Tara Parsons

HarperCollins (USA)
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Please introduce yourself and what interests you have

I am the Associate Publisher for three imprints under The HarperOne Group at HarperCollins Publishers. In addition to overseeing the marketing department for Amistad, HarperCollins Español, and HarperVia, I also acquire and edit my own list of fiction and nonfiction. Some of my recent books include the international bestsellers THE HISTORY OF BEES and THE END OF THE OCEAN by Maja Lunde, Amazon Best Book of the Year ALMOND by Won-pyung Sohn, and THE COLOR OF AIR by bestselling author Gail Tsukiyama.
Prior to HarperCollins, I worked as Editor-in-Chief of Touchstone Books at Simon & Schuster and Editorial Director of Fiction at Amazon Publishing.

Why did you decide to publish Korean books? Why ?

The motto of our new international imprint, HarperVia, is: Books that take you everywhere. We’re looking for stories that introduce readers to new places and perspectives through the language of literature. When I read ALMOND, I was transported. I identified with the characters on an emotional level and felt that US readers would as well. The story of ALMOND celebrates the universal desire for understanding, while taking readers to a different culture and place.

Introduce the process of publishing Korean book in your country e.g.) the way of publishing, the process of marketing and sales, what was the chellange?etc

US booksellers and readers appreciate US authors and like to champion books from “home.” We also sometimes find that US readers are intimidated by translated books. Therefore, in both our marketing and sales initiatives, we sought to highlight ALMOND’s merits as a translated book to those who already champion translated literature here, but also to introduce the universal emotions at the heart of the story to general readers. Pre-publication, we sought advance praise through extensive early galley mailings to authors and US trade publications alike; we presented the book at library and sales meetings; we sent early galleys to a comprehensive list of indie bookstores, book influencers, and bookstagrammers. On publication, we put the book into online promotions, and our advertising used those early blurbs and enthusiasm to harness national reviews, placement, and sales.

Your thoughts on why Korean books gained attention in your country?

A few breakout bestsellers have opened the eyes of readers in the US, but even more so, the store buyers who purchase for independent bookstores, chains, and even mass merchandisers. It seems that everyone now realizes that an original, exciting read can resonate with US readers.

Is there any Korean books catches your mind these days? Are there any Korean books you are interested in?

I’m open to hearing about any new Korean titles for our list! In particular, I’m looking for literary, yet accessible fiction that taps into themes of identity and belonging.

These days, what is the issue in publishing industry in USA?

There are always new challenges in the publishing industry, but I often find energy in thinking about the ways we can harness those challenges to sell books in modern, fresh ways. Right now, physical stores have closed because of the virus, which has made us explore new digital opportunities. The proliferation of other forms of entertainment makes us think about new ways to advertise online. And even the complex political and social movements happening now help ignite our passion for the books we publish and seek to publish more, and better books from diverse perspectives.

Lastly, what do you want to say to the Korean publisher?

Thank you very much for your interest and time. Please send me more of your books, and please tell me more about your lists, your vision, and how we can collaborate. I am very curious to hear about your market, your challenges, and what trends you see in the marketplace.

Please tell us about your company.

Our international imprint publishes fiction and nonfiction, mostly in translation, offering readers a chance to encounter other lives and other experiences, other realities and other points of view. Our imprint celebrates the universal desire for discovery, understanding, and connection through exceptional storytelling, embracing works in translation to open up the field to authors from around the world. Because fiction enlivens conversation and strengthens bonds between cultures, our international imprint publishes stories that spark the imaginations of readers everywhere, regardless of color or creed, nationality or gender.