What Makes a Book a Stenhouse Book?

September 9th, 2018

 

This is the fourth in a series of six posts that we are featuring this year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Stenhouse Publishers.

Stenhouse has a specific approach to editing and publishing that is guided by the question, “Does this book add value to the body of thought?” That kind of book doesn’t come along every day.

Stenhouse is committed to working with teacher-authors. This means editors are deeply engaged in the world of education and are looking for books that will contribute to that world. Whatever an author’s particular working style, Stenhouse espouses a respect for the creative process that seems almost old-fashioned in a world where quickly produced and freely consumed copy abounds.

Stenhouse publishes author-driven, original books. These are not curriculum packages or series in which volumes are stamped out according to a standard format, but books that present the author’s own perspectives on teaching, in a distinctive voice.

Stenhouse believes that every book counts and should be put out with care. That means quality paper, beautiful graphic design, attentive copyediting and proofreading, efficient warehouse processing, and committed marketing.

Stenhouse aims to stay small and focused with an eye toward long-term value. The company began in 1993 with the idea of publishing no more than 20 volumes a year, and that hasn’t substantially changed. This allows for the selectivity that gives the Stenhouse list definition, and it permits Stenhouse to give each book the sustained attention it deserves.

“Education is full of bandwagons,” said co-founder Tom Seavey. “Some of them crash and burn, some go off into the sunset and then show up again. In the course of all this fluctuation there is a substantial population of teachers who find some value in the kinds of books that Stenhouse publishes.”

Stenhouse’s profitability depends on a combination of top-selling new books and a strong backlist of titles that sell year after year. Very few books go out of print. The Stenhouse Library is one we are proud of, and that helps ensure that like-minded teachers will keep coming back as both authors and readers.

Coming next: Stenhouse into the Future

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