Sunmark Publishing Rights Highlights
and NEWS Mail--February 2018 Issue
January 1st is the beginning of a brand-new year, but who decided that? It was Julius Caesar who appointed this day as the first day of the year in 45 B.C., then Pope Gregory XIII later revised it in the 1580s in what we now know as the Gregorian calendar. In Japan, our government officially adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1873.
It’s all about calendar management, which is essentially applying a man-made template over the movement of the Earth relative to the sun and the moon. This is an idea that every culture has had as a way to manage its society. It’s very systematic and scientific.
But we’re fond of the idea of the calendar for emotional reasons too. The idea of the “first day” or the “last day” of a year is exciting. Preparing a new calendar or new diary is a special ritual. Celebrating the special days with family and friends is always fun. Making a list of New Year’s resolutions gives us a sense of hope and a bright future. There is so much to say about this time of the year!
All the best wishes for 2018!
If you have any questions or inquiries about this NEWS Mail, please contact Ms. Shino Kobayashi, Rights Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Now we have another million-seller book!
The “Trunk Muscle Reset Diet” That Top Models Have Kept Secret by Kenichi Sakuma has sold more than one million copies in Japan as of the end of 2017. This marks the 8th million-selling book for our company, and following Even the Stiffest People Can Do the Splits by Eiko, which hit the million mark in 2016, now we have had million-selling books two years in a row.
First published in May 2017, Sakuma’s book became a bestselling fitness book in major national chain bookstores and kept up constant sales throughout the year. The sales numbers were about 600,000 by the beginning of December 2017. Then a miracle happened. A popular TV program picked up this book’s concept and made an hour-long documentary
featuring the author as a dieting trainer to a well-known singer and an actress. Following this TV program, sales numbers accelerated enormously. With an amazing reaction from the TV audience, sales went up to a million by the end of 2017.
As in rights sales, now the translation rights have been sold to Taiwan, Korea and China, and the Taiwanese edition will be published soon this year.
Editors of the Month
My motto as an editor is to inform readers about serious topics in a humorous manner. This is a great influence from my grandfather, who was the owner of a secondhand book shop. He was a unique guy. Whenever I visited him, he offered me some juice poured into a beaker. As a small child, I was very excited about this, using this unfamiliar professional container for drinking my cup of juice. By doing this, I was able to manage numbers at the age of 3! I’m not sure if that was his intention, but through my excitement at using a beaker, I was willing to study numbers. This episode contains the most important essence of my philosophy as an editor.
If the topic is serious, I put some humor into it so that readers will be more interested in it. That gives them a way to study without feeling it’s a duty. Sometimes having fun is more important than being correct.
Talking to the Devil – The Majority Rule : by Mitsuro Sato
574 pages / October 2017 / 1,700 yen (w/o tax)
More impactful than the best-selling book Talking to the God.
An entertaining novel that will change your values.
It’s been three years since Talking to the God was released, selling 200,000 copies. Tired of conventional teachings and ethical rules for success, Mitsuro comes across a chatty devil who asks:
Have good deeds ever led anybody to happiness? The morals that school and your parents have taught you are all wrong. My evil army knows the real way to fulfill all of your desires.
Mitsuro, the impressionable young man was quickly swayed and fell into the hands of the wicked, beginning to doubt all that is “right.” You must know, however, that the ship they rode together wasn’t headed for hell, it was headed for heaven.
This novel will shake your value system to the core, and the devil’s influence will change your life forever.
※ Warning. This story should be handled with care, like an addictive drug.
Those who want to continue living their lives in peace shouldn’t pick it up.
Chapter 1 Be suspicious of what’s correct
All of your troubles are caused by correctness
New possibilities exist only in unexplained territory
Chapter 2 Angry heroes
Bad people are always smiling
Save yourself from anger by throwing away expectations
Chapter 3 Human suit
Reversing time is scientifically possible
Nothing’s ever made you more unhappy than happiness itself
Chapter 4 Your body’s a temple
The world is a real matrix
Who is really in control of you?
Chapter 5 Amulets that became threatening
There are film clips that show every moment of your life
Before you were somebody, you were nobody
Chapter 6 The apple’s request
Possessions are all an illusion
Letting go of control is also exercising control
Chapter 7 Good day mania
A game that takes life from one extreme to the next
After that, all days become good days
Chapter 8 The beginning of the universe
How do we know whether the world exists or not?
You and the world are exactly the same age
Chapter 9 The world is made up of a war of misunderstandings
This world is made up of misunderstandings
A demon’s method for misunderstanding
Chapter 10 A good way to decrease your luck
Nobody has the power to improve their luck
A request from the top god of the universe
Chapter 11 You are the universe’s back scratcher
If there’s an afterlife, then why not a parallel universe?
Why do we experience déjà vu and precognitive dreams?
Chapter 12 There is nothing wrong with you
Everybody commits wrongdoing
Doing things the right way creates frustration
Chapter 13 “Impossible” is an excuse for those who can’t move past what is “right”
Everything is, except for what isn’t
Don’t hold a single “correct” opinion!
It took three years, but after much trial and error, we were able to make a powerful sequel to Talking to the God. The next important conversation you have will be with a demon. If you think that speaking to a demon brings you bad luck, you are very wrong! If you think about it, all people you would refer to as demons, like evil political leaders and crime bosses, always seem to be having fun.
That’s right. Demons are free of troubles because they lack common sense. An editor on our staff said, “I became so immersed in this book that I forgot about the proofreading deadline.” I took it as a first-class praise!
203 pages / November 2017 / 1,400 yen (w/o tax)
The Science of Design professor’s method to improve your deep thinking skills
☆ The definitive book on how to think by a current design professor at Kyoto University
☆ Stop pretending you understand. What’s the secret to thorough thinking?
☆ The essence of deep thinking is hidden in one “technique”
☆ Improve your problem-solving ability with “focused thinking”
The concept of this book involves building up your mental stamina to become able to think more thoroughly. Many people aren’t good at thinking logically, or give up too easily without thinking things through. A large number of books on thinking have been published due to a universal societal desire to improve the power of thinking.
But what exactly is “thinking power?” It’s an obscure concept, and it’s difficult to pinpoint what needs to be done in order to improve the way we think. Professor Kawakami points out that the obscurity of “thinking power” is what makes it a difficult technique to improve.
Professor Kawakami does research on “inconveniences” and teaches a science of design class at Kyoto University. He aims to resolve what he calls our “thinking troubles” and help us improve our thinking skills. In this book, he tackles questions such as:
・What is thinking?
・What does “I thought it through” mean?
・How can you improve your ability to think?
“Just as actually running helps you to run faster, you have to run your thoughts in order to improve thinking stamina.” To go along with these words, Kawakami provides numerous hints on how to think deeply, in a thorough, step-by-step style.
So what phenomenon holds the secrets to deep thinking?
After reading this book, you’ll find yourself having more thinking stamina and will experience “focused thinking.” This book has the answers to the mysteries of deep thinking.
Chapter 0 The essential point of deep thinking
Chapter 1 Why do people who use pencils seem more capable of deep thinking?
Chapter 2 Numbers aren’t needed for clear explanations
Chapter 3 People with pencils have the ability to “trace”
Chapter 4 The courage to do away with “important things”
When I heard there was somebody at Kyoto University doing research on “inconveniences,” I quickly sought out Professor Kawakami with a book idea.
I learned that Professor Kawakami’s studies were originally focused on the convenience of AI technology. When he explained that he felt unable to go along with the conventional thinking of an increasingly convenient society after studying beneficial inconveniences, we started drafting a book about the power of thinking.
This is a book that focuses like no other does on what’s really important for thorough deep thinking. Read it to experience truly deep thinking firsthand.