The China ebook market could be about to get a lot more exciting, with news that Tencent is buying into – and possibly buying out – Shandra Cloudary. (LINK)
Shandra Cloudary are one of the biggest ebook retailers in China – check out their Qidian store (LINK) – and while details are not yet clear it seems Tencent’s own ebook supply is going into the Qidian store.
We’re not sure if this will make Qidian bigger than the current title-holder JD, but it will certainly be in the running, and way bigger than Kindle China.
As we’ve said many times, China, India and Indonesia are the most exciting prospects on the planet right now, and thanks to the Chinese publisher Fiberead indies can now get their works translated into Chinese and marketed in China with no up-front costs. (LINK) A full post on Fiberead in the new year.
Some have said the nascent markets are all pie in the sky until there’s firm evidence these foreign ebook stores can deliver for western authors.
Well, last month that was firmly laid that one to rest when British indie authors hit number one on Kindle China, selling about 2,000 ebooks a day at peak, of a translated British crime thriller set in the UK with absolutely no Chinese or oriental themes. (LINK) They’ve also been selling well on JD, Qidian and other Chinese ebook retailers, most much bigger than Kindle China.
A clear signal that the Chinese are keen to read western books if only we would make them available.
Of course trad pub already knows that. The Chinese ebook charts are littered with translated western works. And not far behind them are trad-pub English-language titles. In fact this past summer HarperCollins signed a big deal with China’s biggest ebook retailer, JD, to get its English-language backlist in front of readers in China. (LINK)
Of course you wouldn’t expect a post from us on China to miss out on mentioning Alibaba.
Alibaba doesn’t do ebooks yet, but we’ve said often, that’s just a matter of time. With Tencent – one of Alibaba’s biggest rivals – getting its claws into Shandra Cloudary, the idea that Jack Ma will stay aloof from ebooks much longer is unthinkable.
As speculated elsewhere, Alibaba may well be in line to buy Nook and Blinkbox next year, and we should all be hoping that happens.
But meantime, while we’re waiting for China to come to us, why not take your ebooks to China?