I love the fact that LPG has so many content-creation processes in the house. For example, one of the ways we generate new series ideas is through an annual all-day session of raw brainstorming. Every person in my department participates and is required to bring an idea. (We also get ideas from authors, sales reps, in-house sales folks, and our marketing people throughout the year.) We consider and discuss new series ideas at biannual long-range planning meetings.
After we’ve decided what series ideas to produce, we get our creative and crafty graphic designers involved. Because our design department is also in-house, we can touch base directly with our artistic colleagues.
We show the preliminary designs to people in our sales and marketing departments, as well as to librarians, sales reps, and others. Sometimes we hit the design nail on the head the first time. Other times, the feedback makes us take a number of stabs at the design from different angles.
For whatever reason, the design for the interior of Lightning Bolt Books, a new brand, took the efforts of several designers to become finalized. We’re very happy with the results, but it was a slog. The covers were much easier after we’d figured out the interior. Conversely, the interior design for the Decades series met with strong approval from the get go. But the covers were tough. Everyone had his or her own view of what was iconic from certain decades. We had to pick four photos for each cover, so the process was belabored to say the least. Again, in the end, we liked the final results. (And it was enormously entertaining to hear the likes and dislikes of colleagues during the process!)
I always feel the end result—even with all the apparent fussing—is worth it. When I see the first books from a new series come in from our bindery, I think back on all the hard work that people in every part of our company did—and I’m immensely proud.