You heard the Chinese book market is expanding and now you want to try selling your book in China. Well, there’s one thing you should know: as online sales are the best source of money in China, selling your book on top websites must be the first step of your strategy.
Digital book readership in China exceeds 500 Million in 2021-2022
According to the last market survey, According to the China digital readership report 2021-2022, China’s digital reading market grew by 18.23 percent in 2018.
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The number of Chinese digital book readers grew 2.43 percent in the past year to 506 million in 2021-2022. The survey, compiled mainly in China by the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association stated that over 70% of the readers are younger than 25 years old. It also noted that digital content is increasingly affordable.
More than 400,000 Chinese digital novels were exported last year. Major destinations included North America, and Japan. Korea, Southeast Asia, and the Republic of Korea. According to the report, the most requested themes were fantasy and martial art.
Why should you sell your book on top websites in China？
The Chinese population is increasingly addicted to the internet ecosystem. Everything is done online there. From payment to shopping, from reading news to reading books. So, you need to be up-to-date on the new trends of the digital system if you want to enter the Chinese market. This is also because the Chinese are addicted to online entertainment and technological innovation.
Some advice to sell your book in China
Understanding the Chines audience
It is obvious to say that knowing your audience is a key point of any marketing strategy. We can give you a summary of what are the main trends in the Chinese book market at present:
- Online sales double Physical Store sales
- The great classics of Chinese literature keep being on the top of the “bestseller list”
- The Children’s publishing industry has a relevant share of the market, 33%.
- Educational books occupy 55% of the Children’s publishing industry
- Live streaming makes increases book sales
- Discount is a key factor to sell big in China
Who is the right target to sell your book?
Besides these trends, we can also identify the favorite Genres among Chinese according to the age of customers. Generation Z prefers fictional and educational content, whereas millennials are more interested in baby-care and finances-related books.
Those born from the ‘60s to the ‘80s generally read books about philosophy and social sciences. Also, it seems that while women prefer to read for pleasure, men reading scope is career development.
Top 5 websites to sell your book in China
1. Dangdang 当当 : the specialist for Books
Dangdang is a B2C internet retailer created by Peggy Yu and Li Guoqing in 1999. It is popular for selling books but also offers audio and video products, clothes, cosmetics, furniture, and not only.
Since its establishment, Dangdang has always adhered to the principle of running a network in a civilized manner, eliminating piracy of illegal books and audios, and providing customers with healthy and positive products. It has been approved by the National Press and Publication Administration, the Ministry of Culture, and other relevant departments.
Dangdang also adheres to the “integrity-based” business philosophy and is the first domestic company to put forward the promises of “pay after checking the product”.
With its successful practical experience, is an example of “integrity management and healthy development” for domestic e-commerce companies.
2. Douban 豆瓣 : forum for information & Reviews
Douban is a community website. The website was founded on March 6, 2005, by Yang Bo (screen name “Abei”). It provides descriptions and reviews about books, movies, music, and other works. Both descriptions and comments are written by users (User-generated content, UGC).
It also can be seen as an information box about Chinese taste in books, movies, and music. The innovative network service leverages demographical information (same city, group, and neighbors) to connect groups of people and then create online communities.
You cannot sell your book on Douban, but it is highly recommended to promote your book on this platform.
3. Wechat 微信 : the social App
Another powerful tool to sell books is WeChat, the most used Chinese app.
This social media has become a leader in the online book industry since the Chinese love to share information about books on it but also buy books via WeChat mini-programs. Then, a good way to sell your book in China is by sharing information about your book on WeChat groups and book-interested communities interested.
Also, you can partner with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) to promote your book on WeChat. The platform’s users followed with great interest KOLs advice inheriting books (KOLs influence Chinese customers in any industry sector).
In addition, you can decide to sell your book via WeChat Mini programs, which recently are becoming very popular in the market for second-hand books.
5. Taobao 淘宝: number one e-Commerce platform in China
As for many other sectors, Taobao is a powerful platform also to selling books online.
Taobao is the largest online retailer in China. It was founded by Alibaba Group in May 2003 and it is a popular online shopping with nearly 500 million registered users and more than 60 million regular visitors every day.
With the expansion of the scale of Taobao and the increase in the number of users, Taobao has also changed from a single C2C network market to a comprehensive retail system including C2C, group buying, distribution, auction, and other e-commerce models.
On March 29, 2016, Alibaba Group CEO Zhang Yong clarified the strategy for Taobao’s future: community, content and local life are the three major directions.
Working on Live streaming and KOL marketing on Taobao is the best weapon to sell your book in China.
How can you partner with top websites to sell your book in China?
China can be a profitable market for your business, but if you fail in promoting it there’s no chance to earn something from your investment. That’s why you cannot pretend that your book becomes popular in the extremely competitive Chinese market without considering doing Branding.
To sell your book in China: You need Online Branding
Own a Chinese website: avoid commission and distribution headache
You will need to create a nice website accessible to Chinese users. Today, when a Chinese is not familiar with something, he or she will go on the internet to seek information. The website isn’t only accessible on a laptop, but almost always consumers are going to look for information through their mobile device.
In order to attract Chinese attention, the website needs to be adapted to China’s taste. A good-looking strategy and well-written content are extremely important. You cannot pretend just to translate your website from another language. It is also important that your website has a Chinese domain or be hosted in countries around China, for loading speed purposes.
Promote your Book with Baidu SEO & SEM
Your website is insignificant if you don’t do SEO and SEM on Baidu, which is the most relevant search engine in China (it is the Chinese counterpart of Google).
In short, you must drive traffic to your website by working on Backlinks, PR, and Paid advertisement.
However, doing SEO brings results in a longer time than doing SEM, so if you want to reach higher ROI in less time you should consider paid advertisement on Baidu (PPC, Banner, and Display ads).
Your objective should be your website rank high on the Baidu first results. In this way, you can reach more visibility and have more opportunities to grow in the future.
Use Social Media to Promote your Book in China
Social media are the main characters in the Chinese business ecosystem, all brands open an account on at least one social media. Up to this point, it seems there are no differences from the western world, by the way, social media in China are far more developed platforms.
Chinese spend even more time using social media than western people, and love doing shopping, playing and reading reviews on these kinds of platforms. Lots of brands created original campaigns, games, and much more to nurture and engage their Chinese audience.
We already mentioned WeChat, but there are many other popular apps in China. Xiaohongshu (AKA Little Red Book), for example, is one of the most used apps by the youngest generations. Even if it is famous for its leading position in the Cosmetics and Fashion industry, you can find everything related to lifestyle on it. So why not engage a Key Opinion Customer for talking about your book?
KOLs matter even more in China
You can work with intermediaries to market your e-book in China. Chinese, in fact, trust influencers. Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) can sell what they want to their followers if the product they sell is coherent with their public image.
KOLs could be singers, actors, celebrities, and almost always are trendsetters; their followers generally support them in everything and want to imitate their lifestyle. In conclusion, paying for a recommendation can be the best investment you can do in China.
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For any questions or help needed in selling products in China’s e-marketplace, please contact us, we’ll be happy to guide you.
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