NNFN: The making of an award-worthy non-fiction book

logo-2015Miles Kelly Publishing’s Project Body has been shortlisted for The Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize 2016. Here, the creative team give an insight into how the book was made.

“Project Body is part of a series of hands-on reference books. We wanted to create a range that tackled core educational subject areas that children need to know about, but which used practical elements and production techniques that you might not find in a typical information book.

For us, a book’s concept usually starts with research to see what’s popular and identify gaps in the market that our product could fill. However, in the case of Project Body we had already produced two books in a series that we knew we wanted to expand, and the human body is an endlessly fascinating topic that we thought would benefit from the features that make this series unique.

Project Body cover

We contacted John Farndon to write the manuscript. We needed an author who not only knew the subject inside out but could also think visually – images are really important in books that are as highly designed as this one, and titles in this series also contain flaps for readers to lift and a big fold-out scene in the middle. John sent us his ideas, we started planning out pages to give him an idea of what worked best, and then he wrote the text.

Once the manuscript was written we decided what to illustrate. We wanted to show views inside the body that readers might not have seen before, so there was lots of discussion about how to show each body system. Project Body is mostly illustrated digitally because we wanted a super-realistic, high-tech style with lots of colour.

Body gatefold

We are so happy with the finished book – the flaps really give you the feeling of delving inside the body and the projects that John came up with are so much fun. It was a wonderful surprise to make The Royal Society shortlist but it is fantastic to be recognized by a society that promotes and supports excellence in science. We love the idea that our books might inspire future scientists!”

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups.

The winner of the Royal Society’s Young People Book Prize will be announced later this month.

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