Today’s Publishing Perspectives has a special feature on Europa Editions one of the coolest presses out there. It’s mostly an interview with editor (and translator) Michael Reynolds, who recently moved to New York from Rome to work in Europa’s U.S. office.
PP: How would you characterize Europa’s publishing philosophy?
Michael Reynolds: It’s an extension of the original idea of Sandro Ferri and Sandra Ozzola. They started publishing authors from Eastern Europe in Italy about 35 years ago, when very few other publishers were doing so. Europa Editions is an extension of this same idea. Six years ago when the company was founded there were so few non-anglophone authors being published in America. It struck us as a shame that readers had no access to these authors, and, at the same time, it presented itself as a business opportunity.
PP: How have you developed such an avid fan base in such a short time?
MR: We publish for readers. The kinds of books we acquire, the way we package them, the way that we do outreach and try to create a dialogue with our readers, as opposed to publishing for critical acclaim or academic acceptance; we have our readers in mind at every stage of the process. We have been rewarded for this approach by their enthusiasm. Booksellers, too, are a very important part of that. We give them books that they can feel passionate about, that they can be proud to display, and most importantly that they can sell.
PP: How would you describe your readers?
MR: I would probably put them into two groups. There are those who are curious to read something from another country because it is from another country, and then there is a larger group of readers who don’t really care where a book comes from or what language it was written in. They are interested in an entertaining read, food for thought, quality fiction, a strong story — more or less the same things they look for when they chose any book, by an international author or otherwise. There are many publishers doing work in translation that are really good at reaching the first group of readers, but perhaps less expert in reaching the second group.
Click here to read the entire piece.
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