Gloria Bailey on Beijing Book Fair


Written by Gloria Bailey, Overseas Trade Manager on Friday 28th September 2018.

The Chinese market is undoubtedly of increasing interest to UK publishers. Those who have exhibited at the fair in recent years have seen their business in China grow significantly. One of the Publsihers Association’s regular exhibitors has seen an increase of 400% on their Chinese business in the past five years. This growth is partly driven by the diversification of the Chinese market. Until recently, the industry was dominated by state publishing entities, but as private publishing companies have entered the playing field there are more companies to do business with. Coupled with an appetite for a greater range of titles is the rise of the Chinese middle class whose tastes for high-quality fine art publications, children’s fiction and the personal development genre are driving consumer spend. While many publishers have been exhibiting for years, the Fair continues to attract newcomers. This year, eight of the 33 companies that exhibited with the Publishers Association were testing the market for the first time. For small and medium-sized publishers, Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) grants provided by the Department for International Trade cover some of exhibiting costs and are very much an incentive to visit the fair and explore its business potential. Companies often prefer exhibiting as part of an organised group, especially because of the language barrier. When they exhibit as part of the UK group, the Publishers Association provides much-needed advice on the complex shipping arrangements and facilitates one-to-one business clinics for first timers and networking opportunities for the group. We are also beginning to see an increased interest from literary agents and we understand there will be more in the Rights Centre next year.

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