Remembering the Kanji and Publishing in the Post-Kindle Age

June 9, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Date: Monday, June 21, 2010
Place: 2F Wesley Center, 6-10-11 Minami Aoyama; a map is here.

You can divide the writers of this world into two camps: the ones who actually produce books, scripts, articles, essays, poetry, blogs and so on, and those who hoard the magic and insights in their heads and seldom—or never—let it out into the real world.

Newsflash: If you’re stuck in the second camp, don’t you think it’s time to be bold and let the good stuff flow.

We bet best-selling author Dr. James W. Heisig will inspire you to do just that. FYI, just listing his various publication credits takes over fifteen pages. So will our second presenter, Hugh Ashton, who took an alternative route to publishing his “alternative past” novel Beneath Gray Skies, which included getting it into the e-reader realm. And our own Cindy Mullins will be on hand to answer questions about the traditional book publishing route. It’s a rare opportunity to get your questions answered about the potential of your own publishing project. At least we’ll try!

Remember that we’re at our stylish new venue, the Wesley Center, and serving up delicious obento from To the Moon and Back.

Combination Plate #1

“Boys and Girls, Be Prolific!”

When you know just how much literary work Jim Heisig has produced, you wonder how he does it and whether he ever sleeps.

That’s because good-humored professor of the Faculty of Arts and Letters at Nanzan University has written, edited or translated nearly sixty books in ten languages, along with literally hundreds of other pieces. That output includes the 19-volume Nanzan Studies in Religion and Culture and Essays in Japanese Philosophy series, A Study of C. G. Jung’s Psychology of Religion, and his acclaimed Remembering the Kanji series. Around two hundred thousand copies of the latter books are already out—including French, German and Spanish versions—and Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Hungarian and Polish editions are on the way. (Proposed translations into Esperanto and pig Latin, he notes, were unceremoniously rejected.)

Dr. Heisig will describe his working process, including how he teams up with translators to devise just the right examples and mnemonic devices for each language. He’ll also tell us some fascinating stories about what he does with his royalties.

Combination Plate #2

“Publishing in the Post-Kindle Age”

Getting published for the first time has never been more difficult, as publishers refuse to take any risks with new authors. Or, paradoxically, have ebooks made it easier for new authors to publish than ever before? For the past year or so, Hugh Ashton has been experiencing the pains and perils of independent publishing, and discovering the quirks and the hassles of the move from paper to ebooks, as he brings his novel, Beneath Gray Skies, to the public. He will be talking about what he has learned from his experiences and will attempt to answer questions, along with literary agent Cindy Mullins, in this round table discussion.

Hugh Ashton came to Japan over 20 years ago as a technical writer, and has been writing ever since in a variety of business and creative fields. He is a regular contributor to various magazines, and writes on his blog about the wide range of matters that catch his interest from time to time.

Cindy Mullins has worked with authors and global publishers in seven countries on four continents, and is shamelessly using the MT seminars to meet with authors and answer questions, because she can no longer respond to every request for coffee and a chat about a book. Nice problem to have! Storytellers are among her favorite people.

We’re looking forward to seeing you on June 21!

The Media Tectonics Team


Date: Monday, June 21, 2010
Time: 6:30 p.m., dinner (catered by To the Moon & Back) and networking; 7 p.m., seminar begins
Location: Wesley Center, 2F, 6-10-11 Minami-Aoyama
Cost: 3,000 yen (prepaid, by June 18); 4,000 yen at the door

Be sure to take advantage of the prepayment discount, and let us know you’re coming so we can be kind to the environment with an accurate food order!

RSVP by sending an email here, and transferring funds to:

Resona Bank
Shibuya Branch: 473
Account Type: Futsu
Account Number: 1804222
Account Name: 4M Associates

Or pay via Paypal:


Give us a call if you have trouble finding the new space: 090-2451-0697

About Cindy Mullins
Cindy Mullins has loved books and languages ever since her mom began dropping her off on Saturdays for “Story Hour” at the Carnegie-built library of the small southern U.S. town she grew up in. She came to Tokyo in 1985 to study Japanese, taught English for a time on Shikoku Island, and still calls Japan home. A respected member of Japan’s publishing industry for over two decades, Cindy has done everything from producing and running magazines and journals to acquiring titles for major publishers like Charles E. Tuttle and John Wiley & Sons and shepherding them into print.


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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joseph Tame, Brett Fyfield, Kimberly Tierney, Dave Furstenau, japangaijin and others. japangaijin said: RT @tamegoeswild: 'Remembering the Kanji' author James Heisig to speak at Media Techtonics […]

  2. […] myself to the world I shall be talking tomorrow (21 June) in Tokyo at the Media Tectonics meeting, about the joys of publishing your own work. As always, though I have a pretty good idea in […]

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