Raven Tree Press

The Challenge

Raven Tree Press specializes in award–winning children’s picture books in English, Spanish, and Bilingual editions. The books are tools for language development and a place for a child’s imagination to soar! They also promote multicultural respect and understanding. Their books feature beautiful illustrations in hardcover, paperback and e–book editions.

Raven Tree Press contacted Translation by Design because of our vast experience and expertise in publishing, specifically with children’s picture books. They wanted to improve the quality of their books, from editing, translation, and proofreading. They were also quite concerned about consistency of design and layout between their entire list of titles. They hadn’t been consistent with their title page, author bios, or their covers in terms placement, fonts, logo, and colors.

The challenge began immediately. They hired us to proofread the text and the layout, including title page, covers, dust jackets, and the Spanish translation of two spring titles that had to go to the printer in a week. We jumped into the middle of their publishing season. We had to consider the publisher’s time and budget constraints and looming deadlines while improving quality at all phases.

The Solution

We pulled together an editorial team that included an editor, proofreader, and Spanish translator with experience and expertise in children’s picture book writing. The editor had a background in children’s fiction, taught elementary school for 15 years which gave her knowledge of K-3 vocabulary levels, and had a passion for children’s books. We began with the first round of text edits. Picture books have few words and every single one is important. The editor had to consider several concepts at once. Did the illustrations and the title of the book pique the child’s curiosity and imagination? Did the text reinforce age-appropriate vocabulary? Are the illustrations and the text harmonious in enhancing the story? The Spanish translator had the responsibility of reviewing the translation, making the appropriate changes using age specific Spanish vocabulary, and had a love for children’s books. Then we turned to the proofreader for the physical layout, page numbers, color consistency, title page information and accuracy, author biographies, and much more. We worked with the publisher at all review stages as well as, getting author approval for any changes. The list goes on and the looming deadline was around the corner. There were late nights and early morning long phone conferences and discussions, and more changes. Everyone had to sign off on the long check list of approvals. The deadline arrived and the book made it to the printer just in time. Then we started all over again on the next series of books.

The Results

Raven Tree was thrilled with the final results. The editorial revisions, proofreading, and layout design enhanced their reprints and new titles. The Spanish translation vocabulary was more age appropriate and action oriented. The consistency between the titles supported RTP branding guidelines. We created a template for all reprinted titles and new books. The process went smoother and easier with each book we completed. We set up standards and guidelines for each step of the process. These guidelines lay a foundation for the unique contribution of Raven Tree titles.