For 20 years our diverse clients — from legendary mining pioneers to national insurers to beloved industry leaders like lululemon and MGM — have trusted us to put their story on record, and to do so beautifully and strategically. But what does that actually mean? How does a storytelling agency work? Let’s take a tour through our book publishing process and introduce you to some of our team along the way.
STEP 1: CONNECT
Meet Samantha Reynolds, our president. She was inspired to start this company after missing the opportunity to record her grandmother’s life (you can read the story of our founding 20 years ago here), so she understands firsthand the urgency of preserving your legacy for future generations. Her purpose in life? Getting to the root of a person and figuring out what makes them tick.
Sam is the first person you’ll meet when you connect with ECHO. She’ll suss out exactly what type of work we can do for you. In the case of a book, is it a company history? Is your business going through a period of transformation and you’d like some support in clearly articulating your vision moving forward? Are you celebrating an important milestone that you want to mark with a book? Or perhaps this is a family legacy project — retracing the first steps your family took in this country, or exploring the values that have served you all these years.
STEP 2: ORGANIZE
This is where our project manager, Ali Smith-Cairns, enters the mix. Ali is a seasoned professional when it comes to navigating the publishing process; her experience runs from editorial to marketing, which makes her the perfect person at ECHO to operationalize your project.
Sam and Ali — along with our story director, John Burns, and our art director, Cathy Smith (you’ll meet them next) — decide which writer and designer from our roster are perfectly suited for you and your story. The matchmaking process is crucial: you need a writer who is able to get to the essence of what makes you and your story unique, and a designer who will be able to tell that story through just the right packaging, whether you imagine your book to be elegant and stately or bright and eye-catching (or don’t yet have any idea at all).
STEP 3: WRITE
The writer chosen for your book (we have about 30 we turn to, and climbing) will conduct a thorough interview process to make sure they have everything they need to do your story justice. For a personal memoir, this could mean lots of one-on-one time between you; for a corporate book, there might be a handful of meetings with key players. Once the writer has what they need, creation begins.
Our story director, John Burns, brings almost 30 years of editorial experience to our process — he is not only a veteran Vancouver journalist and editor, he has taught writing at a number of post-secondary institutions. He will work closely with the writer through the drafting process to ensure that the story captures each essential detail and is in line with the goals of the book — be they legacy preservation, brand identity, or something in-between.
STEP 4: DESIGN
Cathy Smith is an award-winning graphic designer with over 15 years of industry experience. We’ve been lucky to have her on our team since 2011, during which time she has led the design of dozens of story projects.
Once the manuscript is underway, Cathy and the designer she has chosen for your project develop an aesthetic that is in harmony with the story. In the same way it’s difficult to walk in shoes that are the wrong size, your story needs to have a design that fits in order to move your audience in the way that you want it to — whether you want the final result to be highly flippable or to encourage deep reading and careful consideration.
STEP 5: PERFECT
In this final stage, our production coordinator, Stephanie Toth, ensures that everything is in place so that your book will print flawlessly. She works with our studio manager, Andrea Fraser-Winsby, and a host of image specialists and professional proofreaders and copy editors to make sure that images are crisp, colours are spot-on, and the text is free from error. When the file is ready, Stephanie sends it to one of our trusted printing partners, and soon after, you have a book in your hands.
At this stage, as the book is making its way through the printing process, we might engage our content strategist, Lauren Cheal, to help plan how the content inside your published book can find a second, digital life — be it as an ebook, divided into excerpts delivered behind paywalls or by intranet, or as snippets shared within a larger social media campaign.
And there you have it, our book process in a nutshell. As experts dedicated to crafting the best in custom books, we’re passionate about story and we’re here to make sure yours is preserved meaningfully for generations to come.
Do you want to capture your life story or business legacy and preserve it for future generations? We’d love to hear from you. Call us at 604-261-1858 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.