Welcome to another episode of the Make Books Travel podcast! I’m happy to be back after having taken some time off this summer.
I’m preparing a trip to Europe (I still can’t believe I’m saying this!), we just sent our Fall Rights Lists out, and both my virtual and my in-person meeting schedules are filling up, so it’s safe to say that the fall season is in full swing.
There will be one or two more episodes after this one, and then I’ll take a break while I’m in Europe. Season 3 will be starting in November!
So much for housekeeping announcements...
Today I am speaking with Nadzja Spiegelman. Nadzja is editor-in-chief of Astra Magazine, a new print literary magazine with a strong international focus forthcoming in 2022.
We discuss amongst others what it takes to set up a new literary venture like this, why it is particularly important to do so now, and how her previous job as online editor at The Paris Review prepared her for her position at Astra Magazine.
Nadja's book recommendations:
- Katharina Volckmer, The Appointment
- Pola Olaoixarac, Mona
- Jonas Eika, After the Sun
- Mieko Kawakami, Breasts and Eggs
- Miriam Toews, Women Talking
- Maria Judite de Carvahlo, Empty Wardrobes
Nadja Spiegelman is the author of I'm Supposed to Protect You From All This and the former online editor of The Paris Review. She is the editor-in-chief of Astra Magazine, a new international print literary magazine forthcoming in 2022.
Altri episodi di "The Make Books Travel Podcast"
S3 E2: Looking at the Japanese Publishing Market with Manami Tamaoki
56:13Today’s guest is Manami Tamaoki, Director of Tuttle-Mori Agency, Inc in Tokyo. We recorded this interview a little while ago, when Manami just got out of a true virtual meeting marathon that took place before, during and after the Frankfurt Book Fair. I did not envy her! I just wanted to mention that at some point during the interview, Manami talks about the Swedish bestseller titled Smart Phone Brain, which was indeed as she indicates the bestselling book of the year in Japan, and topped several year-end lists. However, Manami would like to correct that it has won one award, and not three awards as she mentions during the interview. Show Notes A selection of Manami's book recommendations: - The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity - The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World - The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It - The Joy Of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage - Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words About Manami Manami is Director for Tuttle-Mori Agency, the leading literary agency based in Tokyo, Japan. She oversees the publishing business and relationships for the agency between the US, UK, Europe, Scandinavia and other territories around the world. Prior to becoming a Director, she was General Manager of the agency, as well as Head of the Nonfiction Department. As a co-agent selling into Japan, she works on numerous best-selling authors including Carlo Rovelli, Spencer Johnson, Adam Grant, Angela Duckworth, Susan Cain, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, Kelly McGonigal, Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott, Yanis Varoufakis, Muhammad Yunus, Thomas Friedman, John Carreyrou. She represents Ichiro Kishimi, Shunmyo Masuno, Thomas Lockley and other bestselling authors from Japan. She has been a featured speaker and panelist at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Japan Audiobook Association, and interviewed by an award winning author for his book about publishing professionals behind the scene, as well as prominent business magazines on being a Japanese agent in the international publishing market for twenty-nine years.
S3 E1: A Conversation with Stella Jóhannesdóttir, Director of the Reykjavík International Literary Festival
47:48I am very excited to be back with season 3 of the Make Books Travel podcast. I took a two-month break from recording, one of which I spent on the road, in Europe. I actually had in-person meetings again, and drinks, and dinners, meeting publishers in Amsterdam, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and in Paris. It was amazing! Today’s guest, Stella Soffia Jóhannesdóttir, had the pleasure of hosting one of the few in-person fellowships of this year, back in September, in her capacity as director of the Reykjavík International Literary Festival. Besides this role, she is also acquisitions editor for Storytel in Iceland. I did some homework in preparation for my interview with Stella, and found that Storytel currently has 1.7 million subscribers in 25 markets with around 700,000 titles globally. Those numbers are quite mind-boggling! Stella's book recommendations: - Cemetery of the Sea by Aslak Nore (Aschehoug, Norway; forthcoming in English with MacLehose Press) - The Mark by Fríða Ísberg (Forlagið, Iceland; not yet sold to an English language publisher to date as far as we can tell) - The Snow Sister by Maja Lunde (Kagge, Norway; not yet sold to an English language publisher to date as far as we can tell) About Stella: Stella Soffía Jóhannesdóttir is the director of the Reykjavík International Literary Festival and acquisitions editor for Storytel in Iceland. Prior to working for Storytel, Stella worked in acquisitions for Forlagið. Stella was a part of the team that organized Iceland, Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2011 and she has been working for the Reykjavík International Literary Festival since 2009. She lives in Reykjavík, Iceland. Further show notes: - Translation subsidies and travel grants from Iceland: https://www.islit.is/en/grants/ - General information about the fellowship program of the Reykjavík International Literary Festival: https://bokmenntahatid.is/en/reykjavik-fellowship-program-2021/ - Christmas Book Catalogue: bokatidindi.is
S2 E22: A Discussion with Edward Nawotka, international and bookselling editor at Publishers Weekly
1:02:21Welcome to the last episode of season two of the Make Books Travel Podcast! I’ll be taking a break for the next month or so in order to focus on my virtual and in-person meetings before and during the Frankfurt Book Fair. I’m SO excited to be taking part in the fair, and to be back in Europe for the entire month of October after having stayed put in California for the last 19 months. Today’s guest, Edward Nawotka, is the international and bookselling editor of Publishers Weekly and co-founder of Publishers Weekly en Español. He’d just returned from a trip to the Madrid Book Fair which we’ll discuss, as well as Publishers Weekly en Español, the state of independent bookselling in the US, and the biggest shifts he’s noticed during his many years covering the international publishing scene. We talk about much more but I’ll leave it up to you to discover… Ed's book recommendations: - The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier - The Passenger & the Compass series, from Europa Editions - Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and David Kessler - Finite and Infinite Games by James Carse - The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek - Too Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingstone About Ed: Ed Nawotka is the international and bookselling editor of Publishers Weekly and co-founder of Publishers Weekly en Español. Prior to that he was the founder and editor of Publishing Perspectives. Ed has covered the book business for more than two decades, for publications including Bloomberg News, the New Yorker, People magazine, and USA Today. Prior to that he was a foreign correspondent working across Europe, Asia and Africa. He began his career in books as a bookseller for Doubleday Bookstores in Boston. He lives in Houston.
S2 E21: Author, Translator, Publisher Lawrence Schimel on Book Hunting and Much More
1:13:18Welcome to another episode of the Make Books Travel Podcast! Usually I give a short introduction on the person that I’ll be interviewing on this episode. However, as you’re about to find out, it is a seemingly impossible task to do so for today’s guest Lawrence Schimel, as he wears a multitude of hats... So I'll just let Lawrence introduce himself! Lawrence's book recommendations - Alyssa Cole's Reluctant Royals series - Alex Pavesi's The Eighth Detective About Lawrence Lawrence Schimel (New York, 1971) is a full-time author, writing in both Spanish and English, who has published over one hundred books in a wide range of genres. He is also a prolific literary translator. His picture books have been selected for the White Ravens from the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany, twice chosen for IBBY’s Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, and won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators, among many other awards, honors, and distinctions. His writing has been published in Arabic, Armenian, Basque, Catalan, Changana, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Farsi (Dari), Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Latvian, Macua, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romansh, Romanian, Russian, Sena, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Welsh translations. He started the Spain chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and served as its Regional Advisor for five years.
S2 E20: An Interview with Astra Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Nadja Spiegelman
34:37Welcome to another episode of the Make Books Travel podcast! I’m happy to be back after having taken some time off this summer. I’m preparing a trip to Europe (I still can’t believe I’m saying this!), we just sent our Fall Rights Lists out, and both my virtual and my in-person meeting schedules are filling up, so it’s safe to say that the fall season is in full swing. There will be one or two more episodes after this one, and then I’ll take a break while I’m in Europe. Season 3 will be starting in November! So much for housekeeping announcements... Today I am speaking with Nadzja Spiegelman. Nadzja is editor-in-chief of Astra Magazine, a new print literary magazine with a strong international focus forthcoming in 2022. We discuss amongst others what it takes to set up a new literary venture like this, why it is particularly important to do so now, and how her previous job as online editor at The Paris Review prepared her for her position at Astra Magazine. Nadja's book recommendations: Katharina Volckmer, The Appointment Pola Olaoixarac, Mona Jonas Eika, After the Sun Mieko Kawakami, Breasts and Eggs Miriam Toews, Women Talking Maria Judite de Carvahlo, Empty Wardrobes About Nadja: Nadja Spiegelman is the author of I'm Supposed to Protect You From All This and the former online editor of The Paris Review. She is the editor-in-chief of Astra Magazine, a new international print literary magazine forthcoming in 2022.
S2 E19: Marie Vinter on Danish Publishing & Starting Vinter Forlag
46:17Today I’m excited to welcome my first guest from Scandinavia: Danish publisher Marie Vinter. Marie is founder and publisher of Vinter Forlag, which she started last fall. Among the different Scandinavian markets, the Danish publishing market in particular has seen many changes in recent years. Imprints were discontinued, publishers merged or were bought by publishing groups, streaming saw an impressive and quite aggressive growth, and several new publishing houses were created, both independently like Vinter Forlag, and under the umbrella of publishing groups. We’re taking a deep dive into the Danish publishing market, and we’ll discuss the impact of the pandemic of course, but we also talk about how Marie came to found her own publishing house (spoiler alert: it involves one of my favorite authors!), the rise of audio and much more... Show notes Marie's book recommendations: - The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld - Living Autobiography Book Series by Deborah Levy About Marie: Marie Vinter’s publishing career spans more than 20 years working with both bestseller-driven publishers and smaller literary publishers. She began at Borgen Publishers, an independent art-loving publishing house, where she stayed for 10 years, first as editor of poetry and French literature, and then as editorial director and co-founder of commercial imprint S&S (publishing Devil wears Prada). From 2014-2019 Marie was senior editor at Rosinante, one of Denmark’s leading publishing houses, building their list and acquiring bestselling authors, such as Sally Rooney, Rachel Cusk, Maggie Nelson, Ottessa Moshfegh, Rebecca Solnit, Zadie Smith, and Leila Slimani. In 2020, Marie founded Vinter Forlag, a new independent publishing house dedicated to translated literary fiction and essays. She has taken an active part in the literary scene as board member, festival organizer, co-founder of a magazine and a vibrant live scene, and is always on the lookout for new talented, female voices.
S2 E18: A Deep Dive into the Audiobook Market with Lance Fitzgerald
57:27Welcome to a new episode of the Make Books Travel podcast, on which I’m speaking to Lance Fitzgerald, VP, Content and Business Development for Penguin Random House Audio. On season 1 episode 15, I interviewed Jamie Dupras, General Manager of audiobook producer Deyan Audio. What I took away from that interview was that the audiobook format is an even more important, and explosively growing, player in our industry than I’d already thought. So I’d been wanting to speak with Lance, an audiobook publisher, to better understand this growth, and discuss what trends he has seen. Among quite a diverse set of topics, we also dive into the areas of growth he and his team at Penguin Random House Audio are specifically looking at, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on audiobook sales and listener behavior. Show Notes: Lance's (audio)book recommendations: - Seth Rogen's Yearbook - Maggie Shipstead's Great Circle - Jenny Lawson's Broken (in the best possible way) About Lance: Lance Fitzgerald is VP, Content and Business Development for Penguin Random House Audio, overseeing the editorial acquisitions team. Prior to joining PRH Audio, he worked in Subsidiary Rights for twenty-five years as Subsidiary Rights Director at Crown/Random House, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Putnam. As Rights Director, he sold international rights for numerous best-selling authors including both President Barack Obama and Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Gillian Flynn, and Andy Weir. He is a member of the Frankfurt Book Fair Foreign Rights Advisory Board, and has been a featured speaker and panelist at London and Frankfurt Book Fairs, the Writer’s League of Texas, Authors and Artists Representatives, the Columbia and NYU Summer Publishing courses, the Young-to-Publishing Group, and at the Slice Writers Conference.
S2 E17: Prashant Pathak on Weathering the Pandemic in India and Publishers Without Borders
52:12Welcome to a new episode of the Make Books Travel podcast! Today I’m excited to speak with Prashant Pathak, who joins us from just outside of New Delhi in India. Prashant gives us insights into the current situation of the Indian publishing market and explains how the publishing house he started 4 years ago, Wonder House Books, has weathered the challenges brought on by the pandemic. He also discusses how the Facebook Group Publishers Without Borders got started, right at the beginning of the lockdowns related to the pandemic, where the group is at now, and what their plans are for when we can all meet each other again at book fairs (hint: it involves some cold beverages!). Show Notes Prashant's book recommendations: - Captain Underpants. The Big Bad Battle of Bionic Booger Boy by Jeff Kinney - The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak - Richard Scarry's Best Treasury Ever - Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry About Prashant: Prashant started as an online gaming support executive and transitioned his career into publishing by working with various publishing services companies. In 2017, he joined Prakash Books to set up a new imprint for children, Wonder House Books, where as a publisher he creates engaging content and attractive designs. His strong-suits have given the organization grounds to bloom significantly. He lives in New Delhi and is a father of 2 boys — a 6 year old Human Male and an 8 year old yellow Labrador.
S2 E16: Natalia Poleva on the Current State of the Russian Publishing Market
37:19Welcome to another episode of the Make Books Travel podcast. This time we’re traveling all the way to Moscow, Russia to speak with Natalia Poleva. Natalia started out on the acquisitions side, and more recently made the switch to selling translation rights to fiction and non fiction titles published by Eksmo Publishers. I was interested in hearing how she felt about switching to the ‘other side’ and what the Russian publishing landscape looks like at what hopefully is the tail-end of the Covid-19 pandemic. I also wanted to give you a heads-up here, as we ran into some issues with the sound quality. I would suggest that you listen to the interview using headphones, which I hope will make it easier for you to understand. My apologies for this! Show Notes Natalia's examples of Russian titles that have successfully been selling abroad: In the non-fiction genre, - Anna Bykova, Lazy Mom (translated in 17 languages so far) - Igor Ryzov, Kremlin School of Negotiations (translated in 10 languages so far) In the fiction genre, - Eduard Verkin, Sakhalin Island (translated in 11 languages so far) Natalia's book recommendations: - Kira Yarmysh, Strange Things in Cell #13 (Corpus Publisher) - not yet published in translation - Blake Crouch, The Wayward Pines Trilogy - Mikhail Bulgagov, Heart of a Dog About Natalia: As a teacher of English and a translator, Natalia once cracked open the door to the “laboratory” where books are created, and never left that side. She's always been searching for a new story for over 15 years. She started as foreign rights acquisition manager with a professional medical publisher, building a portfolio for “GEOTAR-Media Group” who became #1 among Russian medical publishers. Then she acquired foreign non-fiction for the leading Russian publisher Eksmo Publishers and tried to combine it with selling Russian non-fiction worldwide. Now she represents and sells adult fiction and non-fiction rights for Eksmo, making Russian voices heard all over the globe.
S2 E15: Sherif Bakr Discusses the Latest Developments in the Egyptian Publishing Industry
1:16:10Welcome to another episode of The Make Books Travel podcast! Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Sherif Bakr, General Manager of the Egyptian publishing house Al Arabi. To say Sherif is well-travelled is quite an understatement; in fact he explains during the interview how important it’s been for him to participate in fellowships around the world. We address many different topics, including the increase in popularity of the audiobook in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world, distribution challenges between the different Arabic-speaking countries, the imminent arrival of Amazon in Egypt, and the problem of piracy that Arabic publishers have been facing for many years. The icing on the cake comes with Sherif describing how he came to virtually visit the White House recently! Show Notes Sherif's book recommendations: - Behrooz Boochani, No Friend but the Mountains. Writing from Manus Prison - Manon Steffan Ros, The Blue Book of Nebo About Sherif: Sherif Bakr (1975) studied in the English school in Heliopolis Cairo, and graduated from the faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University, majoring in Economics and minoring in Computer Science. In 1997 took over the family business, Al Arabi Publishing and Distributing, where he'd already been working during his summer vacations since he was young. He worked in all fields of publishing, from the warehouse to accounting; from sales and marketing to editorial and foreign rights. Sherif Bakr is now The General Secretary of the Egyptian Publishing Association and head of the Development and e-publishing committee. Having spotted the chance of bridging the Arab civilization and the Arab World—which counts over 400 million inhabitants—with the rest of the world, his aim is to build those bridges based on books and culture. Sherif Bakr has been invited to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2008 as part of the invitation program for international publishers and in 2009 as part of the FBF Fellowship program with 15 other fellows from another 14 countries. He has been invited as well to many other book fairs and publishing events to represent Egypt and the Arab World, as a participant, moderator and speaker. These events include the Turin International Book Fair from 2010 to 2016, the Prague International book fair from 2011 to 2016, the ITEF Professional Meetings Fellowship Program of Turkey in 2012, the MICA|Mercado de Industrias Culturales Argentinas from 2013 to 2016, the Amsterdam fellowship in 2013 and the Sharjah International Book Fair from 2013 to 2016. In 2019, he was elected member of the Freedom to Publish committee in the International Publishing Association. The same year, he was invited to participate in the IVLP (International Visitors Leadership Program) in the US. Sherif was member of the Higher Cultural Committee at the Cairo International Book Fair for six consecutive years, is currently member of the Book and Publication Committee of the Supreme Council of Culture in Cairo, and member of the Egyptian Export Council for printing, packaging, paper, books and artistic works.