International publishing news from the perspective of China

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Jacks Thomas:Dynamism of Digital Publishing in China

2018-09-21 16:58:34
by ipubl

Q:Please introduce the developing strategy of The London Book Fair, and what kind of role it plays in global book trading.

A:The key element of success for any book fair is the participants. We are very luck at The London Book Fair (LBF) that we have a great diversity of exhibitors and visitors with presence from China being a very important element.Next year’s LBF will take place in March2019and is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print,audio,TV,film and digital channels.In 2019 LBF will celebrate its 48-year anniversary.

The London Book Fair has a hugely popular events and insight seminar programme throughout the three days and several conferences through the week,making it the perfect venue for international publishers looking to find out about all the trends and breakthroughs in international publishing. Over 25,000publishing professionals gather from all across the world.

At next year’s Fair we anticipate that publishers will be discussing the continuing growth of audio books, the rise of SVODs (serial video on demand) such as Netflix and the impact this has on book IP, and leading on from that the increasing importance of cross-media rights sales. The growing importance of book IP across media spaces from video games to TV, film to cartoons is an opportunity that has huge impact on book trade publishing.


Q:With the rapid development of digital publishing, how do you look at the way of reading books in the future?

A:At The London Book Fair each year we shine a light on key industry trends,and we see first hand how much the industry continues to change and grow.The publishing landscape has changed hugely over the past almost fifty years since the Fair started, from the dawn of ebooks to the huge growth in audio books.

For me the most important thing to take away from the ever-changing publishing industry is that consumer snow have more ways to read books than ever before whether it’s reading on the page, or on a screen, or listening to a book as an audiobook. In any industry consumers want choice, and I think the publishing industry is giving them that more and more. Let us also not forget the massive reliance that the film and television world has on books for inspiration for new onscreen properties.


Q:Now all kinds of new techs have great influence on publishing field,such as VR, AR How important they are for publishing industry?

A:There have been some really exciting developments in these fields, and there are some wonderfully imaginative examples of these technologies being used in publishing, particularly with children’s books. For example, in the UK the Very Hungry Caterpillar a beloved children’s book launched an AR app creating a Pokemon Go-inspired game for readers. Likewise, the creators of Pokemon Go will be bringing out a Harry Potter app also using  AR to create a new experience of this world-famous franchise, which of course began as a series of books. To me these are wonderful example of how publishing brands can enhance their stories and tell them in fresh ways, giving their readers something new to enjoy, by embracing the latest technologies.

I think we will see many more publishers embracing VR and AR in the years to come  and Im very much looking forward to seeing what they create.


Q:Regarding of cross-border integration between publishing and other field, are there any new trends these years?

A:Sales of publishing IP across media is very much at the heart of The London Book Fair. Book to film, book to TV, and book to game deals continue to be prevalent.Over the last few years key cross media deals at The London Book Fair have included:Benedict Cumberbatch’s production company, Sunny March, buying the TV rights for Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time and Ambrose Parry’s The Way of All Flesh . Our cross-media rights trading event is always very well attended and there are some fantastic children’s adaptations and updates being released this year Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers illustrated by Lauren Child tying in with the new Mary Poppins film being one such great example, the new Thomas the Tank Engine adaptations another and the classic BEANO franchise another. Netflix has just announced a second series of Richard K. Morgan’s ALTERED CARBON.Altogether,the symbiotic relationship between books and film is undeniable and the showcase and trading marketplace that books fairs such as LBF offer is hugely important in the continuation and development of such opportunities for creator, curator and consumer alike.

Meanwhile, in the UK recent data from the Publishers Association showed that film, TV and theatre adaptations of books attract more revenue, viewers and critical acclaim. Their report showed the extent to which the UK publishing industry significantly increases the commercial and cultural value of these productions, ultimately acting as the foundation of the creative industries sector as a whole.


Q:Based on your rich experience of international publishing, how do you look at China’s book market?

A:The recent growth of the Chinese book market reflects the dynamism of digital publishing and the ever-growing consumer popularity of online and mobile reading in China. It’s a very exciting time for the Chinese publishing industry to play a trendsetting role on the international stage.

China is the second biggest book market in the world, and in 2017 there was significant growth with a 29% uplift in online sales and 2% in bookshops. Children’s and YA are doing particularly well in China (as they are in the UK, France and the USA too), and something that I find particularly inspiring for the future as a book lover is that the children’s market represented over a third of China’s overall publishing growth in 2017.

There are a number of international collaborations for writers and researchers in the academic field, and China is of no exception. With the innovative application of big data in the Chinese academic research industry, Im looking forward to seeing more Chinese writers and their works being featured by international publications.

China is a major player on the international academic stage and weve seen numerous big deals take place at The London Book Fair in this area. For example,a key deal at The London Book Fair in 2018 which sparked huge media interest was the acquisition of Chinese maths book series 5 Minute Maths Mystery by Harper Collins. The series will be published by Harper Collins education division in a new version that matches the national curriculum in the UK. In 2017 Harper Collins also signed a series of 36 maths books at The London Book Fair.


Q: In recent years, Chinese publishers devote to share excellent Chinese books and writers with the world, do you have some suggestions for them?

A:Having a presence at international book fairs like The London Book Fair is absolutely essential for Chinese publishers looking to break into the global market. Attending international book fairs is an opportunity to build relationships, make deals and share ideas with publishers and agents from around the world.

Chinese delegates and exhibitors always have a hugely significant presence at The London Book Fair. This year we had some very exciting launches from Phoenix Publishing and by CPG. In 2018, we were also very excited by the first of its kind the launch of China International Publishing at The London Book Fair a joint venture between China Youth Publishing and Bloomsbury Publishing at the Fair which will work to promote Chinese culture on a global scale.

At London Book and Screen Week The London Book Fairs sister event we have set up a cultural exchange program with Shanghai international Literary Week for the past three years. Every year we feature two excellent Chinese writers here in London both at the book fair and in major cultural venues in London, the creative capital of the world.

We are delighted that The London Book Fair continues to offer a gateway to the English-speaking world for Chinese publishers, and we look forward to welcoming many more Chinese visitors and exhibitors in 2019.

We have noticed that in China theres a huge growth in cross-IP entertainment in the recent years. The London Book Fair is the leading global marketplace for rights trading across print, TV film and digital channels. We think one of the key factors for Chinese content to go global is to engage with these cross media channels to present the Chinese story from books to screen.

2018-09-21 16:58:34
by ipubl


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