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REPORTSIndustry ReportAnalytical Presentation on Book Market in China in January 2017

Analytical Presentation on Book Market in China in January 2017

2017-06-22 13:51:11
by Yuanna Dou

International Publishing Journal

Beijing Openbook Information & Technology Co., Ltd.


Bestsellers Analysis Fiction: Classics rejoined the Bestsellers List; Keigo Higashino’s works are hot-selling. 

In January, it sees that many classical literature titles have rejoined the ranks of Bestselling Fiction; this is under the influence of winter holidays for primary and middle schools.


Rickshaw Boy has moved up by 24 positions and ranked top of the monthly list. Red Crag moved up from No.17 last month, to No.3 this month. Legendary People in Tianjin by Feng Jicai, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, The Family by Ba Jin and other classics have shot up the rankings. Additionally, three different versions of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea were on the list this month, two of which joined the list for the first time. The return of the classics is a notable phenomenon for bestsellers during the summer and winter holidays. Nowadays, parents strive to have their children focus on “higher quality education”, and by directing them to read classic literature hope to broaden their children's horizons and be influenced by classic literature. Many bookstores take advantage of summer and winter holidays, and set up special selling sections. For example, Classic Recommendations, to attract buyers.

Out of the books making their debut on the bestsellers list this month, two were just published in December 2016 (Crazy! KwaiBoo(17)-Evolution Volume series and KeigoHigashino's new work Laplace’s Witch).

Since 2016, new Fiction releases in the market have not been up to the estimated figures. Books on the bestsellers list are often those which have first gained popularity with films or TV series under the same name, or new volumes of the same series, instead of new works created independently. Laplace’s Witch, joining the Bestselling ranks this time, is indeed a new and long-anticipated creation. It is the memorial book for the 30th anniversary of KeigoHigashino's career as a professional author, and is also another mystery since the publishing of Dispel Melancholy Grocery Store. In addition to Laplace's WitchMiracles of the Namiya General StoreJourney Under the Midnight Sun and The Devotion of Suspect X all by KeigoHigashino, remain in the top 10 of the bestsellers list in January.




Non-Fiction: Classics and new works became popular; this list has seen huge changes

In January 2017, the Bestselling Non-fiction List has undergone great changes. Watched (Illustrated Edition) by Lung Ying-tai topped the list. Three new books, namely, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari, Tencent 1998-2016: Survivor, Challenger and Leader by Wu Xiaobo and May Your Youth not Fail Your Dream by Yu Minhong, and one perennial bestseller Stories about the Ming Dynasty (Volume II) by Dang Nian Ming Yue also joined the ranks. Besides, five classic books rejoined the list because students read more in winter holidays, including two versions of Biography of Celebrities, two versions of Dawn Blossoms Plucked at Dusk and Three Days to See by Helen Keller.


Yuval Noah Harari has a background as a talented historian and professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He first rose to prominence as the author of the Israeli bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, which was first published in October 2014. His new piece Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, which examines the future of human beings, made a worldwide hit as soon as it was published and ranked second on the Bestselling non-fiction list in the first month after the initial release. At the same time, driven by the popularity of the new work, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind also ranked fifth on the non-fiction bestseller list, which is the best rank it's received since publication.


Wu Xiaobo, a well-known author on finance, and the founder of the “Wu Xiaobo Channel”, has been making a careful study of history of Chinese enterprises and works on company case studies. He has written many influential finance books, including Tragic Defeat, Storming 30 Years: 1978--2008 Chinese Enterprises,One hundred years of twists and turns - Chinese enterprises 1870 – 1977, A Vast and Mighty History of 2 Thousand Years and Lessons of Economic Reforms in Various Dynasties . His works were chosen twice by Asia Weekly as the annual most recommended books. In March 2016, Wu topped the list of Entrepreneurial Author, which was a new branch of the Tenth Author List, with a royalty income of 7.5m yuan. Wu’s new book, Tencent 1998-2016, records the rise of Tencent and reinterprets the difficulty and uniqueness of China's blending into globalization from the perspective of the Internet.




Children's book: sales have reached new heights in summer and winter holidays and the list has shown a flourishing trend

In January 2017, in the midst of the Chinese New Year holidays, the sales for children’s books were gaining momentum. Charlie IX &Dodomo series still topped the Children’s Bestseller List. The Diary of Smiling Cat-Secrets in Sakura Walk , a new volume of The Diary of Smiling Cat series, ranked second on the monthly list as soon as it was published. The little girl at the window moved up by 3 positions and ranks third on the list.


This month, nine books have rejoined the Children’s Bestsellers, most of which are often on the list during the summer and winter holidays every year, such as PippiLangstrumpf , The Cricket in Time Square and Fantastic Mr. Fox . Five books also joined the list for the first time this month, including the new volumes of The Diary of Smiling Cat series, Monster Master series, Charlie IX &Dodomo (Color Edition) series, Harry Potter series and Animals Novels series by Shen Shixi.

What’s more, some of recommended classics would enter the ranks during this period, and up until this month, up to 16 classic perennial bestsellers were on the list. In addition to the classics, the rest of the children's bestsellers are series books. The summer and winter holidays every year are also important periods to publish new volumes of a series. The reason is that children often read more during winter and summer holidays. The publication of new volumes not only can bring new selling points, but also promote the sales for previous volumes. Those books, which all made their first appearance on the children's bestseller list this month, are all new volumes for perennial bestselling series.


Secrets in Sakura Walk is the 23rd volume of The Diary of Smiling Cat series. The author, with her light but hyperbolic style, guides young readers to explore the world beneath the bustle and hustle. Until last month, this series has been on the list for 494 times in total.


Under the influence of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child 's popularity, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows first appeared on the children's bestsellers list this month. However, the other 3 volumes among the 4 volumes of the Harry Potter series on the top 30 children's bestseller list, all dropped in ranking.




Analytical Presentation on the growth of Physical Bookstores in January 2017

Month-on-Month Analysis

In January 2017, the figures for physical bookstores have reached 357.64, increasing by 89 from December 2016, with an increase of 33.13% in a monthon-month term, and an increase of 5.4% in year-on-year term. Among the 12 main segment markets of physical bookstores nationwide, the Teaching Reference, Children's, Classic Literature, English, Art and Biography markets have witnessed a rise in month-on-month term; especially the figures of Teaching Reference have showed a significant increase of 151.46%. The other 6 segment markets all witnessed a decrease on a month-onmonth base, especially for the Economics and Management section, which displays a drop of 24.54%.

Year-on-Year Analysis

Compared with figures from last year, the number of physical bookstores has increased in 5.4% by January 2017. Markets for Literature, Children's, Teaching Reference and Academic Culture books showed the increase in the market each year, with Literature showing the biggest growth with 17.73%. The other 8 segment markets have all witnessed a decrease in year-on-year term, with Medical books showing the biggest decrease of 33.44% annually.


Regional Analysis

Compared with figures from December 2016, markets in all the five regions for physical bookstores showed an increase in a month-on-month term. In comparison with figures from the same period last year, the markets in Eastern China, South Central China, and Northern China all witnessed a rise, while markets in Western China and Northeastern China have slacked. 



2017-06-22 13:51:11
by Yuanna Dou


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