Last week I heard the news that my long-time friend Nancy Aldrich-Ruenzel was retiring from her post as Publisher at Peachpit Press, the company that for as long as I can remember, has published all my books. For many years Nancy had led a team of some of the most creative, passionate, and talented people in modern book publishing history, and she and her team gave flight to an unparalleled body of work from some of the greatest educators of graphics, art and design of our time.
I’m dedicating my blog today to Nancy as my way of saying thanks for never compromising, for always striving to do what’s right by the reader, and for taking so many chances with my crazy book ideas over the years.
One of the things I loved most about working with Nancy was her love of the art of making books. It was just wired into her DNA, and she got such joy from the entire process, from the first inklings of an idea, to watching it mature and grow through the writing process and production journey, to overseeing it every step of the way as it moved through this cycle to the final printed book. Her passion and commitment to “just making great books” made being one of her authors something very special and something that I’ll dearly miss as she moves onto this next phase of her life.
Nancy is a true pioneer in this industry, and her vision for educational books for creative people really made a difference in so many people’s lives and careers and won her the respect and admiration of both her peers and her competitors alike. It’s hard for me to imagine Nancy not steering the ship, as we’ve worked together so closely over the years, and her wisdom, humor, and drive will be missed by everyone that’s ever worked with her.
She left Peachpit in very capable hands without a doubt, with a wonderful team she put together who will continue her legacy and continue making great books for many years to come, but I’ll always miss our heartfelt talks about the industry, the future of publishing and content creation, the evolution of education, and which restaurant we have to check out next time I’m in San Francisco.
Beyond her gift for publishing and the business side of things, Nancy is just an awesome, down-to-earth, fun person to be around, and even more importantly, she’s a sincerely good person who genuinely wants the best for those around her, and that’s about the greatest compliment I could pay anyone.
I’ll be forever grateful to Nancy for all her guidance, her insights, and her friendship these many years, and I wish her and her wonderful family all the joys and quality time the gift of retirement can bring.
Thank you, Nancy. It’s truly been an honor to be one of your authors, and even though you’ll be watching from the sidelines from here on out, I’ll still be out there trying to write books that would make you proud.
Much love and lots of hugs,
-Scott, Kalebra, and all your friends and fans here at KelbyOne