Japanfs First Literary Agency

Tadashi Onitsuka

The Appleseed Agency


Japanfs first literary agency,The Appleseed Agency,

Created in October, 2001 by Tadashi Onitsuka,is en-

Barking on its fifth year of operation.



 During its first five years, the agency has produced a total of 185 works,with about 30 percent going back to press for a second printing ,

8 titles surpassing the 100,000 copies sold mark to make the bestseller list, and 8 titles making it over the 50,000 copy hurdle.

Most of these bestseller authors were novice writers discovered by Onitsuka himself.

This yearfs gAmazon Meetingsh(Zentaro Ohashi,Daiwa Publishing House),hPrerequisites for a professional Managerh

(Masahiro Origuchi, Tokuma shoten Publishing),and gHiromi Wadafs Alluring Communication Styleh(Hiromi Wada, Daiwa Publishing House)

have already collectively sold mere than 100,000 copies.


 Onitsuka comments, gIn a country where editors usually ask authors to write about a predetermined subject,

our agency is breaking into unexplored, unfamiliar territory.

Four year ago, when I would hand editors my business card, they would often look perplexed, asking

gWhat exactly do you do?h or gSo youfre an editor?h One of the agencyfs success story, selling over 160,000 copies,

is Hiromi Wadafs gGuide to Making Your Business Profitable,h which was initially rejected by over 10 companies because

she lacked popularity .h The agency not only supports debuting authors, but also focuses on preserving the authorfs career by infusing their projects

with a creative and proactive strategy, which, in turn, maintains the agencyfs quality of books.

This is achieved through the companyfs genuine regard and enthusiasm towards the authors.

 Onitsuka continues, gA publisher should push the author to the limits of their ability, guiding them to write about what the publisher wants.h


Onitsukafs discerning eye


 Onitsuka used to be an agent who, though gEnglish Agencyh , sold the rights to translate Japanese titles to publishers on behalf of authors,

Dealing in a variety of genres such as movie script, sports books and nonfiction material like business publications.

at international book fairs, where he was able to rub shoulders with literary agents, including those who assisted famous authors like J,K,Rowling and jung

Chang of gWild Swanh in publishing their first books, he was attracted by the western system of literary agents, strides ahead of japanfs industry.


 English Agency presently receive over 20 books each day from countries outside of Japan.

Onitsuka looked over each of the composition of the book from the table of content, and analyzing the contents through the summary.

Once finished this process, he then used his experience to decide whether or not the book would sell.


The main factor contributing to a bestseller


 Of the authors Onitsuka has helped publish, many of the business-related authors, who have combined to sell more than 100,000 copies, have been specialists.

For example, Hiromi Wada specializes in instruction and consulting for the business.

world and Zentaro Ohashi specializes in management coaching. itfs because of their involvement with the industry that they use language and advice that is

relevant to their readers.


 Onitsuka adds, gpeople who have been successful in the business world already possess a great potential to be published.

An added value to publishing these books is that they are always well receive within the authorfs own sector of the business community.h


Taking aim at the TV-movie audience through investment funds


 Of the titles produced so far, one has been made into a TV show, five have been made into movies, and two have been made into manga.

 Shoko Mizutsugifs gThe Love Agentsh (Sony Magagins,2005), a recently published book(initial printing 8000 copies) about a person hired to make or break relationship, is scheduled to be made into a movie in 2006.

Stalking, stake-outs and breakings are all among the devices used to create situations where people can meet, or to be made into a gchange meeting g where love can be realized.

This six episode glove factoryh documentary includes a commentary explaining the process as real people get help.

As well, Mizutsugi published a non-fiction book about major League Baseball.


 Onitsuka comments,

gWhen book is considered for publishing, its potential for being adapted into a motion picture should also be evaluated.

There are titles that, at the same time they are being sold to Japanese publishers, are having their translation right sold to publishers abroad, and are consequently published simultaneously worldwide.h


 Moreover, in October, Eiji publishing, in cooperation with Diwa Publishing House and Appleseedseed Agency, used their investment fund to publish the Korean translation of gAmazing Meetingsh. This style of retail success is receiving more and more attention from Japanfs mainstream publishers who are, them selves, seeking a way to enter into the global publishing market.