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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author Robin Landa talks about the inspiration behind her new book The New Art Of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential.

the best creativity magazine in the UK, the best book magazine in the UK, the best arts magazine in the UK, the best entertainment magazine in the UK, the best celebrity magazine in the UK, book marketing UK, book promotion UK, music marketing UK, music promotion UK, film marketing UK, film promotion UK, arts and entertainment magazine, online magazine uk, creativity magazine

Written by JJ Barnes

www.jjbarnes.co.uk

I interviewed creativity guru Robin Landa about her life and career, her passion for ideation and creativity, and the work that went into her new book, The New Art Of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

Robin Landa on The Table Read
Robin Landa

I hold the title of distinguished professor at Kean University USA and I’m a globally recognized ideation expert. I’m a well-known “creativity guru” and a best-selling author of 25 books on creativity, design, and advertising, including Strategic Creativity: A Business Field Guide to Advertising, Branding, and Design, and The New Art of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential. I’ve won numerous awards and The Carnegie Foundation counts me among the “Great Teachers of Our Time.”

When did you first WANT to write a book?

Sharing what I know about my disciplines was and still is a primary goal of my desire to write books. Very early in my career as a professor I knew that I wanted to write a book.

When did you take a step to start writing?

A Pearson (publisher) sales representative stopped by my university office to promote the books on their list. She asked if I wanted to write a book. My reply was a resounding, “Yes!” and she passed my contact information on to the appropriate editor.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

Pearson (then Prentice-Hall) published my first book approximately one year later.

Unless the book is a lengthy tome, for example my best-selling book Graphic Design Solutions, 6th edition, from idea to finished manuscript takes approximately a little over one year. Depending upon the publisher’s schedule (which includes the copy edit, peer reviews, design, production, and distribution), the release date is usually a few months later.

How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?

From idea to release, The New Art of Ideas: Unlock Your Creative Potential took 1 ½-years, however it would have taken less time had I not started out with a co-author and then decided it would be best to be the solo author.

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write The New Art Of Ideas?

For well over twenty years, I’ve been teaching university students to generate ideas; and, thousands have gone on to successful careers in creative professions, such as advertising, branding, and design, that demand good ideas on a daily basis. I also consult, assisting CEOs and CMOs to generate worthwhile ideas.

Most people, whether in a creative profession such as product design, screenwriting, or advertising or in other disciplines such as engineering, employ ideation methods that haven’t been updated since the mid-twentieth century.

Brainstorming is a likely suspect of making people feel as though they don’t have any good ideas or any ideas for that matter because brainstorming requires them to produce partially formed or fully-fledged ideas without a way to do so.

Given this, I decided it was important to share my own method for idea generation, which is the first one since Alex Osborn introduced brainstorming in the 1950s.

What were your biggest challenges with writing The New Art Of Ideas?

My biggest challenge was to find a partner—someone I could trust to illustrate the book.

Fortunately, actor/artist Holly Taylor (who is starring in Manifest on Netflix) agreed to design the cover and illustrate the book.

When I first witnessed Holly Taylor’s talent, it was on my television screen when she was playing Paige Jennings in The Americans. Then I had the opportunity to witness her talent in person at Kean University, when she was my student and created an outstanding portfolio of creative design and advertising. Now we have collaborated to bring this book to life. I am grateful to Holly for sharing this creative journey with me.

The New Art Of Ideas by Robin Landa on The Table Read
The New Art Of Ideas

The other challenge was to find someone who would be perfect to write the foreword.

When I first saw Lorin Latarro, she was performing on Broadway. Later I was fortunate to get to know her as a brilliant Broadway director and choreographer (Waitress; Mrs. Doubtfire; Into the Woods; Is There Still Sex in the City?). As I said to her when I read her foreword, “Is there anything you can’t do?”

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What was your research process for The New Art Of Ideas?

Since I’ve written about ideation and the creative process before, I had a good deal of research at my fingertips. Most of my research time was spent on finding appropriate and varied case studies for inclusion in the book.

How did you plan the structure of The New Art Of Ideas?

That’s a great question because most people don’t know that mass media or what we call trade books (aimed at the general public) have a particular structure. Here’s the most fascinating bit—chapter one contains the entire premise of the book!

Therefore, chapter one is the most challenging chapter to write.

Subsequent chapters breakdown my thesis and I believed it important to include a chapter about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and how DEI amplifies the ideation process.

During the writing process, I made some additions, realizing that I should address the emotional obstacles people face unlocking their creativity. I also included some worksheets to make the book user friendly on a participatory level.

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The New Art Of Ideas need?

Publishers have a senior or commissioning editor who acquires the book. When the manuscript is finished, the publisher or book packager (production company) sends it to a copy editor. In the old days, the publisher assigned a development editor to the book but I haven’t encountered that type of editor since 2017.

Steve Piersanti, senior editor and founder of Berrett-Koehler, acquired my latest book, The New Art of Ideas. Working with Steve Piersanti was a life-changing experience. Steve worked closely with me to develop my approach.

I’ve been teaching university students and mentoring faculty for over twenty years and this was the first time since graduate school that someone took the time to advise me and guide my work.

Beyond Steve’s outstanding editorial advice, his values both as an individual and as a publisher are exemplary. Steve reignited my love of writing and my faith in people. If I hadn’t met Steve, I would have never had the experience, as an adult, of someone munificently supporting my work.

The copy editor did a light edit.

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What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?

Conduct a literature search to determine which books already exist on the subject to determine how your book concept would fit into the subject area and move the discipline forward or fill a void.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

Now, I’m co-authoring a book with Greg Braun, retired global chief creative officer of Commonwealth/McCann in Detroit. Columbia University Press will publish our book, Shareworthy: Storytelling for Advertising.

And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

I am proud of The New Art of Ideas. If people find it helpful in generating worthwhile ideas that benefit individuals, society, and our planet, it will have well worth the effort.

Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robinlanda/

https://www.instagram.com/proflanda/

https://www.tiktok.com/@distinguishedproflanda

https://www.facebook.com/robin.landa/

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