- By Lu Yun
According to Dangdang’s booklist in the first half of the year based on online book reviews and bestseller charts, consumers are still happy to purchase trending books despite the trade conflict between China and US, economic downturn and marketing contraction.
In terms of fictions, in addition to the classic evergreen bestsellers Alive, The Kite Runner and No Longer Human, the release of the film The Wandering Earth during China’s spring festival has triggered a reading craze of Liu Cixin’s novels. For example, The Three-Body Problem is at the forefront of the sales list. The film has made the science fiction genre familiar to many other readers and the sci-fi has finally moved from a niche circle to mainstream culture in China. During the Spring Festival, orders of science fictions on Dangdang rose more than 12 times year-on-year, which shows more opportunity for science fiction writers including Liu Cixin.
It is worth mentioning that Mai Jia released a new book, Life Like That which has been polished for eight years. After the launch, it has received much attention and entered TOP10 list of new fictions. Dong Qing, Gao Xiaosong, Bai Baihe, Yang Youning, He Sui and other celebrities participated in the launch of the new book, which made the topic of Life Like That continue to ferment.
Now look at non-fictions. The new middle class is generally faced with childcare problems, so Jane Nelsen’s parenting Bible – Positive Discipline leads the non-fiction list, and the author becomes a welcomed foreign education writer among Chinese parents. Parents are enthusiastic and have left more than 730,000 comments for the book on the internet.
Ranked 9th, Nurturing Boys provides parents with an advanced guide for parents about their children before adulthood. The book sells 5 million copies worldwide. The Chinese version has been printed 48 times and the sales volume of the Chinese edition has exceeded 2.2 million copies. It has been on the bestselling chart for 15 years.
Gao Ming’s psychological work Genius On the Left Madman On the Right has quickly topped various lists of bestsellers since its publication. At the same time, major film and television companies competed for the film & TV rights, and the first episode of online drama series of the book immediately has over one million viewers. In the full version of the new book in 2018, Gao Ming added 10 new chapters that have never been published.
Feng Zikai: All Tastes are Life was published on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of Feng Zikai’s birth. The new book was sold out three times upon its release and the cumulative sales exceeded 200,000.
The author of the Chinese history comics The Half-Hour Comic History Series, Er Hun Zi, has created a new trend in reading history. The book combines graphic illustrations with textual explanations and with its language style familiar to digital natives takes care of the reading needs of the fragmented era. Therefore, it won the heart of many young readers. The author has 4 million followers online and actively participated in online and offline promotion, thus creating a strong reading trend.
Other recommendations from the top 10 bestsellers are all written by people with common tags: influencers, intellectuals, founders of social media accounts with millions of followers and opinion leaders in the field of parenting. They write their parenting experience into books, e.g. Building Children’s Super Brain by Big J Little D, Silicon Valley Engineer Dad’s Super Mind Mapping Tutorial: Shaping Children’s Learning Brain by Honest Dad and Every Child Can learn Chinese language Well by Ivy Dad. Each specializes in different subjects, provides practical skills, and becomes a common choice for many families.
Last but not least, in children’s category, influenced by The Wandering Earth, Silver Rocket Juvenile Science Fiction series curated by the Little Dangdang Children’s Library has enabled many parents to help their kids build a systematic sci-fi framework. In the list of children’s new books, you can see that in addition to the hot sale of books about the Forbidden City and history for juvenile readers, some other books on setback education (about helping child cope with frustration) and logical thinking have also received attention, such as Miyanishi Super Picture Book and DK Brain Training Manual + Magical Logic Thinking Game Book.
This article first appeared in China Publishing and Media Journal