Zhu Fayuan, deputy president of
Jiangxi Publishing Group, author
of the article
In November 2007, we held a “Jiangxi Cultrual Publishing Week” in Los Angeles, America. All the 2,000 books and audio-video products and electronic publications were practically sold out, and besides this cultrual publishing week, we held five other activities where 12 copyright cooperation agreements and 8 intentional agreements were singed with American publishing organizations. Some of the intentional agreements will be implemented this year. I think this is a meaningful try which brought us lots of inspirations. What we felt most deeply during this cultrual publishing week is that there exist great differences between Chinese and American understanding of publication and culture. American participators told us that they had three “don’t knows” about Chinese culture. First, they don’t know Chinese culture is so deep and broad; second, they don’t know there are so powerful local publishing groups in China; third, they don’t know Jiangxi publishing Group, a local publishing group, has had so many good books published. Correspondingly, we also have three “don't knows” about American publishing culture. First, we don’t know that Americans know so little about Chinese culture but their need for it is so diversified; second, we don’t know there exist two markets formed by American readers, one formed by Chinese and the other by other foreigners, each market with different cultural taste and different need for Chinese culture; third, we don't know American publishing organizations pay so much attentions on market and they are so practical. However, our publishing houses lack information about the world and the global market of publications, that is, I think, the reason why our publishing houses can not develop quickly and get practical results. Given this situation, I have to say that research and investigation is crucial, high frequency of research and investigation is valuable and the success lies in mutual benefit. First, research and investigation is important means, and we must get sufficient information about foreign markets and cultural characteristics of different areas and countries. According to the experience of some of our publishing houses, some African countries have special interests in Chinese medical knowledge; Middle East and India pay more attention on our books on health and architecture very much, and Southeast Asia prefers Chinese children books. Besides, do not think that foreigners know our culture well. On the contrary, Chinese culture is so deep and broad that foreigners know so little about it, and that is why we must make every effort to publicize it. Second, high frequency of research and investigation is valuable. We must always keep extensive and deep contact with foreign clients, and without good intercourse or communication basis, book fairs alone will not work well. Third, the success lies in mutual benefit. Overseas publication is not like domestic publication which only requires enough marketing, so we must go out and look for partners from abroad, and copyright trading is a way of communication with foreign competitors. Only mutual benefit can make transactions succeed.
From the three “don’t knows” to the three “knows” we actually see that communication is the procedure of combination and infiltration of different cultures, and a basis of cooperation on publication and culture communication. To understand the world can be seen as the basis on which Chinese publication starts its journey to the world.
Booth of "Jiangxi Cultural Publishing Week"