More Books Needed in Chinese Rural Areas
Rural households in China spent an average of just 139.3 RMB （20.30 US dollars） on entertainment in 2008, according to People's Daily.
Ministry of Agriculture statistics show each household spent an average of 348 RMB （50.90 US dollars） on culture-related services in 2008, but that 208.7 RMB （30.50 dollars） of this money was spent on their children's education.
This means rural households spent the remaining money on items like books or films for their personal entertainment. This represents an increase of just 2 RMB on the 2007 data and the newspaper blamed the economic downturn. In contrast, spending on entertainment in 2007 rose by 25.6 RMB over the year before.
The major entertainment is watching TV, and sometimes folk art performances in villages and towns. Some peasants did not buy a single book, or watch a movie last year.
In Xichen village of Henan province only a few people have access to newspapers and magazines and the Internet is beyond the reach of most villagers. "There is no place to buy a newspaper here," a villager in his 50s said. The man said he paid 5 RMB and traveled 25 km by bus to another town simply to buy his grandson a reference book. Neither village has a library or other cultural facilities.
The lack of cultural services in rural areas has presented opportunities for some businesses, including Books-on-the-go which sells truck-loads of books to people in rural areas. A few provinces and cities, including Yunnan and Shaanxi provinces and Taiyuan and Shenyang cities, have allocated funds to build libraries and other cultural centres.
(April 2009, Xiang Isabel)
China's First Multi-media Interactive Youth Novel Published
A romance novel "A Heart of Sadness", called "the First Multi-media Interactive Youth Novel in China", was recently published by Beijing Yanshan Publishing House, and was simultaneously launched across the country in mid-Feb.
"A Heart of Sadness" is another work receiving lots of attention written by romance novelist Mi Xiaosu after the launch of her previous work "My Love, Where Are You". With montage switch techniques, the book starts with a university graduate, Lin Xiyan, working for a magazine where she meets her colleague, a photographer named Zhou An'nian. With a complicated plot, the story unfolds layer after layer in the process of gain and loss.
(February 2009, Xiang Isabel, APPREB correspondent)
China's CIPG's Sales of Foreign-language Books Hit RMB1.5 m in List Price during the Olympic Games
Incomplete statistics suggested that a number of foreign-language books including -- A Tourist Sketch Map of Beijing, A Trip to Beijing on Frugal Finance Scheme, Chinese Red, Chinese Seals, Chinese Knots, published by the Foreign Languages Press subordinate to China International Publishing Group (CIPG), have sold 23,000 copies with a sales of RMB1.5 million in list price during the 2008 Olympic Games.
Foreign-language books published by CIPG have been favoured by government departments and the publishing circle. After careful comparison and selection, the Information Office of the State Council and BOCOG's Media and Communications Department bought many titles in English editions from CIPG, including Watching the Olympic Games with a Book, Riverside Talks: A Friendly Dialogue Between an Atheist and a Christian, Chinese Red, Chinese Seals, Chinese Knots, and "World Heritages in China" series. China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation purchased 186 titles from CIPG. BOCOG's director of international liaison especially appreciated the Chinese-English Sports Dictionary and Olympic Games Practical Words Handbook, considering them to be both "highly practical and authoritative."
(December 2008, Xiang Isabel, APPREB correspondent)
Chinese Popular Author Eyes Profits Online
The growing popularity of digital reading has prompted bestselling young Chinese author Han Han to release his new novel on the Internet.
"Ta De Guo" ("His Country"), of which Han Han has finished only one tenth so far, will be available for paid reading from December 1 on Qidian.com, the online library has announced.
Han Han will update the story every day and finish the book before the end of the year. A printed edition will only be produced after all of the content goes online.To read the entire book, readers will have to pay eight yuan, or 0.08 yuan per 1000 words. This is almost four times the price of an average writer on Qidian.com.
On the 2007 list of Chinese millionaire writers, Han Han ranked 13th with 3.8 million yuan. The richest, Guo Jingming, earned 11 million yuan.
Statistics from China Internet Network Information Center show that there are at least 253 million Internet users in China. Such a large-scale Internet population has cultivated a burgeoning industry for online novel writing. Among the many success stories is Zhang Muye, an office worker whose fantasy novel "Ghost Blows out the Light" made him the 19th wealthiest author in 2007.
(December 2008, Xiang Isabel, APPREB correspondent)
China's Government Award for Publishing Released
The China Government Publishing Award is the highest award for China's publishing industry. 100 publications released between the beginning of 2003 and the end of 2006 have earned the Award.
60 of the winners were honoured with Book Awards. The list includes "the Biography of Mao Zedong" and "Chronicle of Deng Xiaoping". The awards cover literature, minority works, art, reprints of ancient books, children's stories and science.
Wu Shangzhi, director of Publishing MGMT, General Administration of Press & Publication People's Republic of China (GAPP), said, "Four generations have contributed to writing the Encyclopedia of China's Plants. It has filled a gap for China and the world." Wang Yanbin, director of printing management, GAPP, said, "Printing quality has reached the international level"
In addition to the prints, there were 17 winners in music and video production. As the highest award for China's publishing industry, the Chinese Government Publishing Award absorbed 22 original nation-wide book awards. Award winners are to be named every three years.
(March 2008, Xiang Isabel, APPREB correspondent)