We sat down with Nadine Sferratore, the marketing and publicity manager at Yen Press. She runs all of the social media (facebook, instagram, twitter, tumblr) with the hopes of engaging the fans. Nadine also ensures that bloggers and reviewers have the information they need to spread the word on Yen Press titles. If that wasn’t enough for you to wrap your head around, she also manages the imprint’s convention presence. Currently, Yen Press goes to Sakura Con, Anime Expo, SDCC, NYCC. Under her charge, she hopes that Yen Press will have visibility at smaller cons. In 2017 we can expect to see Yen Press at Otakon and hopefully other conventions that she has been feeling out. Nadine explained to The Outerhaven that she believes the core fans are at these smaller conventions and that is where she can interact with them and have a more intimate experience.
Now that you know a bit about the lovely Nadine, let’s get to the questions!
Q: When did you first start reading manga?
A: I first started reading manga when I started working for Hachette. So I worked at Hachette for ten years prior to moving over to Yen Press. My son was a fan and he was much younger then so I wanted to peruse what he was reading to make sure the content was okay because he was a little kid. Just from picking it up I just kinda got wrapped up in it. One of my favorites is YOTSUBA. I’m a big fan of the slice-of-life-stuff.
Q: Earlier this year Kadokawa purchased a 51% stake of Yen Press. That had a lot of fans nervous. Explain to us what that actually means.
A: I think this is a good thing for Yen. It means that we have more support from a really big company. I can’t speak to particulars but I think it will help us publish more. I most certainly think the new relationship is beneficial to English readers and I’m really excited
Q:What are some titles you are excited about for 2017?
A: For 2017 we’re really excited about ERASED, KONOSUBA, the new SPICE AND WOLF.
Q: Which titles would you suggest for a newbie to Manga?
A: I would ask them first what their tastes are. Do they like action/adventure? DO they like gaming? Do they like the slice-of-life romance? I think Re:ZERO is a really good one to get into because it jumps off and catches you really quickly. I also think that FRUITS BASKET is a good one. That’s one that is near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts. It’s a nice entry point.
Q: What are you reading right now?
A: Right now I’m reading MY YOUTH ROMANTIC COMEDY. I have to tell you, the main character is just.. that’s a good one for anyone who just got out of high school because you can commiserate with it. Or even someone like me who has been out of high school for a long time you can go back and reminisce and say, you know what it wasn’t just me who had a wonky time in high school. That’s a fun one. I just picked up TODAY’S CERBEROUS that’s a really fun sweet one. DIMENSION W is absolutely one of my favorite series that I read from us so far. It has action it’s a really unique world that the author created so that is a really fun one also.
Q: How do you feel about NYCC this year?
A: You know, it’s really crowded and I feel it’s really hard to engage the fans because they’re just looking for a line. I just wish it was a little more intimate. I think that one of the things that I appreciated this year is that we had our very first panel. Isuna Hasekura came over from Japan. That was an absolutely wonderful experience for us. Fans were really excited. The author seemed to really enjoy engaging with the fans. Other than that I think if it was just a little smaller I would be able to talk to people more. People are rushing from panel to panel or to buy this or that and I just wish I had a chance to talk with fans a little more.
Q: Are you selling any manga so far?
A: We’re actually doing a really good job. I hope we don’t sell out by tomorrow but you know what, selling out is what I want. A lot of fans are coming. I find that a lot of things working for us are manga or light novels tied to anime. So Re:ZERO is doing really well for us. People have been asking a lot about it. We actually sold out of it. DIMENSION W has been a really good one. THE BOY AND THE BEAST – people see that and say ‘oh my god I saw that that movie!’ And same thing for IS IT WRONG TO PICK UP GIRLS IN A DUNGEON? People have been excited and talking about that. What I appreciate is that you hear fans talking to their friends. One person says ‘oh my god I love this’ and then someone else says ‘what is it?’ and they pick it up because someone said it was good.
Q: Which book are you worried about selling out of first?
A: The one here that I am worried about selling out of first is the IS IT WRONG series. We have a really big banner in the front and a big standee right here that people have commented on. So those are the two that I worry are going to be gone and people aren’t going to be able to get it.
Of course, when a book sells out at the booth, never fear because stores still exist! Yen Press books can be purchased at most bookstores or online. To get the more information on forthcoming titles, you can just check out their website: http://yenpress.com