Publishers have started printing advertisements on book covers in a move to help their industry sustain development and survive.
The book, My Son, Yo-Yo, written by the mother of renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and released in March, was the first book to carry an advertisement, said Li Baozhong, deputy director of the Publishers' Association of China.
On the back cover, beneath a sentence describing the love between a mother and her children, is the logo of a well-known Chinese textile manufacturer.
Li's association signed a deal in 2011 with Jinghua Aobo, a Beijing-based advertising agency, to promote products and services on book covers.
Jinghua Aobo has signed agreements with more than 100 publishers across the country, and plans to place advertisements on the covers of 10 more books shortly.
However, all cover advertisements will be sayings related to public service in line with the theme of the books. Commercial enterprises that advertise can only display company logos and not products or prices, said Li.
For every copy of a book with an advertisement sold, Jinghua Aobo will pay the publisher the equivalent of 1 to 2 cents, Li said.
Books have the same rights as other publications, such as newspapers and magazines, to carry advertisements, he said.
"It's the traditional ideology that had stopped the use of advertisements in books. But now we are carrying out a meaningful trial," he said.
The trial will open a new gate for the publishing industry and will help sustain its development, he said.