Publishers eyeing a hat-trick of successes

Chinese publishers are seeking a
hat-trick-hoping their books this year will replicate the extraordinary
success of two Chinese works in international markets last year.

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China


One of them was by President Xi Jinping and the other by science fiction writer Liu Cixin.
Of the 5.36 million copies of Xi's The
Governance of China, 400,000 were sold overseas, while Liu's The
Three-Body Problem won him the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Novel
last year, making him the first Asian writer to claim the prize.
Liu Yuhong, director of the Promotion
Center at Foreign Language Press, which published The Governance of
China, said that among the works it plans to publish this year is one
that looks at the power of Xi's language, and another about the
president and the Chinese Dream.
Huo Xingchen, director of international
cooperation at Central Compilation & Translation Press, said
overseas readers are particularly keen on learning about new policies
announced and promoted by Xi.
The company is publishing extracts of
Xi's essays, giving English-language speakers the chance to read his
views on the importance of tackling corruption and advancing the rule of
law.
At the New Delhi World Book Fair on Jan
10, Li Yan, from China Publishing Group Corp, said the company had
launched a cloud computing service aimed at promoting the translation of
Chinese into other languages. China was guest of honor at the New Delhi
fair.
"We are focusing on books that either explain how China's recent development has been achieved, or ones that reinterpret traditional culture," Li said.

Foreign Language Press said it will publish multilingual versions of "authoritative interpretations" of policy development and easy-to-read explanations on developments with the rule of law, the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) and deepening economic and social reform.

China Intercontinental Press will publish a series of books in several languages, the English version of which will be titled You and Us. The series will examine relationships between China and other countries through the eyes of diplomats.

Eric Abrahamsen, editor of Pathlight magazine and founder of Paper Republic, an agency that promotes Chinese literature worldwide, said foreign publishers are looking for Chinese stories with best-seller potential, with more idiosyncratic voices, and by controversial writers.

"Translation of Chinese poetry is getting stronger. I think more and more mainstream authors from China are being published in the West, as well as more of the country's younger authors."

However, it is still early days.

In 2002, the ratio of foreign titles bought overseas to the number of Chinese titles sold was 15-to-1. That year, only 18 Chinese titles were sold in Western markets, according to the General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

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