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Deal will start new chapter for Chinese books in the UK

By Cecily Liu in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-04-11 00:53

The number of Chinese books that are sold in the United Kingdom is expected to increase because of a new partnership announced on Monday by China’s CYP Press and Britain’s Bloomsbury Publishing.

The initiative, called China Global Publishing, was unveiled on the eve of the three-day London Book Fair.

Under the arrangement, the two publishers will select Chinese books that are suitable for the British market, and invest in their translation, and the publishing and promotion of an English version in the UK.

The publishers aim to publish 100 titles a year.

“Traditionally, Chinese publishers find it hard to sell books into the UK due to their lack of channels to effectively market the English translations to the British audience,” said Guo Guang, general manager of CYP International Ltd. “On the other hand, British publishers find it hard to discover suitable Chinese material, because they simply don’t know where to search when facing China’s large publishing market.”

CYP Press, which established a UK subsidiary in 2007, has published 400 Chinese-to-English books in the UK. Bloomsbury has, so far, only published one.

“Under this arrangement, we will share the risks and share the benefits, while ensuring the end quality,” said Guo.

He said he expects the arrangement to be a financial success for both publishers, and, if business volume picks up, the publishers may launch a new joint venture publishing house in the UK dedicated to the endeavor.

Richard Charkin, executive director of Bloomsbury, said: “China Global Publishing is the first step to reward Chinese writers with income, readership, and opportunities from the UK market. It also brings fascinating content to British readers.”

Industry insiders have endorsed the initiative.

Emma House, deputy chief executive of The Publishers Association, said it may lead to a breakthrough for Chinese literature in the UK, because the same model has already worked for Indian and Arabic language publications.

“The British market is very competitive, you have to have the right connections, expertise and channels,” House said. “Traditionally, Chinese publishers have established UK offices and tried to publish English translations themselves, but their limited understanding of what the British readers want is restricting them. With Bloomsbury on board, this new initiative can make a difference.”

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