Europa Editions Turns Ten
This came in today’s email. A big congratulations to Europa Editions!!!
Europa Editions Turns Ten
A Message from the Editor in Chief
Founded in 2005 by Sandro Ferri and Sandra Ozzola Ferri, over the past ten years Europa Editions has earned a reputation for excellence and played an important role in the indie publishing renaissance.
At the outset, we planned to publish a mix of work by international authors in translation and Anglophone authors from America, Britain, and elsewhere. We would publish with a uniform series look in order to build a brand identity that readers and booksellers could trust. We were born independent and are determined to stay independent. Conceived in the years following 9/11, in the words of Europa’s co-founder, Sandro Ferri, Europa “was born with the intention of creating bridges between cultures.” Back then, many people we spoke to told us that Europa Editions would never work. There was no demand for foreign literature in America, they said. Branding does not work with books, they said. Indie publishers get gobbled up by the Big Six (Five now), they said. You can’t build bridges with books, not now, not anymore, they said.
We published our first book, a slim volume by the then-unknown Italian author, Elena Ferrante, in September 2005. It was edited, designed, and printed in Italy, and shipped from Rome’s ancient port of Fiumicino to our distributor’s warehouses in the American mid-west. Thanks to the early support and enthusiasm of reviewers, booksellers, and readers, that book surprised everyone. “Europa Editions has its first indie bestseller,” wrote Publishers Weekly at the time. I don’t think even they realized that it was not only our first best seller: it was our first book!
Europa Editions now releases more than 30 titles a year of high-end crime fiction and quality general fiction, and our notable successes have included Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog; Jane Gardam’s Old Filth; Alexander Maksik’s You Deserve Nothing; and Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, the most recent of which, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, became an international best seller and was named a New York Times 2014 Notable Book of the Year.
Much has changed since 2005, though we still have one foot in Europe, where our production, design, and contracts are done, not to mention much of our editorial strategy decided. However, the support we get from reviewers, booksellers, our sales force, and readers, and its importance for the way we do business, have not changed. We are extremely grateful for this support.
Publishers exist to provide safe passage for an author’s work as it makes its often-perilous way to readers. It is for our authors that we exist. We continue to be inspired by our authors, indebted to their agents, and awed by our translators—it is their work that has made ours possible for the past ten years.
We are planning to celebrate our tenth anniversary as an independent publisher in a variety of ways, from live events, festivities, bookstore collaborations and promotions, to media events and the release of some very big books! These activities will begin early this year and continue throughout 2015. We will be in touch about our plans, and we hope you’ll join us as we celebrate our tenth year in business.
Editor in chief