Richest Chinese writers of 2012 revealed

Updated: 2012-11-29 18:50

By Mei Jia (China Daily)

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Nobel Laureate in literature Mo Yan has reappeared on the Chinese Writers Rich List for the first time since 2006, snaring second place for having earned 21.5 million yuan ($3.45 million) in royalties this year, it was revealed on Thursday.

Mo was beaten to first place by fairytale king Zheng Yuanjie, whose Pipilu series earned him 26 milllion yuan. Yang Hongying, also a veteran children's author, made third place with 20 million yuan.

The three well-known authors were closely followed by a number of writers of teen novels. The list ranked the 30 richest Chinese writers of 2012.

"The results this year shows that the bulk of the Chinese reading population is still children and teenagers," list producer Wu Huaiyao told China Daily on Thursday.

"Following Mo Yan's Nobel win, the so-called serious and traditional writing, though faced by the challenges of online writing and popular reading material, still wins the hearts of many," Wu said.

"The number of people reading books is increasing, and they have shown good taste," he added.

The Writers Rich List was created by Wu in 2006, to promote the idea that being a writer is noble and profitable. When Wu first released the list, doubts were raised, with people questioning if he should connect money with literary creation.

"But back then writing was not a mainstream profession, and writers could hardly support themselves. I just wanted to change all these perceptions and in the meantime promote reading," Wu said.

Mo Yan was ranked 20th in the 2006 list. His name then disappeared until this year. Guo Jingming, the celebrity writer who has been among the top-earning writers on previous lists, has now dropped out of the top three.

"We only counted royalty made on publications. Guo is actually more a boss of literary agency and he has started his director's career, which was not included in the list," Wu said.

Wu started compiling the list in June with a team of 10. The team interviewed 200 professionals in the publishing industry around the country, and made the list according to the price of the book, the number of copies released, and the ratio of writers copyright gains.