The Birth of a Book: Visual Marketing

Writing a book is no easy feat, as authors will attest. But David Langton and I have loved every minute
of the process. Here we thought we’d walk you through some highlights of the birth of Visual Marketing: 99 Proven Ways for Small Businesses to Market with Images and Design.

David and I worked “virtually” for most of the project. Email, Skype and Wufoo were among the tools that helped us stay connected despite the fact that I live and work in Ohio, and he in New York. We did, twice, meet in person. But mostly we worked alone and came to together via phone and online when it was time to collaborate.

I spent a few days in New York at David’s offices as we were nearing our deadline with the publisher, Wiley. That’s when I snapped this impromptu shot of David poring over the colored spreadsheets used to keep track of the information for the book:


David Langton

Every great book starts with an introduction … or two. Here’s a secret: we actually wrote our Intro at the end, after we had all the other content! This was in the last few days before our manuscript deadline:

Introduction Screen


We reviewed hundreds and hundreds of submissions. Some were digital files, while others were in print Some of you who contributed to the book mailed us the materials. But in a few cases I picked up items at conferences or we had received the information in another context and saved the item:

Review Materials for Visual Marketing


It was exciting to see our “baby” — our book — taking shape! For months we had nothing but electronic files and visions in our heads as to what it could look like. As an author, you need to “see” something in your head in order to create it. Early on it’s just in your mind’s eye.

Once the pages were laid out, suddenly it was a book. When I walked into the conference room in the offices of Langton Cherubino Group in the last week of April 2011, and saw sample page layouts tacked to the wall, it hit home! This was no longer a huge collection of images and information. It was no longer something we saw only in our heads. It had become a true printed book!

Book Layouts

Writing, compiling, reviewing and organizing the many case studies took the bulk of our time. Spreadsheets were our friends! Color coding kept us on task during our author collaboration sessions.

Review material for Visual Marketing Case Studies


Approaching the finishing line! We celebrated getting the second half done, deadline fast looming.

2nd Half Done


We took a break to have lunch with our Wiley editor, Dan Ambrosio, in New York at a local bistro near David’s offices. Three days left ’til deadline!

Editor and Author

And finally, our hard work has a face. Here’s the design for the cover of the book. The design was created by Wiley using a stock image of a digitized eye. Doesn’t it just pop off the page?

Visual Marketing


As you can see, it was quite an experience writing Visual Marketing. Collaborating with a co-author at a distance presents unique challenges. But in some ways it’s actually easier than working in the same office, because you spend time alone where you can concentrate. Weekly Tuesday conference calls gave us deadlines to work toward and kept us on track. And today’s tools made it easy to share hundreds of Megabytes of information and organize it all.

We loved every minute of it. Can’t wait for you to see the book when it comes out September 29!