Marketing coordinator Gelsey White visits NordSüd Verlag
In August, marketing coordinator Gelsey White traveled to the NordSüd Verlag office in Zürich, Switzerland. NordSüd is the parent company of NorthSouth Books, and is home to the editorial, marketing, and foreign rights teams for the German and licensed editions of NorthSouth’s books. International connection and cross-cultural appreciation are staples of NorthSouth’s mission, and it is through this collaboration and understanding that NorthSouth is able to bring books from across the world to the hearts of readers in the US. Read on for a bit about the NordSüd office and some fun in the Swiss sun as well!
Welcome to NordSüd! Come into the office with me for the first time, in the heart of the bustling Oerlikon quarter.
First impressions, as they say, are everything, and NordSüd makes quite the impression with their book wall. As I step into the office I am greeted by the newest releases proudly displayed; I am immediately reminded that the priority of NordSüd is, at its heart, the books. As NordSüd often publishes books one season or even a year before NorthSouth, I hold printed copies our upcoming books such as the spring 2024 title There are No Dragons in This Book and the fall 2024 title Wacky Witches and Their Peculiar Familiars. I particularly like the German translation of Wacky Witches. . . “Hippe Hexen”!
After I settle into the office, say hello to the faces I recognize from virtual calls and photos, and get a proper introduction to the espresso machine, I sit down with Associate Publisher Andrew Rushton. We discuss the history of NordSüd Verlag and NorthSouth Books, along with our guiding principles and how we see the NorthSouth program developing.
A week in the NordSüd office means an opportunity to meet with the different departments and gain insights that will help me support our US books and artists. I meet with Rights and Licensing Associate Lena to learn about licensing into different languages, product licensing, and international fairs. The editorial team (Elena, Naomi, and Andrea) and I discuss projects in-the-works and some potential manuscripts and I participate in their weekly editorial meeting. As the week progresses on I meet with the marketing team (Nina, Jacqueline, and Anna) to discuss branding, procedures, and marketing strategies in Europe and the US.
A highlight of the NordSüd office is the archive, an active collection of titles including the first edition and most recent printing of every book. This archive holds an extensive history over 60 years in the making, and allows anyone to see where NordSüd has been and where it is going. Another highlight is the guestbook. Can you recognize the artist of this entry?
While in Zürich, I also have the opportunity to explore the city. Of course on the top of my list are the various bookstores, where I enjoy perusing the children’s section. Look at all the NordSüd titles! While it is fun to see the books in the office, it is truly rewarding to see them out in the world. I even spot a couple of our titles at the Zoo Zürich.
After a busy week in the office–full of hugs, laughter, hellos and “see you laters”–the week has too quickly come to an end. Now I have the opportunity to explore Zürich for the weekend. While the week started off cloudy, by the weekend the sun is out and the city is alive. And the best thing to do when the the temperature is a cozy 25 degrees celsius and you are on Lake Zürich is go for a swim!
After the first impression, the final impression is also long-lasting. As I fly high over Zürich I look down on the rolling mountains and parceled farmland, tiny cars moving like ants and rivers cutting into the earth like snakes. The different perspective reminds me of a picture book–it takes many small details to cultivate a book, but a reader gets to see the final product, the expansive and breath-taking world a book can bring you to.
Now both you and I have more of an insight into our parent company. NorthSouth is truly international!
Thank you to the NordSüd team for such a warm welcome. Until next time, ciao!