Since the China Publishing Group Corp. was founded in 2006 in Beijing, the publishing house has grown from three employees and a handful of titles to a staff of 45 with plans to release 100 titles this year. A key ingredient to the company’s growth has been acquiring rights from Western houses with CPGC president Wu Xingyuan telling PW in a visit that about 70% of its list comes from foreign houses (CPGC’s 2012 catalogue has a picture of the Beatles on the cover).
Two of the publisher’s biggest categories are film, photography, and business and in the latter segment CPGC just acquired the Chinese rights to Breaking Away: How Great Leaders Create Innovation That Drives Sustainable Growth—And Why Others Fail by Jane Stevenson and Bilal Kaafarani. Published in the U.S. last year by McGraw-Hill, Breaking Away explains how companies can embed innovation into all parts of its business to spur growth. Speaking through a translator, Wu said he hopes Breaking Away will encourage Chinese business executives to be more entrepreneurial and take more risks. Chinese companies, Wu said, need to move beyond copying products to develop more original items. There are few, if any, Chinese companies that have a worldwide brand, Wu noted, wondering why the country has failed to develop a business leader along the lines of Steve Jobs. Breaking Away will be released in this year’s fourth quarter.
Wu was in the U.S. to visit an exhibition by world renowned photographer Liu Heung Shing. CPCG has published some of Shing’s work in China, including one of its bestselling titles, China in Revolution. Wu said he would like to sell rights to that title, as well as to other original Chinese works, but has found only limited interest.
As for e-books, Wu said he is still looking into releasing his titles in that format, noting that he has piracy concerns. His company does sell book aggressively online through such sites as www.hinabook.com. A solid seller for CPGC will move about 20,000 titles and Wu said his top selling book has sold about 100,000 copies.