Chinese publishing houses are now gearing themselves to take Chinese books worldwide. This could be readily ascertained at the Beijing International Book Fair where Chinese publishers were eagerly discussing strategies to take the industry ahead with their foreign counterparts. Among the main topics around which these discussions revolved were translating Chinese books into foreign languages especially English.
The publishers discussed various challenges that they might have to face in their endeavor. The primary hurdle was that very few western publishers were able to read Mandarin which made it impossible for them to accurately evaluate various Chinese books and their potential for success among western readers. Furthermore there is a lack of awareness about Chinese writers. These writers might be writing best sellers in China but remain unknown in the west. Thus a publishing house would require considerable marketing muscle to promote awareness about such authors and build them as identifiable and reliable brands for western readers. Another problem lies in the fact that Chinese culture and philosophy is markedly different form the west; this limits such books from getting absorbed in western market.
Industry insiders feel that Chinese books have a long way to go before they can be successful in the western. Recommended strategies include co-authoring books with western writers or even working with western editors who have substantial idea about the target readers. Chinese publishers are also working on books that have international appeal and can cut across different cultures.