Publisher and President, Sunmark Publishing Inc.
The history of content has changed from long form to short form. In the world of film, the feature-film-length movie soon became the television program to be enjoyed in one’s living room. From the emergence of YouTube, we now have the short videos of TikTok.
For print media also, we have seen similar trends towards short-form content – from books, to blogs, to Twitter. In other words, history is changing from a long game to a short game. In an age overflowing with services where everybody is busy, creators are competing for users’ disposable time with “short content” while keeping production time and staff involved to a minimum.
In this time at the height of the short game, books represent the long game. A single book can have 100,000 words and take hours to read. It takes months or years for the author and editor to shape this book’s manuscript and then the efforts of many more people to bring the book out into the world.
Does the book still have a place in such a world? I believe without a doubt that it does. This is because books contain all the energy of the author, which then has the power to change the life of the reader. Humans need the support of words. We create encounters between people and words. We put this thought into our message of “a book of energy in the palm of your hand.”
One characteristic of books is how an author and editor devote their lives to creating a single volume. This becomes the “first drop” which then spreads through the world like a ripple. Our publication of former-honorary president of Kyocera, Kazuo Inamori’s book A Compass to Fulfillment (Ikikata) sold 1.5 million copies in Japan and rippled out to China, where it became a megahit selling over 6 million copies. Marie “Konmari” Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has sold a record 14 million copies worldwide and was turned into a popular Netflix show. After becoming a hit series in Japan with over 1.4 million copies sold, playwright Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s Before the Coffee Gets Cold became a global bestseller and was made into a movie in Japan. A Hollywood adaptation is currently in the works.
Our “first drops” have crossed oceans and become ripples spreading throughout the world.
I like the words of the famous manga artist Takehiko Inoue, known for series such as Slam Dunk ｰ “Challenge the impossible.” These words show Inoue’s faith in his creations. I want us to be a team that is always challenging ourselves to create not just content that anyone can make, but a “definitive book” that will change the times and how people think.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” What we at Sunmark Publishing aim for is to create the first drops that will spread ripples of happiness throughout the world. We want to give the “joy of life” to as many readers as possible. In this era of great change for the publishing industry, we will continue to challenge the world with the power of our team.
How do you recognize great writing? For some, great writing is when a reader doesn’t realize they are actually reading and they simply start to see…they see inside the author’s mind. Great writing isn’t just about the text. It’s about the vision it creates.
All Sunmark employees ascertain the possibilities for a new book and work as one team to actively promote it. By doing so, the one book promotion can lead to 10 times the initial response and at times even more than a hundred times the response.
If you just edit a book to give it a theme that you think might be popular, you will only end up scattering the energy that the author put into the book. By focusing on an unusual, yet essential part that maybe even the author had never realized, you can produce a book that is full of the author's original energy.