The word is spreading

Updated: 2012-09-14 08:46

By Andrew Moody and Yang Yang (China Daily)

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The word is spreading

Above: Clare Buckley, Asia-Pacific marketing and promotions coordinator for Ashgate-Gower, says China is a buoyant market. Below: Liu Liping, director of Greater China for Oxford University Press. Photos by Cui Meng / China Daily

The word is spreading

Bourne at CUP says digital, however, has major applications for scientific books, particularly the potential to display diagrams and flow charts on iPads and other devices.

"In our sector much depends on the investment in primary and high schools, in broadband networks and actual devices. When that happens there is an opportunity for digital to go big time," he says.

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"It is quite clear that here there is a natural affinity with technology which is not quite the case in Western Europe. If I go to Hong Kong, go to Shanghai or come here, you always see people walking around with two or three devices."

Liu Liping, director and chief representative of Greater China for Oxford University Press, which has 20,000 catalogue titles online, says one of the big drivers of its business in China is the country's continued major investment in research and development. This is leading to huge demand for scientific papers and journals.

"With China investing in research and development, library budgets are increasing and there is a big demand," she says.

"It is an exciting and growing market. China's top 100 universities are well funded. It becomes more competitive with the smaller universities that have more limited budgets. They may have to cancel other publishers' products to buy ours."

One who wants to use new technology but to publish a product in the old printed form is Robert Fletcher, president of Houston, Texas-based Publish on Demand Global.

The company has 4,000 authors and publishes 100 books a month in both print and digital formats and is looking to expand its sales in China.

Although the books are published on demand, they are mainly available through online retailers like Amazon.

"Our authors want to reach the China market. The number of English speakers here means that that are more English readers in China than the population of many countries," says Fletcher, who is based in Florida.

"Travel books do well here and also those about luxury items. What everyone wants here is a best-seller. I think that could be something no one has anticipated. It could be a romance novel, a work of science fiction or even the next Harry Potter."

While many at the Beijing fair would like to achieve similar success to J. K. Rowling, there are still enough rich pickings around in the China publishing market.

Chou at Harper Collins is confident English books will remain one of the drivers of the market.

"Chinese is still the core market but English just keeps on expanding. Now the kids are learning English from an early age and more and more people are going to study abroad so it can only get bigger," she says.

Contact the writers at and

(China Daily 09/14/2012 page1)

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