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Spreading the Translated Word: JLPP

posted May 14, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in books marketing publishing technology translation trends uncategorized world literature

JLPPI just learned about this really interesting project, the Japanese Literature Publishing Project (JLPP), that promotes Japanese literature to a number of foreign countries. Sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, JLPP has been around since 2002 and has so far been behind the publication of 34 Japanese titles translated into English. JLPP selects about 10 books per year, and the titles are translated into several languages, including English, French, German, and Russian. It then promotes the translated works to publishers, and following publication, JLPP buys a good number of the translated titles and distributes them to libraries. What a good way to increase access to translated works!

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Books and Images and Collaboration from viction:ary

posted April 30, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling books publishing


Anyone who ever looked at picture books as a child knows that books aren’t just about text. Visual images can be just as powerful as the written word. I find myself drawn to books that celebrate visual images, whether they are photographs, graphic designs, or hand-drawn artwork, so I was excited to discover viction:ary, a Hong Kong-based publisher that specializes in collaborative image books.

viction:ary’s books cover a range of topics, including tattoos, architecture, fonts, and logos. The firm’s latest offering is Nice to Meet You Too: Visual Greetings from Business Cards to Identity Packages. It’s a sequel to, you guessed it, Nice to Meet You, which was published in 2006. I learned about this book via Yuko Uemura, a graphic and textile designer whose screenprinted towels I have purchased. Her business card is featured in this edition.

Here are a few more covers to tantalize you:
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The Queen of Translators

posted March 26, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in books publishing translation trends world literature

Why Translation Matters

In the world of literary translators, Edith Grossman is a rock star. She is known for her mastery of translation, which includes the seemingly insurmountable ability to merge translated language with cultural nuance and style. Grossman is responsible for the English translations of a number of titles by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, including Love in the Time of Cholera, as well as the 2003 translation of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic Don Quixote.

Though many acknowledge that translation is an art form, there are plenty of others who hold translation in lesser regard, not giving it the credit it is due. It’s possible they consider translation a technical task, something a translator can plow through, dictionary in hand. Grossman takes offense to this, and she details the importance of translation in her forthcoming book, Why Translation Matters (release date March 30, 2010).

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Digital Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

posted March 5, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling E-books books publishing technology trends

A Picture of a eBook
Image via Wikipedia

People seem to have very strong feelings about digital media. It seems every day I read articles embracing digital media and articles dismissing it. And even within the differing camps there is discord—Kindle vs. iPad vs. whatever the e-readers from Sony and Barnes & Noble are called. Putting aside the nuts and bolts of publishing costs, I just don’t understand what the big deal is. If you want to read books on paper, then read books on paper. If you want to read ebooks, go right ahead. Can’t we all just get along?

One thing on which we can probably all agree is that the traditional publishing model is outdated and needs to be modernized. So, whichever tribe you belong to, you might find some humor in this tongue-in-cheek article from The Atlantic.

Giant Robot Magazine Needs Our Help

posted February 26, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in publishing

I remember back when Giant Robot Magazine first started up. It was some 15 years ago and launched by two young UCLA graduates. The magazine focuses on Asian and Asian-American popular culture, and it introduced me to a brave new world of artists, designers, musicians, movies, trends, food, and more. The magazine has spawned several Giant Robot stores/galleries, as well as a restaurant, gr/eats, and it has launched the careers and boosted the visibility of a number of artists and musicians, including Japanese artists Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara.

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