Books

China is a huge country. It has 1.386 billion people. When we talk about China the numbers are often impressive. The country represents an opportunity for anyone who wants to do business there, the author included. In this article, we will deep dive into the Chinese book market as well as the best practices to sell books in China.

According to a report by the industry of book in China, 506 million digital book readers were found in China in 2021. This is an increase of 2.43 percent from last year.

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According to the China digital readership report 2021, China’s overall digital market reached 41.57 trillion yuan ($6.4 Billion). This represents an 18.23 percent increase in year-on-year growth.

According to the report, which was compiled mainly by the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association and also indicating that digital content is becoming more affordable for readers, more and more people are willing and able to pay.

Last year, more than 400,000 Chinese digital books were published abroad. The most popular destinations for these books were North America, Japan and the Republic of Korea. According to the report, fantasy and martial arts were the most popular topics.

Overview of the Chinese Book Market

It is estimated that 58% of the Chinese population regularly reads books. It represents more than half the population with 800 million people. The Chinese book market is therefore considered to be a market with a very large audience.

In fact, there are more than 700.000 book stores in China making the country the largest book market, no wonder why more and more book publishers are trying to sell books in China!

A new library in China to make young people in China discover “books”

Who are Chinese Book Lovers?

This large audience has diverse interests in reading.

When Chinese women buy books, the pleasure of reading prevails. Meanwhile, it is more the desire for knowledge that guides Chinese men in their book purchase decision.

Book preferences are also observed by age groups. Typically Younger folks are more interested in fiction books, whereas Parents go for more serious topics and have a much more stimulating reading experience. For the elderly, the subject matter of their reading becomes deeper and deeper. Books on topics such as philosophy sell better to a more mature audiance.

How to actually sell books in China?

We’re digital. Even books are being sold on the internet. In fact, that’s how the e-commerce giant was born. Yeah, I’m talking about Amazon. The company has now expanded to include countless different products But in the beginning, the object that Amazon was trying to make accessible to everyone was the book.

It is thanks to Amazon that literature is now accessible to everyone. More than ever before, books are at the desire of consumers. One more factor that promotes book sales is globalization. Cultures are becoming more and more intertwined. People have a desire to learn about the world. Travel books are a booming market. And above all, languages!

The world’s population is beginning to want to travel and thus learn new languages. Let’s start with English, which is present almost everywhere. That’s why selling foreign books in China is a great opportunity.

In order to do this, it is first necessary to find out what strategy to adopt. As we have seen, China is a large market, but it is also complex and unique. As you probably already know, the country blocks some sites and thus uses its own tools.

Indeed, there are some very effective Chinese e-commerce sites; they are the only ones that can be used in the territory, given the restrictions to which the other sites are subject. On the other hand, these platforms have their own codes, so you have to understand them in order to master them.

Here are the websites you need to use in order to sell books in China :

1- Dangdang

2- Douban

3- WeChat

5- Taobao

Sell Books in China on Onlie App Dangdang

Dangdang is a company created in 1999 by Peggy Yu and Li Guoqing. The company has thus become one of Amazon’s legitimate competitors. In 2010, Dangdang entered the book market with a fierce price war.

Reach out to Chinese Book Lovers on Douban

Sell Books in China - Douban Chinese Forums and social media

Douban was created 14 years ago. The primary purpose of the platform was sharing. Indeed, users can exchange opinions and advice. There are books, music, films but also activities to do in the various cities of the country.
People find valuable advice, books, for example, are rated and commented on.
Douban will not be used to market your books, however, it is essential that you use it. The promotion of your book must be adapted to your target audience. Chinese consumers rely heavily on the comments of others to get an idea of the product. So make sure you don’t neglect the promotion that a site like Douban can bring you.

WeChat: great place to promote and sell books in China

WeChat is the most used application in China. It has nearly 900 million users. The platform is gaining more and more ground and functionality. Today WeChat is not only restricted to its original use, which was an instant messenger.

WeChat is also a place of commerce. If there are many users, it makes the market even more fruitful. This is why the platform has become a highly coveted place for e-commerce. But then again, it’s complex. We must then arm ourselves with patience and precautions in order to adopt a strategy adapted to Chinese consumers. The e-commerce platform could thus be used to create an online shop. This would give your brand visibility and therefore a reputation in the market.

For more information about how you can use WeChat: https://ecommercechinaagency.com/how-a-foreign-company-sell-on-wechat/

How to sell books in China with Taobao?

Taobao is a web platform that sells online and is a surprisingly good channel to sell your books in china. The company was created in 2003 and today has around 8 million users. Obviously, the site is only written in Chinese because it is intended for a Chinese audience. That’s why you need to call on professionals.

You can sell anything on Taobao, from icon package to customized pillows or skincare to clothing.. and books are also a favorite. What we like about Taobao: it’s cheap and relatively easy to register a seller account. Also, they just release their user affiliate program. We can wait to see where this goes.

To conclude on selling books in China


It is obvious that breaking into the Chinese market is a complex action. Especially with the language barriers, but not only! It is all the things learned by our experts that are important to know. Therefore, if you wish to get started and sell your books in China, we invite you to contact us so that we can send you all the necessary knowledge on the subject.

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21 Comments

  1. I’m an author whose desire it is to sell my book in the Chinese market. The title of my book is TEARS OF A HUNGRY NIGERIAN ENTREPRENEUR and it is available on Amazon.com
    What other info do I need if I want to start selling it in the Chinese market.

  2. Peace greeting, I welcome you from the depths of humility and respect

    My name is Ali Suroor from Dubai. I am 43 years old. I am a writer, novelist and writer for stories, poetry, literature and theater. I have a book translated into English, which is a book that contains sentences containing wisdom, ideals and lessons, and I hope that you accept my book in your high-end platform.

    Ali suroor
    Dubai

  3. I have a sailing ebook ‘Sailing Adventures in Paradise’ English edition, which I would like to sell in China. It is normally listed in the sport, water sport categories, but I am wondering in China if it would be better to list it in travel category?
    Also, should I contact the various ebook sellers( DangDang, WeChat, Taobao direct?
    Looking forward to your response,
    Many thanks,

  4. I am the author of an art/literature/philosophy of science book from New Zealand, eager to find a promoter for the Chinese market.
    Please contact me.
    Thank you!
    Mihai

      1. Hi I’m the author of a book written in three languages Chinese/English/Swahili the book focuses on helping someone to speak the 3 languages. I’m looking for a promoter for Chinese market

  5. I am a poet and write short stories for children. I would like to publish my book in China to give the Chinese people a look at American Literature, its traditionalism, versatility, while promoting cooperation and exchange of ideas between our two nations.

  6. I wrote a children’s book called “Twinkleville” about fairies that sells on Amazon. How can I sell it in the Chinese market? It is about 6500 words for children ages 6-12. Thanks!

  7. Hi,
    I write contemporay romance and am considering translating my books into Chinese but wanted to know how I would go about selling. I currently only use Amazon to distribute my ebooks and paperbacks?

    Kind Regards

  8. Hi I have written and printed a paper back book of modern poetry called colours. My poems include social commentary and philosophy of modern life in the United Kingdom. I would like to publish my book with a genuine Chinese publisher and sell it in China.

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