Children’s books industry booming in China
Experts say now is the golden age for kid’s publications in the country as publishers frenetically generate new content to meet demand for quality books
Even though the publishing indust ry around the world has been in decline over the past decade, children’s books have somehow managed to become the exception, being the only sector to thrive amid competition from new media, said Randy Wang of Reed Exhibitions, organizer of the China Shanghai Children’s Book Fair (CCBF).
Held between Nov 11 and 13 at the Expo Exhibition Center, the fair celebrated its third edition here in Shanghai this year with a tremendous crowd and vendor turnout that surprised the organizers.
“You might think online bookstores such as Amazon and Dangdang have taken over the retail business of books with their home delivery services and discount prices,” said Wang.
“Yet, people don’t hesitate to pay hundreds of yuan to buy imported books for their children at the fair.”
Similarly in France, more than 12,000 children’s books are published every year and 7,000 of them are new titles, said Nathalie Beau, a specialist of children’s literature from France. Sales of children’s books have “never fallen”, she added, despite aggressive competition from digital content.
This year’s CCBF attracted more than 300 publishers and professionals from related industries, and they showcased more than 20,000 book titles.
Five Scandinavian countries had also participated in the fair for the first time. Housed in a Nordic-themed pavilion, more than 10 institutions from these countries peddled their latest products to Chinese parents.
Roleff Krakstromy from Finland expressed his excitement for the Chinese market, saying that while the European market was becoming too saturated, people here in China were eager for new content.
Over at the booth of Danish company Globe Publishing, Per Schou presented a series of playsets, consisting of a book and a board-game that he said have been specially designed to help develop creative, physical, personal and social skills for children. Schou is currently searching for a Chinese business partner to bring the product to the Chinese market.
Collaborations with foreign
project director of