Yore Yore Diary Series Hits 620,000 Copies! One-Person Publisher’s Reversal from 30 Job Rejections | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Yore Yore Diary Series Hits 620,000 Copies! One-Person Publisher’s Reversal from 30 Job Rejections

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Mr. Nakano taking a phone call at a lone publisher

On a certain day of a certain month, a flustered reporter before the interview: Hurriedly buys a souvenir and dashes in sweat!

About 15 minutes before the appointment. If I walk briskly, I might make it in time. But wait,I forgot to bring a souvenir for the interviewee whom I’m meeting for the first time. It feels wrong to just buy snacks from the supermarket near the station. Hmm. Oh, there’s a cake shop right in front of me.

“Excuse me, could I have one set of Western sweets for 2000 yen, please? I’m in a hurry!”

Alright, got the souvenir. Oh no, it’s already 5 minutes before the appointment. Dash, dash! I arrived at the publishing house for the interview, sweating profusely, right on time―.

Above is a depiction of the reporter’s blunder in the style of “Editor’s Tattered Diary.”

The publishing house “San’goshakan Publisher” has achieved a big hit with the “Yore Yore Diary Series,” which humorously portrays the real lives of people in various occupations such as “Traffic Director Yore Yore Diary,” “Non-Regular Care Worker Yobo Yobo Diary,” and “Taxi Driver Guruguru Diary,” totaling 18 volumes and 620,000 copies sold. The reporter hastily purchased the Western sweets and interviewed the sole president of the company, Mr. Nakano Nagatake (47). With no employees or part-timers, it’s literally a one-person company.

From an 8-tatami room surrounded by white walls with just one PC and two desks, Nakano-san, who keeps producing hits, introduces his dynamic life story and the behind-the-scenes of the “Diary Series” hit in his own words.

“Don’t be silly!”

Nakano passionately speaks with the first book of the “Diary Series” in his hand.

“As a child, I always loved books. Biographies of great people, detective novels, and since high school, I’ve been reading non-fiction works by Katsuichi Honda and monthly magazines like ‘The Truth Behind the Rumors.’ But I wouldn’t say I was a complete bookworm. When I graduated from university (Chuo University), I applied to about 30 publishing companies just because I liked books.”

His job hunting efforts resulted in failure with all 30 publishing companies.

“I felt a sense of being rejected, like ‘What the heck!’ It made me angry. I thought, ‘Are those who got accepted really that outstanding?’ At first, I applied to publishing companies half-heartedly, but after failing so much, I became determined to get in no matter what.”

At one point, he even tried to borrow 3 million yen from his parents to start his own publishing company, but was turned down with a “It’s impossible for someone like you who has never even lived on their own.” He decided to try again for job hunting, calling and visiting publishing companies that weren’t even recruiting.

“Some company presidents did meet with me, but getting hired was another story. It’s only natural since I, an inexperienced newcomer, was just barging in. The only place that seemed promising was ‘Sanbunkan.’ After being rejected by publishing company after publishing company, I talked to the president of Sanbunkan for about an hour about being rejected by every publishing company, the kind of books I wanted to create, and so on. He told me to ‘Come back in a week.’ When I did as instructed and went back to Sanbunkan, he said, ‘Let’s do this together.'”

The work was tough.

“I always had to pull all-nighters before the deadline. The president, who was from Kansai, often yelled at me. On my first day at work, when I was copying manuscripts, he shouted, ‘What do you think you’re doing, copying stuff on your own!’ It seemed like everything required his permission. Nowadays, that would be considered harassment. At first, I hardly had any days off, but I had come to the company prepared to work tirelessly, so I didn’t think much of it. I just thought that was how things were supposed to be.”

A turning point came in October 2017. After 17 years since joining the company in 2000, Nakano had been promoted to editor-in-chief. He was summoned by the president to a nearby cafe and was told the following: “We’ve decided to close down the company.”

“There had been rumors that things were bad, but there had been crises before, so I thought we would somehow manage to get through this one too. When I was actually told about the bankruptcy, my mind went blank for a moment, thinking, ‘It’s really over.’ But I’ve always been an optimistic person. So, I thought, ‘Okay, then I’ll start my own publishing company,’ and that’s how ‘Sanbunkan Shinsha’ was born.

No one else would hire me, and it was ‘Sanbunkan’ that took me in and taught me the ropes of editing, so I wanted to keep the name ‘Sanbunkan’ no matter what. ‘Shinsha’ means ‘new company,’ but it also represents my deep apology to those who were inconvenienced by the bankruptcy and my heartfelt gratitude to those who supported me in starting anew.”

“Sanbunkan Shinsha” was established in December 2017. After achieving several successful hits, it made a breakthrough in July 2019 with the start of the “Yore Yore Diary Series.” I’d like to introduce the behind-the-scenes story of the series’ big hit in the second part.

Part 2: Protesting immediately against other companies that publish stolen books… The president of a one-man publishing company, behind the scenes of the “Yore-Yore Diary Series” becoming a big hit.

He became an editor out of sheer determination, even though he was annihilated by 30 companies in his job search.
Other hits include “Zaimu Shinrikyo” and “Writing is not allowed” (both written by Takuro Morinaga)
A simple workplace with one computer and two desks
The strength of his eyes is impressive.
  • PHOTO Sono Aida

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