Thursday, July 7, 2011

Turning Great Ideas into Books: Part One

Lorenz Educational Press is proud to possess more than 800 print titles in its library. When scanning our shelves, it's difficult not to think about the hard work that went into each and every page within each and every spine; impossible to imagine the quantities of people who made all of those books come to rest there.

Our products go through a remarkable process from start to finish. We thought you might be interested in learning more about that process. We'd like to introduce you to some of the talented individuals behind the pages, and prove to you that we do more than sit around and blog about education. To that end, we present part one of how we make an educational resource for you and your students.

PART ONE: Turning an Idea into a Ream of Paper

It all starts with an idea that is had somewhere by someone. These ideas are put down on paper and built upon. Pretty soon, they have metamorphosed into a manuscript. These manuscripts come to LEP from all over the country (and sometimes across borders). They are looked at by a panel of esteemed minds (ahem, us...along with an invaluable collection of educators). The best and brightest are chosen to become a part of our product line.

Whittling the forest of manuscripts down to the tallest and most robust trees is a difficult and all-important task. You might say that it's our most important job - making certain that we choose and produce the finest possible products for teachers, parents, and, of course, students. A lot goes into the review and selection process: how unique a resource is, its correlation with national and state standards, its versatility, value, and reusability for both educator and educated, the fun factor...the list is long, and no item can afford to be missed. When we choose our future products, the selections have been through an assembly line of study and approval.

Every once in a very long while, we have ideas resulting from our own research that are deemed brilliant enough to be seen by our discerning audience (you). For this post, we've selected one such idea. To avoid spoilers about this soon-to-be publishing sensation, we'll call it Project Genius. As in, this book will help turn your students into geniuses. This idea was given to Jonathan Gross, an LEP employee who fancies himself a competent writer (the comments section is entirely open to debate this notion).

Jonathan locked himself in his office for two weeks, surfacing only for increasingly potent mugs of coffee and do-or-die staff meetings. He emerged bearded and triumphant, wielding a completed manuscript of Project Genius. What had started as an idea had become a reality of inked pages. But it still has a long way to go on the road to Book Land...

Jonathan before writing Project Genius...

...and after writing.

Tune in next week for part two of Project Genius's journey to the shelf. You'll get to discover what a manuscript goes through when under editorial scrutiny, when a product is considered finished from a written standpoint, and just how terrifying a red pen can be. Fire away with any questions you might have in the comments section below!

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