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Beijing International Book Fair 'substantial rights deals and significant orders'

20 August 2018

For the first time, British publishers will form the biggest contingent at the upcoming Beijing International Book Fair. There will be 33 companies on the collective stand and 56 firms in all represented at the Fair, reports the Bookseller.

This may be a turning-point in terms of publishers dealing with China. Pan MacmillanOne of largest fiction and non-fiction book publishers in UK; includes imprints of Pan, Picador and Macmillan Children’s Books International sales director Jonathan Atkins says: ‘After many years of tantalising promise, we are all seeing enthusiastic expressions of interest turn into genuinely substantial rights deals and significant orders.'

Canongate's senior rights executive Caroline Clarke added:

‘China has the biggest population in the world and its book market is expanding and this has led to an increase in rights sales' and she adds that the increase in rights business is also due to a newer generation of Chinese editors who are more fluent in English and well-versed in European or American cultures, and can therefore rely more on their own reading of books and manuscripts rather than relying on scouts' reader reports.

Correction to figures on authors' income

It is only fair to point out that a report released by the UK Publishers Association in March, conducted by Frontier Economics, incorrectly calculated that the total payments consumer authors received in 2016 were £161m, based on advances, royalties, secondary licensing and rights.

However, PA CEO Stephen Lotinga said the correct figure with the inclusion of advances stood at around £350m - a leap of £189m and more than twice what was originally reported, which presumably only included royalty and rights earnings. This figure also suggests that a very large number of many advances were not earned out.