Two respected publishing houses, Metaixmio and Alexandria, have formed a joint venture for the Greek release of Yuval Noah Harari’s “Unstoppable Us.”
The new project by the acclaimed Israeli historian, philosopher and best-selling author of “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus,” “Unstoppable Us,” is a four-volume illustrated series written specifically for middle-schoolers on the history of mankind. The first volume, “How Humans Took Over the World,” is slated for worldwide release on October 18.
The Alexandria-Metaixmio partnership for the book’s Greek launch marks a new chapter for the country’s publishing scene.
“Every publishing house has its good and bad sides; we joined our good sides,” Takis Fragoulis, Alexandria’s founder and head of publishing, tells Kathimerini.
Apart from having the rights to the author’s work, Alexandria, for its part, “has know-how and a very strong name,” says Nontas Papageorgiou from Metaixmio.
‘It tells the history of humans since the time we were just apes living in the savannah, until the time we almost became god-like by flying in airplanes and spaceships’
“There is a complementarity with Alexandria,” he adds. “We wanted to give it a go.”
Metaixmio, a leading name in the business, publishes books that appeal to a wider audience and is considered an expert in children’s literature, which accounts for 50% of its turnover. Alexandria has traditionally aimed for an older audience, specializing in studies, essays and prose, while it is also considered one of the best in Greece in terms of translation and editing.
According to the publishers, the partnership will be activated for specific projects, including a “secret” one that is in the pipeline. In the meantime, both companies will continue their own publishing programs, as planned. Alexandria, for example, is working on the three last installments of the five-book series of “Sapiens” in graphic novel form.
The “secret” project, they say, is another graphic novel based on a best-selling book, this time for teenagers.
“We’re excited,” says Fragoulis, adding that he hopes the partnership with Metaixmio serves as inspiration for other publishers in Greece.
“Partnerships make sense when each side has something to bring to the table. The overriding mentality in the field and the fact that most of the businesses are family-owned are not conducive to such schemes, but the fact is that you cannot do everything alone,” notes Papageorgiou.
According to Harari, “Unstoppable Us” is the book “I wanted to read as a kid.” “It tells the history of humans since the time we were just apes living in the savannah, until the time we almost became god-like by flying in airplanes and spaceships,” the acclaimed author said in a statement last week.
“It’s a fun book – I hope young readers won’t want to put it down – and it’s also dead serious, aiming to preoccupy you with the questions it raises,” he said.