Learning from Bill Gates & Steve Jobs
Creative pumpkin carving

Presentation Zen (the book) progress report

Dec_17_07 Progress continues on the Presentation Zen book. In retrospect the writing was easy. What takes so long is the design of the book. When I submitted the proposal in the spring, Peachpit asked me to do the layout and design for the book as well as the back/front covers. The whole enchilada. It has turned out to be more complicated than I thought; there are just a million different things to keep in mind when preparing designs for print that we don't have to worry about in the online/display world. I've learned more about InDesign than I really wanted to. I have also discovered that I next need to write an entire book just on presentation design as that chapter could have gone on for 200 pages. We're already making plans to create a book in 2008 focused just on design principles and techniques with applications for presentation design (perhaps with a dvd) and I'll be producing a workbook just for the Japanese market in English for release in April with a Japanese publisher.

Getting there...
Here's where we are now on PZ: The text went through 2-3 rounds of revisions in Word with the editor in the summer (though I am still adding and cutting). I am now in the middle of submitting the layouts by chapter in PDF form (exported from InDesign) to the publisher and a proofreader checks the text and some in-house designers check the designs and offer up suggestions (they have great eyes!). The suggestions and corrections are sent back (placed on a server actually) and look like the pages below (the green boxes are the comments). Test InDesign files have been submitted too for the production people to test images and bleeds, colors, etc. This weekend all chapters will be completed and with the publisher for corrections. Then another round or two of corrections and final layout, and then sent to the production folks in PDF and InDesign with a ton of images. There was not room to include all that I planned to put in this book, so I'll put that online when I am done and can start writing for the PZ website again.


Below are the first 24 pages of the book. In the first two pages below you can see Guy Kawasaki's Foreword, the first Foreword ever (as far as I know) presented in the form of a printed PowerPoint deck.

iStockphoto deal
iStockphoto has been an enthusiastic supporter of the book (they'll be joining me at the Apple Store in Ginza December 11 (7:00pm) for an event as well). I'm a complete iStockphoto evangelist. The details are being worked out now, but if you buy the book you will get a special code entitling you to some free images and discounts from iStock. A special Presentation Zen page will be set up on iStockphoto too. I'll let you know the specifics when they are final.

Can't wait to get the book done so I can get back to blogging and "giving it away."


Morriss Partee

Hi Garr, Congrats to you for writing and designing this book. I'm really looking forward to it. And how cool and innovative is Guy to do the foward as a powerpoint? Brilliant! I love it!

brian doll

First, let me say I'm very excited that the release date is getting closer and closer. My copy has been on order since it was announced!

Your description of the final stage of book prep is very interesting. I was involved in desktop publishing in a previous life and by your description it seems like things haven't changed much.

In start contrast to this process though, is one that's been seemingly perfected by the Pragmatic Programmers publisher. Check out their high-level description of their process:

In short (excuse the buzzwords), they offer "agile publishing" in that the book prep process begins the very moment that the first sentence is written and committed.

Their books are primarily aimed at the software engineering field and their authors are typically software folks too, but I can see these processes becoming more popular as publishing starts realizing the benefits of the technologies they've only just started to use.



The book looks great and I can't wait to read it. My company just created a flash presentation and if you wouldn't mind I would really appreciate your feedback on it. We have not posted it on our site yet but the final rough draft can be viewed here: http://www.gotabeat.com/cpc/

Any comments or criticism would be greatly appreciated as we consider you to be THE top guy in the design industry.

Charles Martineau

wow! cant wait to put my hands on your book garr! and with a ISTOCKPHOTO bonus...how crazy is that! I am one of those who keeps on going on istockphoto website and grab the free picture of the week! hehe... I'll make sure I can ship this book to canada and promote it to my friends and at school!


The book is looking great. I hope we'll be able to get it over in the UK - very keen to get reading!

Baby Milo

I'm very excited for this book... this blog has helped be greatly as is. Very excited!


Hi Garr
happened to come across a concept called sparklines- http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0001OR&topic_id=1&topic
i think it is a nice tool to be used in reports - i think you should cover this also in your book


Thus far looking good. It's on my shopping list. Good luck with all those final details (they'll most likely take as long as the main elements -- if not longer). Anyhow, it will all be worth it.

Tina Su

Great post!I really enjoy the content of your blog.

Love & Gratitude,
Think Simple. Be Decisive.
Productivity, Motivation & Happiness

Niko Neugebauer

Cant wait to get a copy of it !
Pre-ordering as i am writing this, i am sure it will be at least as good as your blog.
Good luck with the finishing touches and its promotion ! =O)

The comments to this entry are closed.