A professional stay for publishers in Paris: interview with Giorgia di Tolle (Casa Editrice Nord, Milan)
Giorgia di Tolle has a degree in Cultures and Languages for Communication from the Università Statale di Milano and a Masters in Publishing from the Mondadori Foundation. She began working for Edizioni Nord in Milan in 2008, where she is currently junior editor. She also translates novels and short stories by authors such as James Rollins and Glenn Cooper. From 28 May to 3 June 2023, she took part in a professional stay for publishers organised by BIEF (Bureau International de l’Édition Française) with the support of SOFIA (Société Française des Intérêts des Auteurs). Publishers from some fifteen European and non-European countries took part in this initiative, the aim of which was to provide an overview of the book market in France.
How did you hear about this training initiative and why did you decide to apply?
I decided to apply because it’s a unique opportunity to learn more about a foreign market and to come into contact with publishing professionals from all over the world. I had already done a similar experience in Germany in 2016 and it was extremely instructive, so when I heard about the scholarship organised by BIEF, I immediately applied.
How did the course go? What aspects did you particularly appreciate?
On the first day, we were welcomed at the BIEF headquarters, where we were given an interesting overview of the French publishing market, with an emphasis on the key role played by independent bookshops. The following days were devoted to visits to a number of Paris publishing houses, during which we had the opportunity to discover their history and editorial lines, and to exchange ideas and impressions about our respective markets. The value of these meetings lies in the fact that they allow us to talk to professionals who would otherwise be difficult to meet, because they are not used to attending trade fairs, such as marketing departments.
For you and your current role at Editions Nord, has this Paris experience been fruitful?
Very much so. Exposure to other experiences is always enriching. Italy and France are very close countries, including from a publishing point of view: Italian readers love French authors and vice versa, just look at the success Valérie Perrin has had here or the enthusiasm with which readers on the other side of the Alps have welcomed Stefania Auci‘s novels. Yet these are extremely different markets, each with its own specific characteristics. Knowing and understanding what our publishing realities have in common can only improve my work at Editions Nord.
Your training days coincided with the second Paris Book Market. Were the exchanges with the French publishers fruitful?
I think the Paris Book Market is one of BIEF’s most ambitious and successful initiatives: unlike all the other fairs, it is exclusively dedicated to the sale of French rights. So it’s also an opportunity to meet smaller publishers and promote the translation of French books.
Finally, one last question about your work at Editions Nord: what projects are you currently working on?
At the moment, I’m editing an Italian novel, as well as reading and researching new Italian and foreign voices, while at the publishing house we’re preparing the launch of Passaporto verde (La Poule et son cumin) by Zineb Mekouar, a French novel which will be out at the end of August and which testifies to the increasingly close links between our two countries.