China Bestsellers: Youth Titles Compete With the Classics

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Though classics remained heavy on the Chinese fiction list in October, YA books—as we open a new chart of illustrated bestsellers—are growing in strength, often starting as online reading.

In Shanghai, shoppers get temperature checks on the way into an Apple store, November 14. Image – iStockphoto: Robert Way

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Newly Added: Domestic and Foreign Illustrated Books
In this report on bestsellers in China, we begin carrying new charts on bestselling illustrated books in China.

‘To Live’ by Yu Hua

Below, you’ll find our usual fiction and nonfiction bestsellers from our associates at Beijing OpenBook, followed by their rankings of international authors on the Chinese market in fiction and nonfiction. You’ll also find, however, the addition of charts on illustrated books—again, first the overall list, OpenBook’s top rankings across the board, and then the list of top performing illustrated books by international (non-Chinese) authors.

We expect this new set of bestseller lists for illustrated books to offer more insights about children’s books, graphic novels, and other illustrated titles in the Chinese book market.

The Rising Place of Youth-Targeted Content

‘The End’ (Book 2 of the ‘Underachieve’ series) by Mu Gua Huang

Our new illustrated book charts have a bit of tweaking ahead, to bring them better into alignment with our other charts, but we’re glad to be making this start today (December 3) and we hope to bring you specific commentary from time to time relative to their rankings, thanks to the team in Beijing.

Meanwhile, October works as a “shoulder season” of sorts each year, in its reflection of the long-standing fondness of Chinese readers for classics. Never a quickly shifting set of charts, our OpenBook fiction besteller list for October features at its top seven books that have been on the list for more than 20 months. In fact, October’s No. 3 title, To Live by Yu Hua (Writer’s Publishing House, 2005), has been on the list for 82 consecutive months, almost seven years.

But for those who like to see contemporary work find its way into modern markets that cling as firmly to classics as China’s readership traditionally does, you’ll be glad to know that the clearing of the school year’s opening means that we should begin to see now some easing of the classical overhang.

One of the best avenues for writers to build a following in China is online literature, which is published online and followed by millions in small serial increments. For those new to it in the West, there are parallels here to what Canada’s Wattpad does on its huge platform of primarily young readers and writers, and much longer running forms such as “soap opera” on television and radio. Gathered up into a single volume, or several, these stories produce big sales as books because they amass such broad followings in their early online life.

‘Break the Cloud’ by Huai Shang

As examples of this, our OpenBook associate Rainy Liu points today to Mu Gua Huang’s Beyond the Outline (China Zhi Gong Press), making its debut on the fiction list at No. 25. Mu’s “Underachieve” series’ second book, The End, is also here, at No. 21 (Beijing Times Chinese Press, 2019). That one is a return to the list, as is Break the Cloud by Huai Shang today at No. 23 (Jiangsu Literature and Art Press, 2019).

Relative to our newly arriving illustrated work, you’ll note the clear importance of visual presentation, illustration, in these works for younger readers. Just look at those two covers and that of Break the Cloud, as compared to that of the venerable To Live.

OpenBook’s team is taken in its October messaging to us by how firmly such young-readership material is taking hold in China.

In this month’s chart, they’ve noted, 11 works of comparatively eclectic character have entered the Top 30. Subclassifications would contextualize them as youth/campus, for example. Eight novels in that grouping are holding spots in the ranking, four of them in the Top 15.

Youth Literature: Still Young

OpenBook dates the development of youth-oriented literature on the commercial Chinese market to around 2000, when the author Han Han led the way, not least by resonating with readers born in the 1980s. This is, of course, part of the movement that also prompted some of the work of author Feng Tang, whose Beijing, Beijing was translated into English by Michelle Deeter for Amazon Crossing.

The trend in sales of work that originates online seems to be driven primarily by female consumers, OpenBook says, who like to purchase print copies of their favorite serially introduced stories.

In some insightful commentary from our colleague Liu, we read, “Since 2014, a new generation of youth literary writers represented by Zhang Jiajia, Dabing, and Zhang Haochen have become popular. Their works focus on heart-warming and healing styles, and are mainly short stories, which are suitable for reading during commutes and after classes.

’30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon’ by Chen Lei

“Nowadays, the pace of life is accelerating, and young people feel that they face a lot of pressure,” Liu says, “so this kind of casual reading is welcomed by many consumers born after 1995 and 2000.

“At the same time, this new generation of youth literature authors not only promote their works, but also focus on marketing themselves, aware of how much digital and social promotion helps to build a fan base.”

Identity marketing, in other words, is hardly unique to Western markets.

And a note from nonfiction: In October, the “30 Minutes” cartoon series by Chen Lei (Jiangsu Literature & Art Press) continued to sell very strongly, holding 12 of the Top 30 spots on OpenBook’s overall ranking. These books are produced in series, the 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon series, for example, somehow dispensing with its taken on China’s history in five volumes.

Below, then, are OpenBook’s overall lists from (month) of bestsellers in fiction and nonfiction, followed by its lists of bestselling fiction and nonfiction in China by authors from outside the country.

At the end of our article, as always, you’ll find notes on how the lists are constructed.

OpenBook’s Fiction Bestsellers, October 2020
September 2020 Ranking October 2020 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787540487645 2018-06 Moments We Shared Zhang Jiajia Hunan Literature & Art Press
9 2 9787500601593 2005-08 Red Crag Luo Guangbin,Yang Yiyan China Youth Press
2 3 9787506365437 2010-06 To Live Yu hua The Writer’s Publishing House
7 4 9787536692930 2008-01 The Three-Body Problem Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
6 5 9787536693968 2008-05 The Dark Forest Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
10 6 9787229030933 2010-11 Death’s End Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
12 7 9787559620187 2018-10 Ran Freely Wu Zhe Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
8 8 9787020164776 2020-07 A Late Bloomer Mo Yan People’s Literature Publishing House
13 9 9787559439482 2020-04 Ran Freely (3)(The End) Wu Zhe Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
16 10 9787559446848 2020-04 Ran Freely (2) (2020 Edition) Wu Zhe Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
14 11 9787559439833 2020-07 The Only One Mu Suli Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
4 12 9787530216781 2017-06 Ordinary Word (3 Volumns) Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 13 9787530216774 2017-07 Ordinary Word Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
5 14 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Nan Hai Publishing Co.
15 15 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.
17 16 9787208061644 2006-04 The Kite Runner (2018 Edition) Khaled Hosseini Shanghai People’s Publishing House
19 17 9787020090006 2012-07 Fortress Besieged Qian Zhongshu People’s Literature Publishing House
18 18 9787530215593 2017-06 To Live Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
28 19 9787569930337 2019-06 Underachieve Mu Gua Huang Beijing Times Chinese Press
30 20 9787559442680 2020-06 Break the Cloud (2) Huai Shang Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 21 9787569930344 2019-08 Underachieve (2)(The End) Mu Gua Huang Beijing Times Chinese Press
24 22 9787530219218 20190-2 Life is Like Ocean Mai Jia Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 23 9787559436399 2019-07 Break the Cloud Huai Shang Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 24 9787532776771 2018-03 Norwegian Wood (30th Anniversary Edition) Haruki Murakami Shanghai Translation Publishing House
Not Ranked 25 9787514516890 2020-08 Beyond the Outline Mu Gua Huang China Zhi Gong Press
3 26 9787020008735 1998-07 Journey to the West Wu Cheng’en People’s Literature Publishing House
29 27 9787530679272 2020-08 Bloom of Youth (2) Wu Zhe Baihua Literature & Art Publishing House
20 28 9787544280662 2020-03 Silent Parade Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.
11 29 9787020002207 1998-07 Dream of the Red Chamber Cao Xueqin People’s Literature Publishing House
27 30 9787544285148 2016-10 Malice Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.

OpenBook’s Nonfiction Bestsellers, October 2020
September 2020 Ranking October 2020 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
4 1 9787544276986 2019-10 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover Nan Hai Publishing Co.
3 2 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline Jane Nelsen Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
1 3 9787540487850 2018-08 Guo Degang on Chinese Cultural History Guo degang Hunan Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 4 9787549632725 2020-09 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (5) Chen Lei Wenhui Publishing House
5 5 9787540489304 2019-01 Danshari Yamashita Eiko Hunan Literature & Art Press
10 6 9787544387866 2019-09 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (4) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
9 7 9787539999883 2017-03 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
12 8 9787544382045 2018-05 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (2) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
13 9 9787544382052 2018-05 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (3) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
7 10 9787540484880 2018-01 The Gay Genius: The Life and Times of Su Tungpo (Commemorative Edition) Lin Yutang Hunan Literature & Art Press
8 11 9787508095226 2018-09 Nonviolent Communication Marshall B.Rosenberg Huaxia Publishing House
17 12 9787559418111 2018-04 30 Minutes of World History in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
2 13 9787020116133 2016-06 Red Star Over China Edgar Snow People’s Literature Publishing House
14 14 9787503561634 2017-08 Xi Jinping’s Seven Years as an Educated Youth Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C Central Party School Press
11 15 9787559643872 2020-08 May You 2.0 Da Bing Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
15 16 9787508660752 2017-02 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
19 17 9787559620125 2018-05 Genius on the Left, Lunatic on the Right (Full Version)(New Edition) Gao Ming Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 18 9787532177172 2020-08 30 Minutes of Song Poetry in Cartoon (2) Chen Lei Shanghai Literature & Art Press
21 19 9787201088945 2014-12 No More Than Skins Cai Chongda Tianjin People’s Publishing House
18 20 9787559436184 2019-05 30 Minutes of Tang Poetry in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
23 21 9787532174997 2020-03 30 Minutes of Song Poetry in Cartoon Chen Lei Shanghai Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 22 9787559639134 2020-06 The Rise of China Jin Yinan Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
16 23 9787549631698 2020-05 30 Minutes of Science History in Cartoon Chen Lei Wenhui Publishing House
20 24 9787020135639 2018-03 I and the Temple of Earth Shi Tiesheng People’s Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 25 9787108063106 2018-06 We Three (Third Edition) Yang Jiang SDX Joint Publishing Company
22 26 9787559435552 2019-09 30 Minutes of Tang Poetry in Cartoon (2) Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 27 9787530216590 2017-04 Silent Majority Wang Xiaobo Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
27 28 9787530214787 2017-04 The Stories of the Sahara Echo Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 29 9787544387873 2019-08 30 Minutes of Economics in Cartoon: Common Sense of Life Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
Not Ranked 30 9787535732309 2001-11 A Brief History of Time Stephen W.Hawking Hunan Science & Technology Press

NEW: OpenBook’s Illustrated Bestsellers, October 2020
October 2020 Ranking Release Date ISBN Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher Author Nationality
1 2013-08 9787533274269 Guess How Much I Love You Tomorrow Publishing House Sam McBratney,Anita Jeram Ireland
2 2018-08 9787549254293 Listenable Enlightenment Picture Book (60 volumes) Chang Jiang Press He Yao China
3 2007-05 9787543464582 My Dad Hebei Education Press Anthony Browne United Kingdom
4 2007-06 9787543464575 My Mum Hebei Education Press Anthony Browne United Kingdom
5 2013-05 9787533273460 Something From Nothing Tomorrow Publishing House Phoebe Gilman Canada
6 2017-12 9787511039200 Early childhood education and enlightenment stories for babies (80 volumes) Dolphin Press Xin Jinxing China
7 2017-11 9787557529239 Educational Picture Book of Love (8 volumes) Jilin Fine Arts Press Jilin Fine Arts Press China
8 2008-10 9787543470927 David Goes to School Hebei Education Press David Shannon United States
9 2020-01 9787571801472 Children’s Adverse Quotient Training Picture Book (12 volumes) Hebei Fine Arts Press Chen Junhong China
10 2014-01 9787539189147 MIYANISHI’s Tyrannosaurus Series 21st Century Press Group Tatsuya Miyanishi Japan
11 2013-05 9787533273477 Diary of a Worm Tomorrow Publishing House Doreen Cronin United States
12 2007-04 9787543464636 No, David! Hebei Education Press David Shannon United States
13 2006-10 9787539135168 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to See the Sea 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
14 2013-07 9787533274245 The Runaway Bunny Tomorrow Publishing House Margaret Wise Brown,Clement Hrud United States
15 2015-12 9787556808809 Little light bulb emotional management picture book (8 volumes) 21st Century Press Group Shin Hye-sun Korea
16 2006-10 9787539135151 Les P’tites Poules: I will Get the Sun Back 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
17 2006-10 9787539135175 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to Have a Little Brother 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
18 2006-10 9787539135182 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to Have a Star 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
19 2006-10 9787539135137 Les P’tites Poules: I Love the Black Kitty 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
20 2006-10 9787539135144 Les P’tites Poules: I Can Beat the Monster 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
21 2013-06 9787539188607 Les P’tites Poules: I Love the Saucepan 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
22 2009-05 9787539148076 Les P’tites Poules: I Like Her Very Much 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
23 2009-05 9787539144542 Les P’tites Poules: I Don’t Want to Be Eaten 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois France
24 2011-10 9787539168999 Les P’tites Poules: I Am Not a Coward 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
25 2010-06 9787539155937 Les P’tites Poules: I Must Rescue B E Riot 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
26 2008-09 9787539141992 Les P’tites Poules: I’ll Find Langlang 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
27 2019-08 9787547432075 Le petit prince Shandong Pictorial Antoine de Saint-Exupéry France
28 2018-02 9787545533941 The Best Gift Heaven & Earth Press Janet Bingham United Kingdom
29 2019-11 9787830003623 Be a good self (12 volumes) Sunchime audio & Vide press Zhang Yuezhen, Liang Ximan China
30 2018-02 9787545534122 Friend for Mole Heaven & Earth Press Nancy Almo United States

Foreign Author Fiction Bestsellers, October 2020
September 2020 Ranking October 2020 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author Nationality Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
2 2 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
3 3 9787208061644 2018-02 The Kite Runner (2018 Edition) Khaled Hosseini United States of America Shanghai People’s Publishing House
10 4 9787532776771 2018-03 Norwegian Wood (30th Anniversary Edition) Haruki Murakami Japan Shanghai Translation Publishing House
4 5 9787544280662 2020-03 Silent Parade Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
7 6 9787544285148 2016-10 Malice Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
5 7 9787544267618 2014-06 The Devotion of Suspect X Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
Not Ranked 8 9787540481094 2017-07 Xi Bao Yi Shu Canada Hunan Literature & Art Press
9 9 9787544291224 2017-08 After School (2017 Edition) Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
8 10 9787544297059 2020-03 Love in the Time of Cholera (3 Million Sold Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
13 11 9787544299015 2020-05 The Camphor Keeper Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
12 12 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee United States of America Yilin Press
6 13 9787544270878 2014-04 Miracles of the Namiya General Store Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
14 14 9787544280020 2019-08 What Life You Want to Have Yoshino Genzaburo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
16 15 9787544281102 2016-01 Newcomer Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
11 16 9787506394864 2017-09 Sophie’s World (New Edition) Jostein Gaarder Norway The Writer’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 17 9787513335287 2019-05 And Then There Were None Agatha Christie Britain New Star Press Co.Ltd
Not Ranked 18 9787544298995 2020-09 Miracles of the Namiya General Store (2020 Edition) Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
18 19 9787550013247 2015-05 Ferryman Claire McFall Britain Baihuazhou Literature & Art Publishing House
15 20 9787530217054 2017-12 The Alchemist Paulo Coelho Brazil Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House

Foreign Author Nonfiction Bestsellers, October 2020
September 2020 Ranking October 2020 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author Nationality Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787115536198 2020-05 Heart: Kazuo Inamori’s Philosophy of Life Kazuo Inamori Japan Posts & Telecommunications Publishing House
5 2 9787544276986 2019-10 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover United States of America Nan Hai Publishing Co.
2 3 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline Jane Nelsen United States of America Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
6 4 9787540489304 2019-01 Danshari Yamashita Eiko Japan Hunan Literature & Art Press
4 5 9787111635574 2019-10 The Working Methods of Kazuo Inamori Kazuo Inamori Japan China Machine Press
7 6 9787520711531 2019-11 A Compass to Fulfillment Kazuo Inamori Japan Orient Press
14 7 9787807639817 2013-07 Danshari Yamashita Eiko Japan Guangxi Science & Technology Press
10 8 9787508687216 2018-08 Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty Abhijit V.Banerjee,Esther Duflo United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
9 9 9787508095226 2018-09 Nonviolent Communication Marshall B.Rosenberg United States of America Huaxia Publishing House
8 10 9787540471194 2019-02 Relationship: Bridge to the Soul Christoper Moon Canada Hunan Literature & Art Press
3 11 9787020116133 2017-06 Red Star Over China Edgar Snow United States of America People’s Literature Publishing House
11 12 9787508660752 2017-02 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari Israel CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
13 13 9787220114045 2019-07 Rich Dad Poor Dad Robert T.Kiyosaki United States of America Sichuan People’s Publishing House
12 14 9787210096528 2017-09 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Carol S.Dweck United States of America Jiangxi People’s Publishing House
19 15 9787535732309 2001-11 A Brief History of Time Stephen W.Hawking United Kingdom Hunan Science & Technology Press
15 16 9787508684031 2017-12 Principles Ray Dalio United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
16 17 9787547734315 2019-09 Life is Worth Living Nakamura Tsuneko Japan Beijing daily publishing house
Not Ranked 18 9787514219203 2017-09 The Willpower Instinct (New Edition) Kelly McGonigal United States of America Cultural Development Publishing House
20 19 9787108009821 2014-03 1587, a Year of No Significance Ray Huang United States of America SDX Joint Publishing Company
18 20 9787201088822 2014-09 How to Win Friends & Influence People Dale Carnegie United States of America Tianjin People’s Publishing House

NEW: Foreign Illustrated Bestsellers, October 2020
October 2020 Ranking Release Date ISBN Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher Author Nationality
1 2013-08 9787533274269 Guess How Much I Love You Tomorrow Publishing House Sam McBratney,Anita Jeram Ireland
2 2007-05 9787543464582 My Dad Hebei Education Press Anthony Browne United Kingdom
3 2007-06 9787543464575 My Mum Hebei Education Press Anthony Browne United Kingdom
4 2013-05 9787533273460 Something from nothing Tomorrow Publishing House Phoebe Gilman Canada
5 2008-10 9787543470927 David Goes to School Hebei Education Press David Shannon United States
6 2014-01 9787539189147 MIYANISHI’s Tyrannosaurus Series 21st Century Press Group Tatsuya Miyanishi Japan
7 2013-05 9787533273477 Diary of a worm Tomorrow Publishing House Doreen Cronin United States
8 2007-04 9787543464636 No, David! Hebei Education Press David Shannon United States
9 2006-10 9787539135168 Les P’tites Poules: I want to See the Sea 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
10 2013-07 9787533274245 The Runaway Bunny Tomorrow Publishing House Margaret Wise Brown,Clement Hrud United States
11 2015-12 9787556808809 Little light bulb emotional management picture book (8 volumes) 21st Century Press Group Shin Hye-sun Korea
12 2006-10 9787539135151 Les P’tites Poules: I will get the Sun Back 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
13 2006-10 9787539135175 Jour ou mon frere viendra 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
14 2006-10 9787539135182 Poulailler dans les etoiles 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
15 2006-10 9787539135137 Les P’tites Poules: I Love the Black Kitty 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
16 2006-10 9787539135144 Les P’tites Poules: I Can Beat the Monster 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
17 2013-06 9787539188607 Les P’tites Poules: I Love the Saucepan 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
18 2009-05 9787539148076 Les P’tites Poules: I Like Her Very Much 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
19 2009-05 9787539144542 Les P’tites Poules: I Don’t Want to Be Eaten 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois France
20 2011-10 9787539168999 Les P’tites Poules: I Am Not a Coward 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
21 2010-06 9787539155937 Les P’tites Poules: I Must Rescue B E Riot 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
22 2008-09 9787539141992 Les P’tites Poules: I’ll Find Langlang 21st Century Press Group Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France
23 2019-08 9787547432075 Le petit prince Shandong Pictorial Antoine de Saint-Exupéry France
24 201802 9787545533941 The best gift Heaven & Earth Press Janet Bingham United Kingdom
25 2018-02 9787545534122 Friend for mole Heaven & Earth Press Nancy Almo United States
26 2018-02 9787545534061 Polite little bear Heaven & Earth Press Peter Bently United Kingdom
27 2018-02 9787545533897 Pugwug and little Heaven & Earth Press Susie Jan-Pierce,Tina Minorton United Kingdom
28 2018-02 9787545534078 Bruno heeft wel 100 vrienden Heaven & Earth Press Francesca Pirone Italy
29 2018-02 9787545533880 Max i els superherois Heaven & Earth Press Rocio Bernila,Oriol Mallet Spain
30 2018-02 9787545534054 Best Shepherd Heaven & Earth Press Pini Grylls, Rosie Wellesley United Kingdom

Notes on the Charts

OpenBook is a privately owned industry-data research firm based in Beijing. It functions somewhat as Nielsen and NDP do from the West, and Nielsen Book Research International has worked with OpenBook in Asian operations. With authoritative data and information resources, OpenBook is able to deliver consulting service to partners who would like to explore the Chinese book market and identify suitable partners.

Jiang Boyan LLC advises authors and right’s holders on global intellectual property and investment opportunities.

As of January 1, 2020, OpenBook monitored more than 10,000 online and offline bookstores.

The online channel includes digital retailers such as large self-operated online stores, platform stores, and small- and medium-sized stores. The offline channels include 4,495 bookstores. Coverage includes most of the state-owned and influential privately owned bookstores in 30 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet are not included in OpenBook’s system.

In 2019, OpenBook tracked around 71.72 billion RMB in sales (US$10.1 billion).

Retail outlets include:

  • Traditional bookstores
  • Supermarkets
  • Campus bookstores
  • “Professional” stores, said to be small stores with a specific industrial or trade focus
  • Airport stores

In addition, OpenBook is drawing data from online bookstores of three main types:

  • The “Tmall” stores of Alibaba (Tmall is described as a marketplace of companies that create storefronts online to sell products including books)
  • The “JingDong” Stores of JD.com (similar to Tmall as a marketplace of both individual companies and bookstores operated by JD.com)
  • Ten independent online bookselling retailers

China has 500 or more publishers in operation today. Most of them, Trajectory CEO James Bryant clarifies, are government-owned. Private publishers are required to generate ISBNs for their titles from a publishing company that is government-owned—which, in other words, creates a system in which all ISBNs are in one way or another registered through government channels. The government approves each book published in China.

At this writing, the 5:26 a.m. ET (1026 GMT) update of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center sees 93,113 cases in China’s population of 1.4 billion, with 4,744 fatalities reported to Johns Hopkins by the country’s system.


More China bestseller reports from Publishing Perspectives are here. And more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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