Innovative ways to seek readers abroad

Updated 2018-01-19 09:52:03 China Daily

China Intercontinental Press and its partners are promoting Chinese culture and literature abroad. Most wellreceived titles are works by contemporary writers, poets, writers of classics and children's books. (Photo provided to China Daily)

The picture of a book cover with a giant panda on it, is the main visual on the homepage of JD's global online shopping platform The book, Story of Giant Panda, is by the so-called "panda writer" Tan Kai, and tells stories through the eyes of a mother panda and her baby.

The work is from That's China series, created by China Intercontinental Press and its partners to promote Chinese culture, literature and children's books abroad.

From Jan 8 through mid-February, the website is offering 600 titles in English-new publications and former bestsellers-at discounted prices and free shipping.

Jing Xiaomin from China Intercontinental Press says: "Through the big sale we wanted to give readers ways to discover China, understand traditional culture and gain travel tips.

"Also, selling China-themed books is not easy, so this was our attempt to boost the market."

Chinese Classics (Photo provided to China Daily)

China Intercontinental Press is one of the 38 members of China Book International, a project that provides translation and marketing support to publishers to venture abroad.

Typically, publishers explore different paths to enter the global market, including joint companies or running joint editing teams.

As of 2016, the CBI had backed 2,676 agreements with 603 overseas publishers in 71 countries, to publish 2,973 titles that were translated into 47 languages.

Meanwhile, thanks to Liu Cixin's success overseas with the Three Body trilogy-he won his sixth international award in Spain in November-more Chinese sci-fi works are to be launched abroad, the China Educational Publications Import & Export Corp says.

The Foreign Language Press released in November both Chinese and English versions of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China Volume II. The book can also be bought on Amazon.

The new volume includes 99 of Xi's speeches, talks, interviews, instructions and correspondence in 17 chapters, along with 29 photographs, covering three years from August 2014 to September 2017. The combined global circulation of the two versions of the book had exceeded 10 million by Jan 12, according to China International Publishing Group.

As Chinese works make their mark abroad, this is having an impact on the domestic publishing scene. In 2012, the ratio of total titles bought into China compared to the number sent overseas was 1.88 to 1, while in 2016, it was 1.55 to 1, the CBI says.

The homepage of a global online shopping site showcases bestselling Chinese titles in English. (Photo provided to China Daily)

Chinese publishers are also going abroad more often now. In 2016, they went to more than 40 international book fairs, compared with around 20 in 2012.

Official data also show that in 2016 China bought 17,252 copyrights for print books and electronic products from abroad, while selling 11,133. And its top trading partners were the United States, Britain and Germany. In another bit of news from the publishing world, Nicky Harman and Helen Wang from the Paper Republic, a website that serves translators and introduces Chinese writers to the English-speaking world, say that in 2017 most Chinese works published in English were works by contemporary writers, poets, writers of classics and children's books.

This information was put out in a list issued by the website-its sixth annual edition.

Among the works featured in the list are Jia Pingwa's The Lantern Bearer, translated by Carlos Rojas; Lu Nei's A Tree Grows in Daicheng, translated by Poppy Toland; poet Bei Dao's City Gate, Open Up: A Memoir, translated by Jeffrey Yang; Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) author Luo Guanzhong's Quelling the Demons' Revolt: A Novel from Ming China, translated by Patrick Hanan; Lu Xun's Jottings under Lamplight and The City of Sand by Tianxia Bachang, a web novel translated by Jeremy Tiang.

Chinese web novels are gaining global popularity with sites like, an English-language site where such works are published.

The Path Toward Heaven, by celebrated online novelist Mao Ni, has been updated online both in Chinese and English.

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