Chinese book publishers exploring US market

Updated: 2012-06-07 11:06

By Liu Yiyi for China Daily (China Daily)

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Chinese book publishers exploring US market

Yin Jie (left), the chief operating officer for iDigest, discusses the first Chinese and English bilingual magazine on the Chinese economy for the iPad to a visitor at the BEA expo. Liu Yiyi / for China Daily

Eleven publishing and printing companies from China presented a wide array of books at the annual BookExpo America in New York this week.

The book fair - dubbed the "largest selection of English language titles on the planet" gave Chinese exhibitors an opportunity to showcase the Chinese culture and learn about publishing in the United States.

Qi Pingjing, vice-president of Beijing-based China International Publishing Group (CIPG), said "Chinese publishers should cooperate with foreign publishers and foreign authors, instead of simply selling books from China".

CIPG, a sixth-time exhibitor at the expo, brought 390 different English-language books about the Chinese culture to the event, ranging from Chinese literature, history, medicine, politics and economics.

Kim Dramer, a professor from Fordham University who has written several books on Chinese culture, said she is trying to work with Sinomedia Int'l Group Inc to publish her book on Chinese cultural competency in marketing. Sinomedia is based in the US and operated by CIPG.

"The aim for me to write these books is destroying the stereotype Americans give to Chinese people," Dramer said. "I want to educate Americans with real Chinese culture. Only by understanding of each other can Americans and Chinese people work and develop hand in hand."

Shenzhen-based Artron Color Printing Co Ltd, a third-time exhibitor at the expo, is searching for more clients. The company brought more than a hundred books to the exhibit this year.

Artron Vice-President Peng Gan said the company developed two methods of increasing color quality. One is called "chroma centric" that Peng claims can improve color quality by 40 percent. The other is "sepiana showing" that uses black, white and four different shades of gray to print black and white pictures.

Peng says this method increases black and white accuracy by presenting them in different layers.

"Artron is the only Chinese printing company that masters this high level of technology," Peng claimed. "Only few companies from the US and Japan have the same level of technology."

Artron mainly prints fine art or photography as well as advertisements for luxury brands. Many visitors at the Artron booth said they marveled at the color products.

"Artron uses special ink and screening, which greatly increases the color quality. Our company is very satisfied with their quality," said Gary Hawkey, a representative from Seattle-based Iocolor, which has been a client of Artron's for three years.

One issue that exhibitors at the expo spoke about was the change in medium that Americans prefer.

One-fifth of American adults say that they have read an e-book in the past year, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.

Chinese publishers say they have solutions to deal with this trend.

CIPG said its iDigest - one of the first Chinese and English bilingual magazines on the Chinese economy for the iPad - is one such solution.

Qi from CIPG said he understands the trend in Americans' reading habits and is attempting to bring more digital books and magazines in 2013.

Peng from Artron, on the other hand, was not concerned about the trend toward e-books.

"For me, books will develop into artworks in the future," said Peng, who added that Artron has digital products.

Artron operates e-books and smartphone apps based on its database of Chinese artworks, which includes more than 20 million Chinese works by more than 60,000 artists.