Jul 22, 2012
6:00 am - 9:00 am

Speaker: Robin Birtle

In North America, the publishing industry is undergoing a transformation as witnessed by the explosive growth in ebook sales and the threat of a dominant online retailer. Ebook publishing in Japan has been largely restricted to manga, but there are a number of initiatives under way which have the potential to take the Japanese ebook market to a mainstream audience. For translators, though, the changes in Japan’s domestic publishing industry are perhaps secondary to a little discussed, but potentially highly disruptive, shift in the global market for publishing. Digital distribution allows authors and publishers to bypass entirely the traditional routes to an overseas audience provided they can gain access to local marketing expertise and translation skills.

The first half of this presentation will be a review of the current state of the US, European and Japanese ebook markets. The second half of the presentation will focus on the changes arising in the global publishing marketplace and will suggest new opportunities that may arise for the translators participating in this part of the industry.

Speaker profile:
Robin Birtle is the founder of Sakkam Press, a digital publisher based in Tokyo and London, and is an authority on the Japanese ebook market. Robin earned his stripes as Head of Media Asia for Reuters, where he witnessed first-hand the disruptive effect of the Internet on the news business. During this period he introduced one of Asia’s first content syndication platforms and a comprehensive range of offerings that allowed Reuters to be a preeminent player in this new market. Today, the Internet frontier has moved to the consumerization of all digital content, and Robin is now focused on ebook publishing, working with a number of organizations to make ebooks a fully-fledged competitor to games, music, video and other content forms.

Date: Saturday, July 21, 2012
Time: 14:00-17:00
Doors open: 13:30 Starting time: 14:00
Place: Forum 8, Shibuya (
Address: Dogenzaka 2-10-17, Shibuya, Tokyo
Phone: 03-3780-0008
Cost: JAT members free, Non-members 1,000 yen (advance registration not necessary)

Koryukai: from 17:15
Venue: Failte
Cost: 2,000 yen (food only/cash bar)
Inquiries: [email protected]

With the kind assistance of Terry Saito, the July TAC meeting will be streamed for exclusively to JAT members. TAC member Hideaki Maruoka and JAT webmaster Charlie Aschmann have created a page on the website for streaming which can be accessed here:

Please note that you will need to enter the password displayed at the top of the page to view the broadcast.