Amazon KDP Marketing And Promotion – New Book Launch!

## Onward and Upward: The Momentum of Chinese Children’s Publishing

In the realm of Chinese publishing, the children’s literature segment has been on a steady ascent since 2002, ushering in what industry experts have dubbed the “golden era” of children’s books in China. This remarkable growth trajectory is largely attributed to the substantial population of individuals under 18 (approximately 370 million and counting) and the burgeoning middle class (around 400 million people) with an enhanced disposable income dedicated to education and reading.

**Fueling the Rise: A Thriving Market**

The children’s book segment now commands a significant 26.53% share of China’s total book retail market, valued at CNY 102.27 billion ($14.71 billion). This segment experienced an impressive 18.5% expansion last year, sustaining a growth streak that has consistently exceeded 10% since 2015.

Sun Zhu, president of China Children’s Press & Publication Group (CCPPG), the country’s leading children’s book publisher in terms of output, attributes the segment’s sustained expansion to a more clearly defined target market and a profitability level significantly higher than the overall market average, propelling its growth at a faster pace compared to other book segments.

**Diversity of Genres: Catering to a Range of Interests**

Children’s literature, pop science/science encyclopedias, comic books, and picture books dominate the Chinese children’s book market, along with translated titles. In terms of distribution channels, children’s literature is primarily sold through brick-and-mortar bookstores, while cartoon/comics and picture books perform exceptionally well at online stores. Pop science, another rapidly growing segment, is a key focus area for many publishers.

**Navigating Trends and Predicting the Future**

Current bestsellers in the children’s book market are predominantly older titles, indicating the difficulty for new publications to break through. However, cross-disciplinary titles that merge literature with history and science, or picture books that offer both elements of science and art, are emerging as a future trend.

The impact of advancing technology and media consciousness is expected to further augment science and technology-related content in children’s books. The demand for higher-quality education from parents and educators is also broadening the range of reading materials for children, leading to a decline in the dominance of a specific genre or category in the market.

**Adapting to Challenges: A Changing Landscape**

Last year, 26,368 new children’s titles entered the Chinese book market, marking a decrease from the previous year’s 30,940. This can partly be attributed to the government’s intervention to cool down the booming segment by extending the application process for Cataloging in Publication (CIP) numbers, which are essential for publishing titles in China.

This extended process is viewed positively by Li Xin, vice president and general editor at Thinkingdom Children’s Books, as it compels publishers to meticulously assess the potential of each new title or rights deal and its alignment with the current market. This approach effectively curtails the tendency to indiscriminately acquire any title that comes into view. With fewer but more carefully selected titles, publishers can optimize their resources and devise more focused marketing campaigns for each publication.

**Exploring Niche Areas and Emerging Topics**

The current Chinese children’s book market is characterized as a red ocean, with intense competition and focus on popular and bestselling topics. To differentiate their offerings and remain competitive, publishers are exploring niche areas and emerging topics.

Historical and cultural conservation and restoration efforts across China present a promising publishing area, providing an understanding and appreciation of the country’s extensive history. Such books are ideally suited for museums and libraries, with immense potential for repackaging, special editions, and merchandising.

Body safety, emotional health, and anti-bullying are emerging topics gaining traction in the Chinese children’s book market. Parents and educators seek titles that offer science principles and applications in everyday life, encouraging children’s enthusiasm for reading, learning science, and applying their knowledge.

**Embracing Technology: Shaping the Future of Reading**

The future of the industry lies in variety and enriched formats, according to Ji Tong, president of Aurora Publishing House. Intelligent and interactive reading experiences, previously constrained by paper and ink or production costs, are now feasible and viable. The integration of new technology with captivating content is transforming the children’s-publishing landscape.

At Thinkingdom Children’s Books, the focus is on publishing original titles that address current trends and issues surrounding Chinese children. One such topic revolves around busy parents preoccupied with their mobile phones, neglecting their children’s attention. This universal concern is being addressed through a picture book scheduled for release in October.

**Collaboration and Originality: Keys to Success**

The intense competition among children’s book publishers, with nearly 600 operating in the market, has resulted in shrinking profit margins, further exacerbated by heavy discounting at bookstores and online retailers. Sally Yan, founder and editor-in-chief at Beijing Dandelion Children’s Book House, advocates for cultivating an understanding among the creative community—authors, illustrators, animators, editors, and publishers—to elevate the industry and ensure that each player fulfills their role effectively. This collaborative approach is essential for producing outstanding original publications and fostering a cohesive and mature industry.

CCPPG emphasizes the development of original titles and nurturing new talents, rather than solely focusing on sales figures. In 2019, the company published 753 new titles, over 85% of which were originals.

**Reaching the Target Audience: Embracing Diverse Platforms**

China’s vast mobile phone user base, coupled with increasing mobile usage and speedy mobile payment, has facilitated the emergence of numerous online platforms offering publishers effective channels to market and sell their books.

Savvy publishers can leverage a combination of appropriate online platforms and select brick-and-mortar bookstores across China to optimize their marketing and promotional strategies. Bai Bing, editor-in-chief of Jieli Publishing House, highlights the importance of studying the characteristics of each channel and platform, customizing product planning and marketing strategies to maximize returns. The marketing channels and platforms are diversified and decentralized, complementing each other when utilized effectively.

**Success Stories: Marketing and Promotion**

Publishers have achieved remarkable success by collaborating with online platforms. For instance, CCPPG’s partnership with Mom Dan’s Children Book Library resulted in the sale of 80,000 copies of The Nine-Colored Deer series within two weeks through the platform’s official WeChat account. PHEI (Children’s Books Division) experienced similar success with its pop-up title Open Up: China, utilizing Douyin (TikTok) to showcase the pop-ups of architectural gems through short video presentations, generating buzz and directing traffic to the company’s WeChat platform.

**5G Technology: A New Era of Connectivity**

The impending rollout of 5G networks across China is expected to bring about significant changes in the publishing industry. Instantaneous 5G transmission will transform the way information is disseminated to target audiences, expanding the creative space for audio- and video-based content and media-rich multiformat publications. Immersive reading experiences requiring fast and massive data transmission will become possible, opening up segments such as pop science where virtual reality can be introduced.

**Fulfilling Social Responsibility: Promoting Reading**

Efforts are underway to address the challenge of getting books to children in rural and remote areas of China. Increased mobile networks enabling book sales via online channels have alleviated the disparity in access to books between rural and urban areas. Rural areas now have the capabilities to purchase books online, and farming and rural communities have established their own bookstores. Government initiatives are also funneling more books into rural stores, leading to increased book consumption levels in these areas.

Publishers are organizing reading campaigns and donating books to rural schools and communities, particularly those situated in border areas and remote and mountainous regions. Such CSR programs aim to provide quality content and foster reading habits among children in underserved areas.

**Looking Ahead: A Promising Future**

Chinese children’s book publishers are cautiously optimistic about the future of the segment, acknowledging the potential economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak. However, the resilience and tenacity of publishers in adapting their marketing and promotional activities, editorial processes, and strategies to the online realm have mitigated much of the damage. The industry is poised to rebound and continue its growth trajectory, with a focus on high-quality original titles, enriched formats, and innovative marketing approaches.


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