The Learning Annex, which operates seven continuing education schools in North America giving thousands of courses a year, is looking to turn those classes, workshops and seminars into books. Steve Schragis, national director for the Learning Annex, said the idea grew out of a conversation he had with Jerry Lewis, who was preparing a seminar on the importance of laughter in the healing process. That seminar is now in manuscript form as Laughter and Healing.

While Lewis is a well-known comedian, Schragis said most of the courses that could become books are taught by "non-brand-name people." The Learning Annex is in the process of developing its 100 most popular courses as manuscripts; the top two to date are How to Buy Income-Producing Properties and How to Buy, Sell, and Profit on eBay.

Schragis said that in the preliminary talks he has had with publishers, most are interested in acquiring the books as a complete line, or at least want the right of first refusal. "We've been turning books into seminars for years, so it's time to go the other way," Schragis said.