I need your help. I am reaching out to people to see if they know someone who could use a copy or two of the Japanese (i.e. translated) version of Dear Miss Breed by Joanne Oppenheim.
With great support from a few of my friends in California, I am starting a campaign to save the Japanese version of Dear Miss Breed from the shredders on October l that will run through October 31.
The company in Tokyo that published the translated book approached me, since I was the translator, to get me to agree to destroy the remaining inventory of the book. The initial print was 6,000 copies and after three years of sales, the book sold a little shy of 5,000.
Because book sales have slowed, they were concerned about the financial burden of carrying the inventory considering the publishers' cash flow and the interests and taxes that would continue to incur.
Regardless of what I think about the amount of marketing that was spent promoting the book, I understand their predicament. However, I am horrified at the thought of shredding all these books. When I mentioned the situation to my friends in the U.S., they came to the rescue by saying they would ask their friends who can read Japanese to purchase the books. I am deeply grateful to all who provided support and took action toward this campaign.
I tried to research what the norm was for Japanese book publishing. How many they print initially seems to be a big trade secret. The general practice has been to print a few thousand copies for unknown works, unless it was the latest from proven, well-known authors.
The book reviews that come out after publication often determine the amount of sales. The publisher will do a second print only when sales soar. I got the impression that five thousand copies was generally the first target. The next level up is 10,000. If the book sells over that amount, the project is deemed to be a real success.
I would appreciate it very much if you could help spread the word about this campaign. Attached is a copy of the advertisement that will run in the October 1st issue of San Diego YuYu newspaper. The book publisher is offering the book at a special discounted price during the month of October. Please click on the ad for a larger view.
Thank you very much for your kind support and help.