Dear BAIPA Friends,
I was happy that my Chinese publisher, Runa Jiang, came to our April BAIPA meeting and met many of you. I believe there could be an excellent future for our books if they are presented to the 1.35 billion people who read and speak Chinese. We tend to think of our publishing world as English-centric, but it is not.
Two days after our April BAIPA event, my book, Northern California Travel: The Best Options, which is my main travel guidebook on California, went live on Amazon China and in several other Chinese structures. The Chinese publisher, Runa Jiang, chose to change the earlier cover of the book (my image of California poppy wildflowers, the state flower), to a photo I took of a Northern California travel icon—the Golden Gate Bridge.
Jiang, the entrepreneur behind the Chinese translation, is a young woman in Beijing who is the CEO of a company called Fiberead. Her vision behind the name for her company is that “fiber optics” will eventually transform the world, bringing a better “reading” and cultural experience to countless people.
“This California travel guide book is just right for the new Chinese traveler now exploring the world,” noted publisher Jiang. “China will soon be sending more of its citizens on world travel than any other country. Northern California is one of our favorite destinations, due partly to the major historic migration pattern of Chinese into America through San Francisco.”
Jiang is equally enthusiastic about her acquisition of another of my books, Travels in an American Imagination: The Spiritual Geography of Our Time, my travel literary book, which is currently being translated. In the book’s 25 literary essays about my worldwide travels, I describe how we live in the most wondrous and maybe also the most horrific era ever to be alive. The book exists in the U.S. as a printed book, an e-book, and also recently as an audiobook: Travels in an American ImaginationOnAmazon.
“This thoughtful book about being a world citizen is perfect for our Chinese audience today,” said publisher Jiang. “We Chinese are now focused on our place in the world. Chinese citizens have emerged from relative isolation to become major players on the world stage. We are thinking a lot about how wondrous and horrific the world is in our time. We want to go out and see it for ourselves, as Lee Foster did.”
Her comments help all of us as BAIPA authors think through how our books might be appealing to the Chinese market. We need to articulate that in presenting our books to her.
I appreciate the opportunity my partnership with Fiberead presents. I’ve always been excited about the dynamism of modern China, starting with my first visit there in 1990. Even then there were millions of highly-educated and motivated young people in Beijing and Shanghai. I knew they would transform their country and our world in positive ways. I’ve been impressed with how conscientious and thorough these translators have been, checking in with me weekly in the past year, as they strive to transform my American English expressions and concepts in the books into their language.
To view my book on Amazon China, visit AmazonChina.