Text: | Print|

Author records big year for book sales

2014-12-23 14:43 China Daily Web Editor: Si Huan

The richest Chinese writer reaped 19.5 million yuan ($3.14 million) of royalty gains in 2014, according to the latest China Writers Rich List.

Fifty Chinese writers have gained more than 1 million yuan in royalties from their works in print, according to the list, revealed in Chengdu, Sichuan province, over the weekend.

Among them, the country's Nobel laureate, Mo Yan, ranked 13th with 6.5 million yuan. Established writers like Yu Hua and Jia Pingwa took 33rd with 2.65 million yuan and 47th with 1.5 million yuan.

The two top teen icons, Han Han and Guo Jingming, came in sixth and seventh with 15 million yuan and 13 million yuan.

The writers enlisted fall basically into three categories: established writers of serious literature, writers of online literature and popular reading, and children's writers.

"The list, similar to the previous eight lists, shows that Chinese readers trust established literary masters, and the majority of readers who still buy books in print are children and teenagers," Wu Huaiyao, director of the list's organizing team, said in Chengdu.

The list is based on an equation consisting of book price, total copies sold and percentage of writers' royalties, after months of the team's survey with online and offline bookstores, publishers and distributors, Wu said. It has been regarded as an indicator of the country's reading and publishing trends.

The top winner on the list is 34-year-old Zhang Jiajia, the writer and playwright who soared to fame with a collection of short stories circulated wildly for their soothing and curing power for young readers struggling to find their place in society.

"My books sold 4 million copies in 2013-14, and I was told there were another 4 million copies sold in unauthorized channels," Zhang said. "I think readers now are tired of being lectured to by books, they crave relaxation and relief from reading."

Wu agreed and added that Chinese are now reading to seek resonance of their basic social values, like ideas of love, from books.

Another obvious trend among Chinese readers is that their book choices are influenced by the entertainment business: The books having TV or film or game adaptations are bound to sell well.

That is further supported by a side list on top royalty reapers in the Chinese book market among foreign writers. With The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini came in first with the top 7.6 million yuan in China. The side list indicates that the Chinese love to buy original works to famed screen adaptations, including House of Cards, and A Song of Ice and Fire and the Harry Potter series.

"We're also pleased to find that the majority of book buyers are younger readers, which means the reading population among our next generation is comfortingly big," Wu said.

The rich list has been constantly in controversy for connecting money with writing. Most of the writers enlisted in the previous lists would shun responding to the figures of their income.

But to Wu and the team, public focus is what they crave because "the major purpose when I started in 2006 was to call for more attention on writers, who deserve more respect."

Comments (0)
Most popular in 24h
  Archived Content
Media partners:

Copyright ©1999-2018 Chinanews.com. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.