Yumiko Hoshiba is the CEO of Discover21, the Japanese publishing company that turned 30 last year. Mostly publishing business, self-enrichment, practical guidebooks, fiction, and educational books, they regularly travel to international book fairs, including Frankfurt, Beijing, and London, on a constant mission to buy and sell rights.
1. What was the last book you read?
Shihonshugi no Shuen, Sono Saki no Sekai (roughly The End of Capitalism and What Lies Ahead) by Kazuo Mizuno
2. What’s next on your reading list?
Why War: Einstein and Freud’s Little-Known Correspondence on Violence, Peace, and Human Nature.
3. Tell us the one thing about your company/business that we need to know.
We are one of the most innovative publishers in Japan.
4. What do you like about your job?
The fact that I get to meet so many interesting, likeable people through my work.
5. What is the single biggest challenge facing the publishing industry right now?
The fact that most information, knowledge, and entertainment is increasingly coming not from printed books, but from the internet instead. That is to say that the idea of exclusive rights for printed material seems to be crumbling away.
6. The one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out in publishing today?
Go out and see the world.
7. Which great novel have you tried to read – but failed?
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty.
8. What was your first job?
I was an editor at a fashion magazine.
9. What do you love about LBF?
The fact that it takes place in London. I always look forward to seeing The Phantom of the Opera every time I visit.