Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Chinese Business Etiquette readies for new release

Now that the Olympics are over, it’s back to business! Dreaming of selling every person in China 1 widget and a thingie? Learn the ropes, and fast, with our just-launching Chinese Business Etiquette: The Practical Pocket Guide by business expert Stefan H. Verstappen. This short handbook covers everything from travel tips to negotiating strategies, with insight into culture and demeanor to help you figure out what’s going on and what you need to do to succeed. Competition is fierce. Personal connections count like nowhere else. Are you prepared? Preorder today!

Here’s what Stefan has to say about how to deal with one very popular technique for making you vulnerable during your business trip:
Chinese negotiators have been known to wear down foreign negotiators by various diversions and extended discussions. Taking clients out for a dinner, karaoke, and drinking games into the early hours of the morning before important meetings is a favorite tactic.

By preparing yourself and insuring due diligence ahead of your trip, you will be better able to deal with unexpected developments and make smart decisions despite suffering from lack of sleep and a possible hangover. Treat your trip to China like a marathon race. Pace yourself accordingly. Follow the Confucian model of moderation in all things to help you stay sharp and unfrazzled during what is ordinarily an exhilarating but taxing experience.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Any questions?

From Peter Goodman, Publisher

Thanks to ace publicist and communications master Ari Messer, who has left SBP and will be pursuing a writing career. The only people who make less than publishers are writers! But Ari knows what he's doing and I'm sure will be using his deft sentences and great intelligence to entertain and inform us in some fashion or another for years to come. 
Which explains my I'm taking over the blogging, at least for a while. So as long as I've got the opportunity, let me do a publishing shout-out (absent a proper colophon) to Nina, Reiko, Chris, and Jaime. Hope you guys are all doing well.
It's been a wild year, to say the least. Yohan in Japan went bankrupt, and here in the US so did Cody's Books. We had family connections to both companies, and while we're not a part of either our future plans have certainly been affected. It's been hard knowing that a lot of good publishing people have lost their jobs and that an encyclopedic amount of bookselling intelligence and experience is gone or at best lies dormant.
     I've been reading a lot of gleeful grave-dancing slaps at Yohan. Good riddance to the greedy bastards, I think is the thrust of public opinion. Well, as a one-time member of the Yohan family I can tell you that these were all good people who loved books, not a bunch of rapacious merchants. The Japan market had special costs that probably many of you are unaware of. For example, because many of the bookstores had no expertise in English, the Yohan salespeople had to constantly visit store after store, trimming up the shelves and counting stock. Every book imported had to be removed from its shipping carton and have an inventory tag hand-inserted in it because that's what the retailers insisted on, even though by all accounts it is in practical terms unnecessary, thanks to computers and barcodes. Return rates were high. And as you know, Amazon was pushing big discounts, and fuel charges were soaring (and are you aware that most Yohan stock was flown in from New York so that materials reached Japan soon after publication in the US?).
Look, I'm no apologist for Yohan. Obviously, they did a lot of things wrong. But you need to look at the bookselling industry as a whole and how it's changing. And also look at how consumers demand cheaper and cheaper. Everyone says they're in favor of independent booksellers and independent publishers, but in the end many of us shop at Amazon, Walmart, or wherever we think we can get the best deal. With gasoline in the US topping $4 a gallon (yes, I know that's cheap to you folks who live in Belgium), you can't blame people for stretching their dollars and trying their best to survive. Yohan, and Cody's, are in some respects just another Darwinian casualty.
       Well, as long as I'm blogging here for a while, if anyone has any questions for me about publishing, Stone Bridge, or what's up, just leave a comment here. 
     And I'm always interested in the next big thing. Any trends out there you think we should know about?

Monday, August 11, 2008

China Today

Larry and Qin Herzberg, authors of China Survival Guide, the first humorous guide to travel in China, are featured on the Calvin College website today, and the news story includes a clip from their forthcoming educational video about China.

Read the article and watch the video:

China Today: Chapters 1-3 & 22 from Calvin College on Vimeo.

Be sure to grab a copy of the China Survival Guide if you're heading overseas (or if you're already there). And if you're watching the Olympics and marveling at the lauded and shrouded architecture in Beijing, it might be time to pick up Frank S. Fang's China Fever, which details the economic and political history of growth and land use in China.

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Astro Boy Essays on Animated Views

Over at Animated Views, Raz Greenberg reviews Frederik L. Schodt's The Astro Boy Essays, writing that Schodt's story of Osamu Tezuka and his best-known creation, Astro Boy, is "wonderful...[the] first comprehensive study in English about one of the most important people in the history of both comics and animation." (read more...)

Another reminder to read the book on the plane to London for the Tezuka retrospective in September!

Wear Your Crazy Wisdom: Smiling Budd(n)a now at Cafe Press

If you have been enjoying Wes "Scoop" Nisker's new book, Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again!, then you were likely as mesmerized as we were by the cover design.

Now that same Buddha-in-DNA is available in countless different shapes and sizes, from coffee mugs to t-shirts, at Cafe Press.

And while we're at it, Obama Kana and Anime Classics Zettai! designs are still available!

Friday, August 01, 2008

McCarthy to curate major Tezuka retrospective

We're excited to announce that Anime Encyclopedia co-author Helen McCarthy will be curating the first major retrospective in the West of Osamu Tezuka, Japan's "God of Manga." The film festival will take place at the Barbican in London, September 18-24.

The full lineup is yet to be confirmed, but McCarthy told us that many of the films will be screening in the UK for the first time, and there have been some sneak peaks popping up around the Web...

The Astro Boy Essays, Frederik L. Schodt's remarkable book about Astro Boy, the manga/anime industry, Tezuka, and Schodt's personal relationship with the master artist, is available now. Take a copy with you on the plane, and we'll see you in London!