June 16, 2021

Publishers are renewed to hunt the 'millennial' reader | Culture

Publishers are renewed to hunt the 'millennial' reader | Culture

The world of 10 years ago looked more like the one of 40 years ago than today looks like that of 2009. Maybe that's why, says Valeria Ciompi, editorial director of Alliance, talk about the reader millennial as a new species to which the environment is beginning to try to adapt. Because that's how the publishing business works. It is not the species that adapts, but the means that must detect what this new species needs to survive. And what do you need? "He is a very clever reader, but with highly atomized readings, deeply unfaithful, who is very interested in the public. He is someone who wants to form an opinion to be able to discuss what is happening in society but who has not read the classics and is looking for a way to reach them ", answers Marcel Ventura, an experienced editor of 32 years of Today's topics, company that is relaunched with new design and titles of raging news – the biography of the first transsexual boxer, A real man, or Games assembled feminists-, this same month.

The team of the publishing house Blackie Books, on Tuesday 8 in Barcelona.
The team of the publishing house Blackie Books, on Tuesday 8 in Barcelona. THE COUNTRY

"We will be the first seal in Planet that thinks constantly in the time in an imaginary reader of between 25 and 35 years, and we are launching ourselves to a tribal search of niches of market, groups that we intuit that they exist, but whose size we do not know. And we are prepared for everything, "adds Ventura, who is accompanied by two other young collaborators – still in their twenties – who come from the world of journalism. For Ciompi, that the editor is in tune with the reader, that is part of their group, is key. "I can understand literary quality, but perhaps I could not detect what are the subjects that interest someone between 25 and 40 years today," he says. "The generational change is essential for the sensibility of the publisher to remain that of the reader," he adds. "In Alianza, seven years ago we have a young person in charge, Marta Barrio, who perfectly understands the Netflix generation," she says. For Ciompi the generation millennial – born between 1981 and 1996 – is also that of the colossus of streaming

Are those readers more sophisticated? Why is the design of the new Temas de Hoy, for example, committed to the collection, but at the same time for the individuality of each book? "The design is super static, but as we know that we address an unfaithful, somewhat mysterious reader, we want to propose a stamp that does not have so much ego, through a prestidigitation exercise with 31 Pantone tones that will be repeated as over time, "the editor replies. The model is, therefore, different from that of the Spanish publishing tradition that, with stamps such as Anagrama or Tusquets, always opted for chromatic uniformity (yellow or black in those cases) as a sign of identity and loyalty.

For Ventura, in the care of the book, Blackie Books It is a reference. The editorial run by Jan Martí celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018 and its success is indisputable. Good titles, well cared for and a connection with a new kind of reader – or the reader of always needed other kind of attention – enviable. "Young readers have always been, we do not understand why it is millennial as if it were a winged unicorn. Several studies confirm that millennials they read more than other generations. And much more than what others read at his age, "says Martí.

"The history of Blackie Books has very little to do with the search for a target or a specific niche. Our first four books were an essay in pop philosophy, a memoir by a singer-songwriter born in 1963, an anonymous from the 19th century and an American 68 manifesto. Our proposal did not have to do with the generational. We were 27 years old, yes, but we came to say that we looked at the past and the future without fear, that we mixed genres and eras, that we liked different things. We were modern, but not by focusing on the strictly new or by publishing only references of our generation … We were perhaps for our freedom and openness, "argues the editor, for whom" design is important, but books pretty like the kids of 20 and those of 67 ".

The new Trojan Horse.
The new Trojan Horse.

If Alianza tried, a couple of years ago, to approach another type of reader, with a different design, smaller and more daring, and this February will again give a return to what will be called Alliance Literatures, Trojan Horse, seal with guest editors, will this year make the leap to author collection with the design devised by Antonio J. Rodríguez and Luna Miguel for its six titles: a framed gum rose and a combination of objects-dinosaurs, spoons, pistols, shoes-and photos , which not only updates it but also makes it unique.

On the other hand, the designers Manuel Escálpez and Nora Grosse, according to Luna Miguel, have achieved a balance between the signature classic collection, a little thinking about that Gallimard French thing, and the electric anarchy of contemporary American editions. Do not forget the telegenics in the Instagram era. "Sharing the photo of a book on the Internet, after all, is also a way of transmitting the happiness that a text has given us", Rodríguez states.


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