Beijing International Book Fair 2018: Book fair goes digital at a faster pace
The 25th Beijing International Book Fair is now underway. This year, a brand-new digital zone has been put under the spotlight. It features about fifty hi-tech exhibitors showcasing their latest digital reading products. Reporter Wang Mengzhen shows us how much the digital age has taken over at this year's book fair. Take a look.
English copies of Chinese online literature unexpectedly have already gained a huge overseas fan base.
The digital platform Webnovel was launched last year.
It brings Chinese literature, especially Internet novels to global readers, with a focus on Southeast Asian and North American markets.
CHEN SHANSHAN, GENERAL MANAGER WEBNOVEL, CHINA LITERATURE "We found there is a group of fans who are very interested in Wuxia and Xianxia (Martial arts) stories. These fans are mostly from English speaking countries. The first time I told them that we update daily, they said wow, daily, seriously?"
Step by step, they have provided more than 150 Chinese online novels in English, attracting over 12 million total visitors.
CHEN SHANSHAN, GENERAL MANAGER WEBNOVEL, CHINA LITERATURE "For western readers, their mindset is that if I want to read, I have to buy a book, a whole book that I pay for once. But for us, we are now trying to introduce what we have done in Chinese markets which is pay by chapters."
While some are eager to promote Chinese masterpieces overseas, foreign publishers like Israel's EBook Pro is reaching out to the Chinese market.
This is the fourth time author Tali Carmi, also the publisher's co-founder, has come to the fair. She says digital versions of her children's books have already hit Chinese digital platforms with 3 to 4 thousand copies being sold per month.
TALI CARMI, CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER EBOOK PRO "We have found Chinese market is most interested in non-fiction books like self-help, leadership, business, economy and children in these genres. Publishers are interested and will make offers to buy the copy right to bring to the Chinese market."
On the sidelines of the book fair, global leading experts have gathered at a two-day special digital forum. Digital leaders like Amazon are forecasting our future reading experience.
ZHANG XIA, ENTERPRISE STRATEGIST AMAZON WEB SERVICE "We see traditional publishers becoming more digital. Then we also see the merge of some related industries including publishing, education and media industries. They become all integrated together."
This year, the Beijing International Book Fair has invited some 50 global digital publishers. Besides that, many traditional Chinese publishers have also initiated their digital serivces. Wang Mengzhen, CGTN, BEIJING.