Friday, July 11, 2008

My Future in Publishing

I have, at last, heard from "the publisher" regarding the production of several lapbooks to go with the history curricula that they publish. I did not receive a definitive offer because they are meeting next week to discuss several big projects, of which the lapbooks are one. They did share with me their "vision", so to speak, and it sounds quite a bit different from what I had intended to produce. They are thinking about something very simple with minimal graphics. Those of you that have seen my Gratitude lapbook will know that that is not my style. I really envisioned doing something with a wide variety of mini-books and fun, colorful graphics. There are a few reasons why I want to go this route. Most importantly, this is the style that my children enjoy. We've done lapbooks that we've purchased from other companies, but the simple, black and white mini-books do not inspire my children. Getting them to complete the mini-books is like pulling teeth and when they are done with the lapbook, they don't ever want to pull it out and look at it again or show it to anyone. One of the things I love about a good lapbook is that my kids love to show it to friends and family or look at it themselves and they get a good dose of review. The simple, black and white ones just don't look as impressive and my kids don't feel as much a sense of accomplishment when they complete one. Secondly, there are other companies that market the black and white lapbooks. I can think of only one company that puts together a fun, colorful lapbook and I think there is more of a market for a product that is in color. The last reason is just my silly preference, but I really prefer to buy one package of white cardstock and print everything on that, rather than have several colors of paper to print on in an effort to liven up a lapbook with black and white graphics. I realize that colored ink can be more expensive, but with colored graphics a person still has the option of printing in grayscale and foregoing the colored ink.

The bottom line is, I don't have any desire to produce a product that my own children won't use. So if the "minimalist" approach is the one that this publisher intends to take then I may rework the books that I have done so that they will be the perfect supplement to any history curriculum and go out on my own.

I would love to hear the opinions of those who have used different types of lapbooks. What are your preferences and what would you like to see? What kind of a product would work best in your situation?


  1. Personally, I prefer the simple B&W style or even blank templates so that we can do our own drawing or writing. Otherwise, I find that the lapbook kit becomes too "cut and paste." Actually, we make our own without kits, so I guess I'm not really the kind of "customer" whose input you want. :-)
    My guess is that there IS a market for this type of product.

  2. I'm with Jimmie. I prefer b&w, color ink is just too costly. I would rather them 'decorate' how they envision it. Mine seem to be proud of their artwork and more inclined to want to show it off.

    What if you designed a b&w version, and a color version? Same content, different graphics. I've purchased lapbooks with that as an option. I know there are moms who prefer the more polished look, so I'm sure both would do well.