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Szigethy Katalin

Naphegy Kiadó


My name is Katalin Szigethy. I am a language teacher, interpreter and translator. Currently I am the manager, founder and owner of Naphegy Publishing House, Anno children’s bookshop and meseutca.hu, online literary magazine. Prior to founding the publishing house, I travelled a lot, taught in several institutions, including the Linguistic Institute of Budapest University of Technology and Economics. I went on a parental leave after giving birth to my son, and during my years at home, I decided to try my luck in new fields.

First, I decided to try myself in translating children’s books, since I was a translator with a little child. From this idea came the next one: I realized that if I want to do my best in this field, I have to publish the books myself. It took me almost two years to come to a firm decision, however, selling my car for what became my first capital, and visiting Frankfurt Book Fair took only a few months. I spent my free time in bookshops and browsing the Internet. I soon realized that there was a gap on the children’s book market that demanded my attention. So I started to collect information on the market abroad – through book-fairs and the Internet. I figured out my only chance as a newcomer was to buy rights of existing books, and sell them at home.

This strategy proved to be a success. I published nine titles out of a planned ten, and it earned us the „Children’s book Publisher of the Year” prize. It was a huge acknowledgement and feedback from the trade, however, it did not mean I could sell any books in the field. As it turned out, selling a book was way harder than producing a book in good quality. Compared to how little I knew about the field, I started out with great self-confidence. And I was determined to learn whatever was needed to be learnt. It turned out soon that I had to learn a great deal more, and I definitely had to get more capital.

Then, after the first euphoric year, a totally different kind of construction began. I began to plan consciously, acquire qualifications, and I realized text is not the only thing I have to deal with in a professional way: illustrations, printing, trade, marketing and PR are equally important. Meanwhile, the company was growing fast, and I was hardly able to keep pace. My husband took an active part from the beginning, and luckily, from the second year, he was able to commit himself to the company full-time.

Thus, we became a real family-company, which caused some tension at first, but now we only experience the positive side of the situation. We enjoy our creative freedom very much, and life forces us to move on, so we open new projects every second years. Presently we are working on opening our web-shop and placing our home-made Hungarian books on the international market.

Our son, Marci is seven, our publishing house is five, our bookshop is three, our magazine is one year old. As a mother of a „family of four”, I feel we are on the right track. Though we work more than we ever imagined we would, without making a lot of money, I love to go to work every morning, because I feel I have found my place in the world. One of the best qualities of this work is that our son, with whom I dreamed up the whole word of Naphegy Publishing, can be an integral part of life not only at home, but at work too.

 

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