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Publishers dive into live broadcasts to facilitate sales

(People's Daily Online)    13:14, April 08, 2020

A number of publishing houses in China have turned to live broadcasts to boost book sales and promote their brands.

Li Weichang (left), vice president of Shanghai Art and Literature Publishing House, recommends books for the audience during the "Online Tour of Publishing House" event. (photo via organizer of the event)

The COVID-19 outbreak resulted in total retail sales from physical bookstores decreasing by 86.4 percent year on year in February, data from Beijing-based book industry researcher OpenBook said. The epidemic, coupled with digitalization in recent years, has forced bookstores to turn to online channels to increase their sales.

"As editors and authors have not been able to advertise books in the stores because of the outbreak, we considered recommending books though live broadcasts to ease the pressure on operations," said Luo Hong, general manager of Zhida Bookstore in Shanghai, who also came up with the concept of making online trips to publishing houses.

The activity allows viewers to tour publishers through online videos and for publishers to recommend selected books to readers, increasing the sales of books featured in the broadcasts by about 10 percent.

Live streaming videos have also helped publishers communicate with the market directly, thus shortening the route to potential customers.

Publishing houses have the advantage of being able to host knowledge-oriented broadcasts, according to Song Qiang, director with the planning department of People's Literature Publishing House.

The publishing house has given lectures through various broadcasts to promote classic literary works to the public. One of its online series about the deceased Chinese writer Wang Zengqi rolled out during the epidemic attracted over 40,000 viewers.

"In the future, we intend to launch two kinds of online activities. One is inviting editors to introduce books and boost sales and the other is using resources, such as authors, experts, editors and brands, to spread knowledge among readers," Song noted.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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