Students enrolled in English 349 Editing and Publishing have been preparing all semester for the Dec. 4 book launch of Jane Kretzmann’s “Eddie and Harry.”
Together the class worked to edit, design, publish and market Kretzmann’s manuscript.
“Before the semester starts, there are about 20 manuscripts that Dr. Gail has screened for us,” said marketing manager Kendra Lenius. “From that we take about two to three weeks to review each manuscript and choose which pieces are going to be our top contenders.”
After narrowing down their pool, “Eddie and Harry” had taken the majority vote and became the classes’ project.
“‘Eddie and Harry’ is a delightful little story about self-acceptance and overcoming prejudices and judgments as characterized by Eddie the Egret and Harry the Heron,” Lenius said. “There is also a theme of overcoming physical disability, as Eddie is disabled with a shorter neck than most egrets until he learns the ‘heron way’ of fishing and blows away the entire egret community.”
After selecting the manuscript, the class divided into several different teams to effectively produce the book. Each student focused on a specific job in order to streamline the publication process.
“On the marketing team, we worked on developing the hook and pitch for the book, strategizing the best way to publish the book, coordinating events, making sure that the marketing strategy is what the author wants and what Cornerstone Press wants,” Lenius said.
Sylvia Kies was the managing director of the project.
“I oversee all of the teams to make sure nothing is missed,” Kies said. “I am also in charge of the publishing agreement between the university, author and illustrator.”
Since most of the students have never published a book, a large part of the class was spent learning about how to be successful in the publication industry.
“After the selection of the manuscript, it gets handed over to the editorial team,” Lenius said. “The staff goes over fact checking. For example, there are illustrations that they needed to make sure there were no copyright infringements.”
“Marketing sends in a design team to establish what artworks we want to be featured from the plethora of pieces we have,” Lenius said. “They work their magic to develop a beautiful cover. From there, we work with the university printing press to print marketing materials, such as posters.”
The marketing team has advertised three events that the author will be attending. There will be two book readings, one at the Children’s Museum in downtown Stevens Point and the other at the Portage County Public Library.
The official book launch will be held in the Laird Room on Dec. 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
“It’s been wonderful to learn the process and get the experience of managing a group like this,” Kies said.
The team will meet Kretzmann for the first time on Dec. 3. Kies and Lenius are excited to see her reaction to their hard work and get their hands on a copy of their published work.