It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of another year. I want to reach out to everyone who supported us in 2016, by buying our books, or even just by sharing our content online and offering us feedback. It’s been another year of growth and learning and I'm still really excited about the projects that we brought to life in the last 12 months, and for the next 12 months too.
I wish everyone a wonderful December and I hope your start to the new year is fun and fruitful! We will be spending it here in Osaka before going to Taiwan for two weeks. This will be our last Christmas in Asia.
In this post I want to do a quick round up of 2016 and mention some things that are exciting me about 2017.
Books Sold in 2016: 1688
This is really great to see. It proves to me that there is a market out there who are interested in the work that The Velvet Cell aims to promote. Our big efforts now need to be on reducing our expenses so we can start to make some profit at last.
One of the books I read this year called The Slight Edge (recommended!) talked about how the little actions, built up over time, can have a compound effect. I believe this can be seen with The Velvet Cell. Every year our sales go up slowly. It’s not massive growth, but it’s encouraging to see.
Our biggest release was Mountains and Waters, which was our second book with Alexander Gronsky. You can read the story behind this book here. I have been really happy with the reaction to this book. Alexander has such wonderful fans who really connect with his work. I am more than proud to represent some of the amazing projects that he does.
We also added two new City Diaries to our expanding series with Peter Bialobrzeski with Wolfsburg and Taipei. I am really glad to see how this series is growing, with many more great titles in this series planned. I love seeing the new cities being added to this series and long may it last.
We also had a number of new individual releases such as Jakarta: Modest Interventions and Minor Improvisations by Isidro Ramirez, American Motel Signs by Steve Fitch and Materialities: Pocket Essays. Thanks to everyone who supported these books!
This year we also completed our first survey to help us better understand who was buying our books and how we could continue to make books you are interested in. For us, TVC has a very distinct identity and we were curious to see if that was reflected in the tastes of our fans. It was! Over 70% of respondents said their primary interest was in projects about architecture, cities and the built environment - which is exactly how we identify ourselves as a publishing house. We also learnt that Norilsk, by Alexander Gronsky, was our reader’s favourite book from our entire catalogue, with Cairo Diary coming in close behind.
Thanks again to everyone who took the time to take the survey - it did not go unnoticed!
This year we also launched TVC Journal to promote a wider conversation about architecture and cities relating to photography. I have been wanting to do this for the longest time, but I just couldn’t find the time to focus on it with everything else going on.
We want to create a more accessible brand that is about more than just selling books. We wanted to share some behind the scenes moments with you to give you a better idea of where the books come from and why they are published. I am not used to writing so much but It’s something I really looking forward to building on over the next year and beyond.
We are already working hard on some new books for 2017. In Nov 2016 we printed five new titles in Taipei that will be released in early 2017. Just last week I received the advance copies and they look beautiful! I am so excited to share them with you guys.
After four years in Asia, I have decided that 2017 will be the year that we move back to Europe. My two years each in Taiwan and Japan have both been life-changing experiences for me that I will never forget. I fulfilled a long time dream of mine to live on a different continent and it has not disappointed. My experiences here have made me a better person and really taught me what I want and don’t want in my life.
But, ultimately, I find that life as an expat here in Asia too limiting. I have never felt truly at home. I have so many plans and dreams for the future and I can’t realise them here in Asia. I hope to come back often to visit, but I do not want to live so far away from family and friends again for a long time.
Thanks again to you all - let’s make 2017 even better!