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Sales that speak volumes

J.K. Rowling tops the latest list of best-selling foreign authors in China. Mei Jia reports that this market is growing.

A new foreign writers' "richest list" documents Chinese readers' preferences and also offers clues to foreign writers and publishers about what kinds of titles grab the attention of readers in this huge market.

"Chinese readers buy what they love to read," says Wu Huaiyao, who produces the list based on royalties generated from the sale of authorized Chinese editions of the books.

"World best-sellers, biographies and books for and about children are the three categories that are most popular in China," Wu says.

It's the third year Wu has released a "richest list" of foreign writers and top-selling titles, calculating the writers' copyright gains in the country. He has also released a similar Chinese authors' list.

A former finance reporter, Wu has been compiling the lists for seven years to promote the idea that writing can make one rich in the country. He now runs his own workshop in Shanghai to publish and support budding writers.

"I started the list for foreign writers in 2010 because I noticed their works hold a large portion of market share in the country's book business," Wu says. "And I wanted to find out why."

J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series' creator, topped the 2010 list and again tops 2012's 15 foreign writers with $2.4 million in sales. In 2011, she was surpassed by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his first authorized Chinese version of One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Source: China Daily
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