Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Spanish publishing house thrives during the recession - Jirones de azul.

Interview with Rosa García Perea, Coria del Río (Sevilla) 1965
Rosa García Perea is a Spanish poet, author of “Las tres miradas del Cíclope” and “Como las manos de Pandora”, amongst others. She has taught Creative Writing and is now at the helm of the publishing house Editorial Jirones de Azul together with Esperanza García. Her first novel, Mesa para una (Table for one) will be published in October.

LCL.- What is your definition of success?
RGP.- Success is the unexpected prize you get after years of working hard and when you´ve almost stopped believing your project will come through.

LCL.- Do you think you´ve achieved it?
RGP.- I will say what Oscar Wilde said: a fool never recovers from success. That´s why I like to believe that I haven´t achieved it yet. It´s but a mirage.

LCL.- When and why did you launch the publishing house Jirones de Azul?
RGP.- Jirones started out as an e-zine in 2004, and then went to print version in 2006. In 2005 I turned 40 and I didn´t want to let such a significant age fly by without making one of my dreams come true. I also thought Seville, Spain was in need of a publishing house that opened the doors to new voices. So the first business day of 2006, I did the paperwork to establish my company. The first few months were hard, but special. I would do it all over again.

LCL.- What were your biggest challenges?
RGP.- Even though I had worked in marketing, I didn´t know the publishing business. It was also undergoing a shift – from paper to digital. And in 2006, one of the worst global recessions hit. It was like trying to sell books in a war zone.
But instead of backing off, we took it as a challenge and it´s made us stronger and be more professional. We´ve learned the hard way and every time we fall, we get up with more enthusiasm.

LCL.- And the biggest satisfactions?
RGP.- Professionally, looking back and seeing that in five years we´ve put over 200 titles out there. Many have become best-sellers, by first-time authors. Personally, when I see my team, smiling and full of energy. That erases any doubts I may have.

LCL.- What personal qualities have helped you start and keep your publishing house going?
RGP.- Mainly perseverance and knowing that I have to get up as fast as possible when I fall. Whining won´t take you places. Having a sense of humor is a must. There is nothing more important than having a sense of humor.

LCL.- What haven´t you done yet?
RGP.- Professionally, I have a lot to left to do. I´m 46 and I would start any project from stratch. I like a challenge.
Personally, I haven´t lived as much as I´d have liked to. My life is full, but I´ve missed out on personal satisfaction by putting a lot into my profession. And I´m missing children. I won´t have them, but they would have made my life fuller. I´m sure they would not have taken one bit away from my professional life.

LCL.- What would you say to those who have dreams they haven´t accomplished yet?
RGP.- Not to be afraid of their mistakes. You learn more from your mistakes than from your success. To surround themselves with good people, those that help you feel good. There is only one secret for success: work and good energy. It´s so simple that it seems impossible.  

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