Publishing cooperation helps the world better understand China
By Ji Jing  ·  2022-04-24  ·   Source: Web Exclusive

Participants share their views online and offline at the Seminar on Publishing for International Readers on April 22 (COURTESY PHOTO)   

Publishers underlined the need to share China's experience with readers around the world through books on diverse topics at a webinar on April 22, one day ahead of the World Book Day.  

The Seminar on Publishing for International Readers was hosted by China International Communications Group (CICG) and attended by over 80 participants, including publishers from the UK, Spain, Bulgaria, Thailand and Pakistan as well as their Chinese counterparts. It zoomed in on China-themed books publishing and international cooperation in the post-pandemic era.  

CICG Vice President Lu Cairong said at the webinar that in recent years, China has won more attention from the world for its efforts in fighting the epidemic, eradicating absolute poverty and hosting the Olympic Winter Games, and the CICG, through books, has been sharing China's experience with the world.  

Participants agree that Chinese and foreign publishers should communicate and cooperate more actively, expand the topics of China-theme books, and innovate the mode of publication and communication, so that the world can better understand China. 

It was suggested that to cope with the changes brought by the pandemic, publishers should provide readers with various digital solutions, such as e-books, short videos, and other online resources.   

"The Generation Z market for interactive audio visual content is colossal. The Gen Z [overseas] is keen to understand China and its people," Francis Gerard, General Manager of UK company Totem Productions said during the webinar.  

Totem has collaborated with CICG's subsidiary Dolphin Books in publishing a series of six Chinese legendary stories, including Monkey King, and Houyi and the Ten Suns.   

"It's best, before writing, for Dolphin Books to do some research on the readers and the market to find out what exactly Gen Z in countries such as the UK and the U.S. want to know about China. It's not an easy task as the publisher and the audience come from two different cultures. The publisher should have better understanding of the real preferences and concerns of Gen Z outside China," Gerard said.  

The webinar provided exactly such an opportunity. Heads of seven publishing houses under CICG proposed the books that they plan to publish abroad at the seminar and foreign publishers provided their advice to the books. 

Foreign partners have provided useful suggestions on the topics, translation and promotion of the books, CICG Vice President Liu Dawei said.  

The webinar was held under the auspices of a mechanism for collaboration established between CICG and its international counterparts in 2019. Seven publishers under CICG, the China International Book Trading Corporation along with over 20 foreign publishers are involved in the mechanism at present.  

Copyedited by G. P. Wilson   

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