They went through the crisis |  Kata as disaster(s)

They went through the crisis | Kata as disaster(s)

Two years later, we hear from entrepreneurs who have testified about their struggles as the pandemic brought the economy to a standstill. Today: Kata Editor.

Posted at 8:00 am

marc tison

marc tison
Press

kata editor. Kata as disaster. The very young house founded in 2019 by Luca Palladino publishes children’s books to educate its young readers on environmental and social issues.

The launch of its first two titles, How to turn a banana into a bicycle Y the stone crusherit was scheduled for April 6, 2020. The third, scheduled for fall 2020, would depict the aftermath of a pandemic in a Montreal not too far away.

the Banana it was printed in 1500 copies. the teetherin 2000.

“We were ambitious, optimistic,” recalls Luca Palladino.

But the pandemic, the real one, hit first. The launch never took place. The bookstores have closed. The precious children’s book fairs and festivals have been cancelled.

A disaster.

an editorial department

On May 25, 2022, Luca Palladino welcomes us to what he calls the “headquarters” of his publishing house.

A publishing floor, you could say.

Live in the heart of your business. And his business is at the heart of his life.

In the dining room of his Montreal apartment, his partner, Patricia, holds their little baby Orion, 8 months old. Another project done during the pandemic.

Clearly, there has been progress since the last conversation two years earlier: he introduces us to his communications director, Cloé Lavoie, his first employee, hired part-time last fall. He began collaborating with Kata as a freelancer in February of 2020.

recession and depression

What has happened since May 2020?

At that time, Luca Palladino had launched an online sales site, hoping for the early reopening of bookstores.

“It was super daunting,” he recalls, while Chloe approves. “I would tell you, honestly, I went into a mini depression for three or four months. »

In August 2020, when he received the first sales results after the bookstores reopened, his morale took a curve as high as his turnover.

This time, use the opposite formula: “It was super encouraging. He gave us a push. »

Point to the album. How to turn a banana into a bicycle, placed on the coffee table in the living room. “We had good sales, especially with this book, which has become a classic for us and for the public. »

Excerpt from the article of May 13, 2020

His distributor had announced in March the closure of his warehouse, which housed all the editorial’s short production.

Fortunately, shortly before, Luca Palladino had collected 750 copies of his books, which he had deposited in […] his residence in Montreal.

the 750 pounds

Shortly before the lockdown paralyzed his distributor, he had 750 books stored on his floor.

With the reopening of the bookstores, have you returned the books to the distributor?

“It does not start.

In response, he nervously reaches for one of the books on the coffee table and knocks over the coffee cup that was on it. The subject seems delicate. The explanation will come after the damage sponge.

The boxes he still keeps at home are full of copies of the stone crusherwhose disappointing sales took on the color of failure in his eyes.


PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, THE PRESS

Luca Palladino, owner and publisher of Kata Edition

When you start a small business, what you want to present is success. A room full of books is never a sign of success. That’s the sensitive part.

Luca Palladino, owner and publisher of Kata Edition

Cloé Lavoie corrects him immediately: “It is not a failure, it is a book that is still being sold. »

A symbol of the uncertainty of the publishing profession, the third title, the one about a Montreal decimated by a pandemic, released in the fall of 2020 in the form of an illustrated novel, was an unexpected success. “He spoke to teenagers,” says Luca Palladino. It was different and we didn’t expect that at all. Every time we release a book now, we do it with a little more humility, and say to ourselves: we’ll see, and we’ll reprint it. »

Paper

After a year 2020 under the sign of the pandemic, the year 2021 was the year of transition, says the editorial.

She met her first flesh-and-blood readers at the Montreal Festival of Youth Literature in August 2021.

“It gave me so much energy to meet people! he pulls When you see a child choosing a book, he gives you a lot of information about what kind of reader he is, what his likes are, how it works in his head. And sometimes you don’t understand anything at all. »

In 2021, six titles were added to the first three published in 2020.

But then another disaster struck: the paper burst. Or its price, more exactly. Long before we talk about inflation”, says Luca Palladino.

However, he is determined not to print at a discount in China. Apart from his first two titles, printed in Latvia, all of his works are produced in Quebec.

Fortunately, other publishers have invited you to join a group that allows them to publish at a lower cost.

“We have not changed the price of our books, he assures us, despite the fact that the price of paper rises 10% every three months. »

rogue planet

The year 2022 is rather a year of chaos, he says.

1Ahem Last January, Luca Palladino officially became the owner of Éditions Planète rebelle, which specializes in storytelling and orality, often in the form of audiobook CDs.

“Rebel Planet was for sale since September and could not find a buyer. I have contacted [la propriétaire] Marie-Fleurette Beaudoin and it happened pretty quickly. We had atoms hooked up. Me, I come from a popular background in Quebec, in another life. For 20 years I have been dancing and choreographing folk dance. »

Astonishment in the living room of the book, that is to say, the one in the apartment.

“I learn it at the same time! Chloe Lavoie laughs.

The winter of 2022 was dedicated to taming this new hybrid, with a catalog of some 230 titles.

The two Planète rebelle employees have joined Cloé Lavoie and Anne-Laure Jean, artistic director of Kata since November 2021.

“Before, Kata was a team of freelancers. Now, we are a consolidated team with four employees. I don’t even believe it when I say it”, exclaims Luca Palladino, while little Orion, in the background of the sound, makes known his approval.

You will be picking up copies of his next two books: Camila the cow Y eglantine’s garden.

“The novelty is that when you open the covers you see that there is documentary information”, he describes leafing through them.

Here, this information relates to organic and responsible farming.

Because there is a food catastrophe to prevent.


#crisis #Kata #disasters

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