China’s children’s book market: Big numbers, local talent
(From Publishing Perspectives. Link to the complete article given below)
While other markets around the world reported relatively stable children’s book sales in 2017 (with small increases or decreases), China’s children’s book market grew by 9.66 percent—and this is its lowest growth rate in the last 10 years.
This is according to a new report, “2018 Report on China’s Children’s Publishing Industry,” by Ren Dianshun, editor-in-chief of China Publishers Magazine and a researcher at the Industry Research Institute of China South Publishing & Media Group (CNS).
This slower growth comes after a decade of huge changes for Chinese book publishing, and the children’s book sector in particular, in which the average annual growth rate over the last 10 years is 19 percent.
Ren presented his report during a conference session at the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) last week. The fair is now being co-organized by BolognaFiere, which brought some expanded programming and other elements of its Bologna Children’s Book Fair to Shanghai.
Children’s books—picture books, in particular—are relatively new in China. At the Bologna Book Fair earlier this year, Haiyun Zhao, deputy director-general for SAPPRFT’s department of import administration, told Publishing Perspectives that modern picture books have been on the market in China only for about 15 years.
In this short amount of time, Chinese publishers have built up the domestic children’s book sector by bringing many foreign titles to the market and by developing authors and illustrators at home.
Ren reports that 22,834 new children’s books were published in China last year, and 19,607 titles were reprinted. Sales reached 17.55 billion yuan (US$2.5 billion) in 2017, up from 3.9 billion RMB (US$561 million) in 2008.
Using more than a decade’s worth of data from a number of sources—GAPP, CNS, industry research firm OpenBook, e-commerce company Dangdang, and data solutions provider Centrin Ecloud—the report shows a market that is quickly maturing yet still offers plenty of potential for both Chinese and international publishers.
The main reasons for this rapid growth, Ren told the audience, are China’s massive population and peoples’ increasing willingness to spend money on books. More people are reading, he said, and parents are spending more money on books for their children than before.