Last July, independent publisher Beijing Bright Culture Development Co. and state-owned Beijing Publishing Group joined forces to create a new entity: BPG Bright Technology & Culture, thus established with a refreshing amalgam of the modern and the traditional in its business model.
“We will utilize the more modern and innovative marketing channels and fresh publishing ideas to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace,” says company president Yuan Hai, adding that half of the new company’s program will be on children’s books. “We plan to publish nearly 100 new titles each year, with the focus on pop science for primary and middle graders. Our sales and marketing department have started coordinating and sharing market insights with the editorial group to ensure that we are proactively publishing to fit emerging demands and new trends. We are also breaking our editorial division into smaller and nimbler teams at the same time.”
There will be a balancing act between originals and translations, notes Yuan, whose team is publishing more volumes of Jef Nys’s Jeremy series, one of the bestselling comics series in Belgium. “We will continue working with partners such as Casterman, DK, Scholastic, and Nathan Editions to bring in unique contents while we work on building our original publications.”
The team has just published the first eight-title set of Nation’s Pillar: Old Scientists, a picture book series on China’s pioneer scientists in different disciplines. Promoted through social media platforms prior to its November launch, the series sold 6,000 sets within a month; the second set will be released by the end of this year.
Yuan and his team are currently in the process of planning several edu-comic titles, as well as some on TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) for children. “The strides made in the Chinese animation industry has built the capacity and capability for storytelling and illustration, and we are going to leverage this for our original edu-comic series,” he says. “I am also seeing new talents capable of combining artistic beauty with scientific knowledge, and more scientists and medical practitioners wanting to contribute their expertise in a meaningful way.”
Yuan adds that he is looking forward to “publishing content that will help to build the next generation of readers, leaders, and forward thinkers.”