“How to Make a Book” – Behind the Scenes (for kids, teachers, parents, and writers)

HarperKids launched a terrific video series called How a Book is Made, including details on how a book is Revised, Edited, and Designed – from those elusive publishing insiders – meaning the author, the editor, the marketing director, the art department, etc. The actual editors and marketing folks at Harpercollins talk about their jobs and what they do (inside their offices in NYC so you can peek at the surroundings!)

I’m a writer with Harpercollins and Scholastic so over the years I’ve become fairly familiar with the hands-on process of manuscript production through revisions and copy-edits and proofreading typeset pages, but the rest of the in-house process is foreign to me. I found the Production video especially interesting to see the pieces of the book and how it all goes together. I’ve read about that process, but it was fun to actually *see* it.

The 7 videos are between 3-5 minutes apiece, so short, snappy, and fun! And they’re narrated by the amazing middle-grade author, Lauren Oliver, who wrote Leisl and Po, and The Spindlers, as well as many Young Adult novels.

These behind-the-scenes videos would be great for sharing the writing and publishing process with your kids as school begins in the next few weeks, or in your classroom if you’re a teacher to inspire your students in their own writing, or a homeschooling parent – I homeschooled for many years and getting my 3 sons to write was the most hair-pulling challenge I had! It would be easy to pull together lesson plans using these fascinating videos.

If you’re a writer or artist I think you’ll find these behind-the-scenes videos intriguing and informative as well so enjoy!

1. How a Book is Made: Developing Ideas w/ Lauren Oliver
2.Writing the Story w/ Lauren Oliver
3. Editing the Book w/Editorial Director Rosemary Brosnan
4. Creating the Art w/ Harper Art Director
5. Proofing the Story w/ Harper Managing Editor
6. Printing the Book, w/ Production Director
7. Reading the Book w/ Lauren Oliver

Please share your thoughts below, we’d love to hear if there’s anything else similar to this out in the world, or if you find them helpful to use with kids and writers of any age.

AND . . . because we love our readers here at Mixed-Up Files I’m giving away a hardcover copy of my recent middle-grade novel, THE TIME OF THE FIREFLIES to anyone who posts a comment, even if it’s just to enter the giveaway. 🙂 Cheers! ~Kimberley

Time of the Fireflies_Cover

Kimberley Griffiths Little’s seven MG novels with Knopf and Scholastic have won several awards and Forbidden, the first of a Young Adult trilogy recently published with Harpercollins was starred by Booklist and included in the Top 10 Historical novels of 2015.

Find Kimberley on Facebook. and Twitter @KimberleyGLittl. Teacher’s Guides, Mother/Daughter Book Club Guides, and fabulous book trailers filmed on location adorn Kimberley’s website.



Kimberley Little
  1. These videos are GREAT!!! Kinda scary at first to a newbie writer like me, but so motivating. I can DO that!

  2. Lauren Oliver’s comments on her process, and on process as such, are priceless. And I speak as an adult writer–they aren’t really intended as encouragement for children, though perhaps older children might benefit.

  3. Oh, I’ve seen one of these before, but not all of them~ how helpful! Thanks so much for posting! And I’d love to win a copy of The Time of the Fireflies 🙂

  4. So interesting! Thank you,

  5. Lots to like here!!

  6. I’m retired but wish I had these videos when I was teaching 5th graders to write.

  7. Very interesting videos. Thanks for sharing them! And I’d love to win your book!

  8. What an excellent post. I learnt so much. Thank you.

  9. Thanks for sharing this! I love using author videos in my classroom to show my students that the writing work they do is also done by actual published authors.

  10. These videos are great! Thanks for sharing. I’m thinking they will be great to share with my 5-6 grade English/Literature class! And of course, I always enjoy a new book to read. 🙂

  11. Great post! Wonderful videos – lots of interesting information.