanding than I ever imagined. I’d built a company timeline 6 years ago and had dreamed of having a book written by end of 2007. It’s easy to have a dream but then abandon it if no one else seems interested or values it with you. So when Michael Moon joined my firm two years ago, he gave me the encouragement and the wind in my wings to begin to plan and write.

The best part about the process is that it forced me to become a better planner and writer–I found my voice (I think). I didn’t do a good job capturing pictures of my creative process but trust me, it was a chaotic and visual process. There are a few moments that stand out. One was my trip to Vegas where I locked myself in a room for five straight days and only left once for one massage. The room was a mess. There were pages taped on the wall, sticky notes, paper cut-outs and most of the room was rearranged by the time I left. I mind-mapped the entire book structure.

When back at the office, I pasted it up on the wall to collaborate with others around the structure, pull samples and sketch ideas that support the message.

Ideas put up on a board to collaborate and spark ideas

Printouts of powerpoint slides pasted on the wall for visualization

The book was actually first built (sloppily) in PowerPoint and was always pasted up on a wall somewhere; either at my house or the office. I don’t know InDesign or page layout programs so I used PowerPoint as a place to collect my words and pictures.

A collection of powerpoint slides used to visualize a new book

I’m not showing it to you full size because it’s fugly. PowerPoint was used for collecting the ideas, words and pictures only, not for arranging or designing them. Our critiques of the design also happened in printed form. My Creative Director who art directed the piece (Diandra Macias) and Designer (Michaela Kastlova) printed each major round of design  and we pasted them up and pored over them. Even the cover design became better and better with each round of input.

Slide:ology cover designs taped to glass wall

This project wasn’t written in a vacuum. It wouldn’t be what it was without the encouragement and insights of the Duarte team.

Slide:ology book opened on a table

Really great design takes a commitment to a vision, collaboration with others who love the vision, enormous tenacity and a firm commitment to doing the best job possible no matter what. Don’t compromise.

Topics Covered

Design, Visual thinking

Written by

Nancy Duarte

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