27 Mar
2006

Translated books are flying off!

books

Xinhuanet quoted an article on China Daily talking about the current situation of translated books in the Chinese book market:

(BEIJING, March 25) Translated books are flying off the shelves of Chinese bookstores, a sign that converted reading material is becoming a booming market in the nation. Chinese readers are opting to cosy up with titles like “Harry Potter” and “The Half-Blood Prince”, “The Da Vinci Code” and “My Life” by Bill Clinton, which are among the country’s bestsellers. Those in the industry say it means the Chinese are searching for more mature literature and those with Western ideas like never before.The translated version of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series swept the sales records of its Chinese publisher, the Beijing-based People”s Literature Publishing House, since being first introduced to China in 2000.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)When Chen Min, director of the rights department of the People’s Literature Publishing House, first got the rights for “Harry Porter,” there was mixed feelings over how it would be received in China.

“But we are certain we’ve never read such a great children book with so much imagination before. It was going to have an strong impact,” Chen said.

It has sold more than 7 million copies so far in the country where students are barraged with mounds of homework, and fewer and fewer people can afford the leisure of literary enjoyment.
IPR Issue

Regardless of the readers’ receptions, the expanded presence of translated foreign books in Chinese market has made the industry more aware of copyright issues from a decade ago.

“I don’t think any publisher in China would translate a book without getting the consent from its native publisher,” said Chen.

When it comes to successfully transplanting a foreign best-selling book into Chinese bookstores, Chen said a publisher must be well read and highly experienced with “a six sense”.

“It is a risky business. No one can actually predict whether a book will become a hit or not.”

Yet, at the basic level, the quality of the book what’s behind the book”s cover and behind its success in its native market is the best insurance of a market hit, Chen stressed.

So, what do you think?

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