WHAT’S the key to a successful publishing career?

It is to think of the readers and not monetary rewards, said Visprint Inc. Publishing Manager Nida Ramirez in the fourth instalment of the USTingan, a roundtable discussion on issues about writing and publishing organized by the UST Center for Creative Writing and Studies.

“Awards should not be the aim when we publish a book. It should always be the story and whether the readers are going to like it or not,” Ramirez said, adding that branding the book and the author is very important nowadays.

“Publishing is not just about finding a good story, you have to be distinguishable from the rest,” she said.

Held at the Benavides Building last Janaury 29, the publishing forum featured, aside from the Visprint executive, Precious Pages Corp. president Segundo “Jun” Matias and Booksale founder Emmanuel Sison.

Sison, a graduate of the old UST Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, encouraged the audience to continue writing and developing their own voice and style. He said creativity can go side by side with business.

“You can write and still be in business,” Sison said. “You have to organize your resources and think about what you want.”

Meanwhile, Matias discussed the unexpected success of Filipino translations of best-selling international novels.

“[When we found out] that the translated novels were being read by Filipino readers, we realized we should have done it [with other books] much earlier,” said Matias, who is also the founder of Lampara Publishing House Inc.

Some of the successfully translated novels included Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight”; Suzzane Collins’ “The Hunger Games”; and E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

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“[Do not] shy away from reading Filipino,” he said. “Reading English and Filipino [works] is not bad at all.” Andre Arnold T. Santiago

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