The definition of who we are is rather simple: we are the publishing company of Unione Buddhista Italiana (the Italian Buddhist Union) and we publish books from all major Buddhist traditions.
When is a publishing company born? Is it born when it publishes its first books? If so, our company was born in June 2021. Or is it born when the creative action materializes in a legal definition? If so, we were born in late summer 2020. What if the birth of a publishing company were linked to the idea, to the dream of publishing significant books in the field of Buddhism because not always is one lucky enough to find them in bookstores? Well, in this case, the birth of Ubiliber probably belongs to the collective consciousness of many people and it would be really difficult to define a point in time.
After all, the origin of a publishing company is probably not so important. What matters, instead, are the goals that it pursues and the books that it publishes.
We started off by publishing books for adults. Then we will see how we develop. We are small and, although we would love to, we know that it is hard to fulfil everybody’s expectations. With time, which is said to be a gentleman, we will try to.
Our mission is really ambitious: we want to publish books that are capable of bringing a paradigm shift in the consciousness of our society, we would like to be one of the reference publishing companies for those readers who are interested in taking a true spiritual journey, we want our books to be aesthetically beautiful and our activities environmental friendly. While we are aware that it will take years, we want the works that we publish to do justice to and to clarify so many concepts of an ancient culture that are often misperceived. We want to be professional in all the nooks and crannies of our profession as publisher, giving the proper recognition to each aspect of book creation. We also want to be free to make mistakes sometimes, aware of our human matrix.
In any case, we consider ourselves lucky because, as publishers, ours is one of the most beautiful jobs in the world, because the team – be it the core or the extended team – is made of extremely friendly people and because publishing Buddhist books is particularly… feel free to add the adjective you like most, because almost all of them fit.
Let’s look at the team, then. This is us:
Emanuele Basile, our Publishing Director, is a “Dolomites man”, lives between Italy and England, does not like ties (even though sometimes he has to wear one) and has been working in the publishing industry for more than 25 years but still enjoys the job. If he were a book, he would be Memoirs of Hdrian by Marguerite Yourcenar. If he were a color, he would be blue. If he were a dish, he would be pasta with tomato sauce. If he were a tree, he would be a cedar of Lebanon. If he were a sky, he would be one of those painted by Tiepolo (whom, however, he doesn’t like much as a painter). If he were where he would love to, he would be walking in the mountains in autumn.
Francesca Arengi: if knowing someone were a game, she would be a riddle with no starting point. She loves signs, from the origin in childhood through to the study of calligraphy: traces, letters, words and everything that handwriting expresses, the extremely personal that becomes universal and invariably unites and joins. The energy that nurtures her is the sun, which she finds in her children’s smile and in her love for the Earth. In this project, she takes care of publishing coordination, fitting in this role as if she were a fish in the ocean… where, every now and then, the reflection of the moon on the waves becomes the most beautiful word ever.
In our joyfully hard daily work, we are supported by formidable professionals and we humbly bow down before their huge expertise from which we continue to learn. Here is the list in strict, albeit incomplete (those who are not included know that they have our heartfelt gratitude), alphabetical order:
Bianca, firm and kind, pulls the strings. Massimo, Ivanmaria, Joele, Pier transform, or at least try to transform, the spirit of Ubiliber in personality. Marco, Giuseppe and the Ilarias model its shape. All of us read and learn. We are looking for flashes and figures, aesthetic and formal solutions: covers, website, communication channels, the universe of Ubiliber. Establishing a publishing company is like giving birth to a whole world and taking care of it and following its steps is a privilege. Even more so when it is a Buddhist one. No way is the right way, but the one that has taken us from our first magazine, from 2001 to here must have been exact. Thank you.
Clear, airy, evocative: this is how we pictured Ubiliber’s logo. So we designed the letters: essential and precious – in the curves of the b’s, in the branch of the r, in the dots of the i’s elevated at the same height as the l. Straightforward, light, effortless.
Ubiliber means “books by Unione Buddhista Italiana”, but it also means here (and now), “ubi”, and free, “liber”. Freed in life with books.
To us, the U speaks of a “vase” and so we designed it so as to reflect its shape in a way that could be perceived rather than seen. That of a vessel is an image, a key idea.
Ubiliber comma stands for something to follow, a discourse, consequence, karma, action. A Buddhist publishing company cannot be a plain and simple full stop.
The colors and shades used for the covers and the other features that we designed were taken from the Buddhist flag: yellow, ochre and blue. Everything about Ubiliber is connected, from a graphical and chromatic standpoint, with the logo and image of UBI, Unione Buddhista Italiana, which we had the privilege to design before this project.
We were born in Milan in 2015 seeing ourselves as a window overlooking the world of communication in an unprecedented manner. We think we are like the woman portrayed in the famous painting by Hopper “Cape Cod Morning”, curious about what happens around us and ready to capture the novelties that may come because curiosity and the desire to discover something new is at the core of our work.
Our publishing services company has been cooperating with the major Italian publishing companies for years. Thanks to our decade-long experience in the publishing industry and to the multidisciplinary diversification that we offer, we can manage the contents directly with the authors, we can select and guide the illustrators with specific skills and take care of publications from the design phase through to the end product. This way, before it walks out of the door, we fix the ribbon on its head, check that the shoes are clean and kiss it goodbye, wishing it safe travels.
Then, there is our team of translators who skillfully weave words in a way that makes them accessible to the reader. We shall not name them all because there are many, but we thank them one by one and, to represent them all, we shall only mention our stalwarts: