Two datavis book deals

A while ago I had this idea of asking Alberto Cairo to read the ebook I was planning to self-publish on my site. I asked Alberto because obviously he is one of the most respected experts in the datavis community as a whole but also because of practical reasons: the book was written in Portuguese and he is one of the few who could read it. And I wrote the book in Portuguese because I wasn’t sure I could add much to the available books in English, while datavis books in Portuguese (original or translated) are almost non-existing.

Judging from a few tweets, I think I can safely assume he liked the book:

Not only that, but he also convinced me that I should publish the book in English and with a traditional publisher. Long story short, and thanks to Alberto, Peachpit will be publishing the book later this year.

We started working a few weeks ago. Nikki (McDonald, senior acquisitions editor at Peachpit) and I struggle to find a suitable book title, and I even polled a few of the options. I really liked “No pretty charts”, while “Numberscapes” was not the right title for this particular book. In the end, we agreed that “Data at Work: Creating effective charts and information graphics” was the best title. I also like it. Thanks everyone who voted and added suggestions!

The editing process began, and here’s my tweet when I got the first chapter:

No, it is not that bad, and I understood and accepted most of the edits. Because English is not my mother tongue, things are a bit harder. A book is not exactly a blog post.

As an introvert, I secretly like to be forced out of my comfort zone. It would be much easier to self-publish the goddamn book, and I would probably make more money out of it that way. But I am a hopeless idealist, and that was never relevant. Also, in the end everyone will be richer, specially the readers, because the book will be much better.

I retained the rights to publish a Portuguese version, so I still can go with the original plan of self-publishing the ebook. For some reason that became less interesting, but it’s still an option. The market here is small and uncertain, and the book is expensive to print, so there are not many options. The only organization I would like to publish the book is actually interested in doing so, and that makes me very proud. We are sorting out some details, and I hope I can update this soon.

And this is how I went from self-publishing to one, maybe two, book deals. Now you know.