The Beijing International Book Fair is just three weeks away, making China an especially hot commodity right now and a country we should all have our eyes on.
It’s no secret that the Chinese Book Market has grown rapidly, especially in its digital and e-publishing markets. The country’s ever-increasing population and fast-moving economy make it a front-runner when it comes to anything business related. The book industry is benefiting greatly from all that China has to offer. With so many people living there, there is ample opportunity for book sales to soar.
In 2013 alone, book retail sales totaled to 50 billion RMB Yuan (equivalent to about $8.2 billion). This is 10% increase since the previous year, a trend that has been continuing at this rate for more than ten years. This is a sign that books are not dying; in fact, they are finding even more life in other places, especially the online retail space. There has been a 20-30% increase is online book sales, mainly believed to be because of the lower prices and ease of online ordering. Book sales don’t seem to be going anywhere but up!
The e-publishing market is looking just as good. More and more people are starting to read on their smart phones, tablets, and e-readers, making digital availability of books an essential piece of the puzzle. Smart phones seem to be leading the pack, most likely because of convenience — you can bring and use your smart phone anywhere without much trouble at all. Traditional publishers have the perfect opportunity to jump onto the digital publishing trend, as there becomes more and more demand for content. Those who understood this early enough to spearhead their way into the digital market are the ones seeing profitable return, i.e. CITIC Press in China has announced they turned a profit from digital publishing this past year in 2013.
But the biggest increase seen in China has been in foreign acquisitions, something Publish On Demand Global knows lots about (smile). This is the company’s forte, so it’s exciting to see encouraging statistics such as these. In 2004, the number of foreign rights bought was at 10,040. As of 2012, there was a 61% increase to 16,115. The Chinese government is very encouraging to outside publishers — they want to bring books to their country as a way to educate and entertain their population. Now is a good a time as ever to introduce China to the rest of the world through the realm of books.