23 Mar 2 Seas in San Francisco
By Marleen Seegers – first posted in March 2013.
Just before setting off on our Spring 2013 European tour we paid a visit to the lovely city of San Francisco. It’s about a 6-hour drive from our office in Ojai, which according to American standards is right around the corner. In my home country the Netherlands, such a ride would take you from the extreme north of the country all the way down to the most southern point, and even further still, into Belgium—everything is relative.
We go to San Francisco about twice a year, and each time we try to get the most out of it. As this recent Publishing Trendsetter article pointed out, there’s a lot going on in the Bay Area publishing scene!
This time, we had the chance to visit HarperOne‘s offices, located downtown in the financial district, where VP, Deputy Publisher Mark Tauber gave us a warm welcome and introduced us to his team. Besides discussing our US rights catalog we had a lively talk about international rights sales in general, and addressed the difficulties of selling titles in translation into the US market in particular. Although they haven’t acquired any titles in translation recently, they did have a few successes in the last couple of years with My Spiritual Journey by the Dalai Lama and Sofia Stril-Rever, translated from the French, and Pim van Lommel’s Consciousness Beyond Life which was translated from the Dutch.
Mark, Marleen and Derek at HarperOne’s offices
We also visited the legendary City Lights Bookstore, which was recently named one of the world’s greatest bookshops by Lonely Planet. While celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, it hasn’t lost any of its charm from back in the days of the Beat Generation and it’s still central to the city’s vibrant cultural scene. If you get the chance to visit, check out their beautiful selection of books in translation, some of which are published by the publishing house bearing the same name.
We can’t wait to return to San Francisco again and further explore its lively publishing scene. But now it’s about time to get ready for Amsterdam, Paris and London!