Nikkei: Shogakukan Plans Simultaneous Multilingual Publishing

posted on by Egan Loo
Newspaper: publisher to sell English edition of noted figure's educational manga in September

The Nikkei Shimbun paper reported on Saturday that the Japanese publisher Shogakukan will delve into the business of multilingual publishing — specifically, publishing in multiple languages (including Japanese and English) simultaneously inside and outside Japan.

In general, the foreign-language editions of Japanese books are sold by overseas companies; it is relatively rare for a Japanese publisher to translate and sell books in other languages such as English in-house. According to Nikkei, such a move would develop the the overseas market (and counteract the shrinking domestic market) and increase the sales of books in English and other languages within Japan.

The first book in this initiative will be Nihon no Mirai ni Tsuite Hanasō (Talk About the Future of Japan), a business book created in collaboration with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which will be published simultaneously in English.

According to Nikkei, the Japanese edition would be sold in domestic bookstores, while the English edition would be sold in North American bookstores, Apple's electronic book service, and other venues. The English edition will be physically printed in North America and sold in cooperation with Kinokuniya Bookstores and other sellers.

A new "multilingual publishing project unit" has been established within Shogakukan to select which books to publish in multiple languages. Nikkei reported that Shogakukan plans to sell the English edition of a noted figure's educational manga in September.

Nikkei notes that Shogakukan has sold the rights for manga and other works to overseas publishers, but from now on, it will handle more of every step in the process from editing and translating to selling.

Shogakukan is one of the joint owners of Viz Media, a North American publisher of manga and other works.


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