TVoD_Book-Cover TVoD-book signing

Traversing the Valley of Death


Stephen Markham and Paul Mugge

Challenge:  To take a manuscript written by two authors from NC State’s Poole College of Management and create a published hard case, soft back and ebook, ready for the Winter Meeting January 8, 2015. We started this project June 2014, so we had six months to mold it into a product with several distribution channels. The working title was CIMS System for Industrial Innovation and it didn’t take too long to figure out that title was totally un-sexy and unapproachable. Valley of Death is a common phrase in the innovation glossary and is scattered throughout this book liberally, so boom!, a title was born!

This book is intended to help graduate students and corporations innovate better and will be on the bookshelves of many a library, office and home, so this kind of exposure required a meaty introduction by a notable figure, many praises, an index to find all the juicy details and a hard case edition. The core of the system also included about 40 worksheets illustrated in the book and available online as open source documents.

Here is a sample worksheet, 8-Opportunity_Development_Worksheet-ch4.

The 11-person team included 2 authors, 1 copywriter, 2 editors, 1 project manager, 1 book designer & layout specialist, 1 illustrator, and 3 graduate students.

Solution: Together we created a cover design that reinforced the title and applied the design to a hard case and soft cover book. We created a layout that would help guide readers through the book and used a grid lined page to separate chapters and give visual pause. The illustrations of the authors graphs were redrawn for consistency and quality and for tables were included to introduce the worksheets. The final book is 178 pages.

 The authors wanted total control of the process, and revenue!, so they set up an account on CreateSpace and we supplied any missing information as they prepared the book for online. Although it was the hard case edition the authors wanted for the meeting, and it could be created via CreatSpace, it was necessary to produce the softcover first. That worked great as the soft cover provided an on-demand real book where final edits could be made prior to a larger print run. Finally, the ebook was created from files exported from InDesign.

Purchase the book for your favorite innovator here, or Amazon. Or purchase at your local book shop.


  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Innovation Press (January 15, 2015)
  • Publication Date: January 15, 2015

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