It All begins with an Idea

by Nobutaka Ueki

ISBN978-4-7631-3840-8 C0030

255 pages / July 2020 / 1,870 yen (tax included)

From the publishing house responsible for 8 million-selling books in 25 years, and 25,000,000 copies sold overseas amidst a slump in the industry.


Revealing the management know-how behind the birth of megahits including The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, How to Live, A Great Revolution in the Brain World, and The “Trunk Muscle Reset Diet” That Top Models Have Kept Secret.

Take a look into the marketing strategy of a small publishing house with under 50 employees responsible for several best- and long-selling books that reached a global audience.

The president and CEO himself details years of trial and error and the cultivation of a creative spirit.


An excerpt from the introduction:

There’s no easy way to create a top-seller, but there are clues that can help you get there. What are the responsibilities of each individual? What are the responsibilities of the company? What things should management be aware of? What initiatives should be taken within the company? I continue to search for these answers.


This revealing look into the way Sunmark Publishing operates will benefit those in industries including but not limited to publishing.

This information is all the more important now as our world experiences a shift in values.

From the table of contents

Chapter 1        Dispel marginal awareness

Chapter 2        Energy moves people

Chapter 3        Don’t drown in your work

Chapter 4        How to make everyone a hit-maker



From the editor

I spoke to Nobutaka Ueki about releasing his own book around 10 years ago. “Releasing my own book from my own company?” he laughed. At the time, it was still unusual for editors to be in the spotlight, and for executives and employees to appear on the same platform. But publishing houses are by nature places that foster creativity and positivity in order to share information and culture. A publisher must enliven and encourage readers by relaying this positive energy through its books. We hope this book detailing Sunmark’s way of life lives up to that standard.


Nobutaka Ueki

Nobutaka Ueki is the President and CEO of Sunmark Publishing. He was born in Kyoto in 1951. In 1976, he graduated from the Kyoto University Faculty of Letters, specializing in German literature.  After working with Shiobunsha Inc, he joined Kyoiku Kenkyu Inc. (currently Sunmark Publishing) in 1978. He was responsible for project planning and editing for top-selling books such as Bogenbyo by Shigemori Hisanori, Discovering How to Live for the Next Decade by Yukio Funai, and the 2nd best-seller (at the time of its release) since World War II, A Great Revolution in the Brain World by Shigeo Haruyama. In both editor-in-chief and managerial roles, in the last 25 years, he has lead the way to the publishing of 8 million-selling books including Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson (1,730,000 copies), How to Live by Kazuo Inamori (1,330,000 copies), How to Never Fall Ill by Shinya Hiromi (1,400,000 copies), and Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Water Knows the Answers by Masaru Emoto sold 3,000,000 copies across 35 countries, while How to Live sold 4,000,000 copies in China. In 2015, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up became a smash in 20 countries. It sold 4,000,000 copies, reaching number 2 on that year. Overseas sales for Sunmark currently amount to 25,000,000 copies. Nobutaka Ueki has held his current position since 2002.