Education Takes Centre Stage
The Beijing International Book Fair 2019, the 26th edition of the ever-expanding fair recently took place in the Chinese capital and drew more than 300,000 people to the China International Exhibition Centre for the five-day gathering. Apart from the enormous crowds, some 2,600 exhibitors from 95 countries were also in attendance promoting their wares to the mainly Chinese audience.
It’s no secret that the Chinese book market is growing faster than any other market in the world with the country now ranked as the second largest market after the United States of America. Tapping into the trend for children, teen and young adult books, this year’s fair featured the BIBF’s Children Hall, which was awash with educational titles, entertainment companies and story-tellers putting on a variety of show for thousands of youngsters.
Speaking about this year’s book fair, Liying Lin, Vice President of CNPIEC, the event organizer, said, “English language educational books are in demand with parents increasingly keen to use apps, audio, comics, film and digital content alongside books to further their children’s education. This fair provides a fabulous opportunity for exhibitors to present their products.”
For decades, China has been plagued by fake products and in this area parents are taking extra care to select books and reading materials that are sourced from original publishers. For many, price is no longer a sticking point and families are prepared to pay for high-quality international titles. Like parents the world over, Chinese people are eager to ensure their kids get the best education possible and in many cases this begins with a good book.
Other players at the book fair included Rightol Media, one of the largest rights agencies in the Chinese publishing market and also a standing council member of Copyright Society of China (CSC). The company has three teams that oversee domestic, Asia and international markets with a rollout of more than 1,000 new titles per year.
From a Thai perspective, we saw that Rightol Media were representing Damrong Pinkoon, a renowned Thai businessman who has written a number of best-selling business, management, how-to and inspirational books. With his works now translated in to English, Rightol Media were very positive about his style of writing and finding an audience in China that would appeal to his writing style.
Jessie Wang, Rights Manager, Rightol Media, said, “China continues to see huge growth across all book sectors with children’s books still very much at the forefront. The book market continues to witness double-digit growth each year, which accounted for US$13 billion in sales last year. Online sales continue to outstrip those of traditional stores, but across the board China is experiencing a boom in book sales.
“We work with more than 3,000 publishers from over 50 countries and help promote their books to more than 95% of all Chinese publishers. We help new writers to the Chinese market promote their rights, translate their books, sign contracts and publish their work here. Our books include, but are not limited to lifestyle, art, children, economic and management, self-help, social science, languages and technology. I think Damrong Pinkoon’s books grab people’s attention with their eye-catching covers and I am sure we will help to find a new generation of readers for him.”