By Sara Hoffmann
Every school & library publisher has its own process for coming up with series titles. At Lerner, our process tends to be very collaborative. People from many departments get into the act. The process is a little different for every series we do, but here’s how it usually goes:
• The TE (text editor) comes up with a working series title—something to call the project as it moves through production. Often, this title is purely descriptive—like “Seasons” or “Weather.” Other times, it’s a little more interesting but perhaps still not quite there in terms of what we’d like to communicate about the series.
• As the series gets closer to publication, the time comes to pick a real title. At this point, the TE emails titling possibilities to marketing. These ideas often come straight from the TE—but they might also come from a PE (production editor), someone in prepress, a publicity or marketing person, or the series’ designer (who, by this point, has usually spent a lot of time with the series, reading over the lead manuscript and brainstorming series designs).
• After the TE emails the ideas to marketing, our marketing specialists look them over. Often, they find one they like. If marketing and editorial agree that it fits, it becomes our series title. Other times, everyone agrees we’re not quite there. Then we start over, emailing ideas to marketing until we come up with one that sticks.
As you can see, coming up with series titles can be complicated. It involves a lot of people and often takes a lot of time. But in the end, our process ensures that everyone is happy with our series titles—and hopefully, all you readers out there like them too!