Reading marks new chapter in internet age

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, May 21, 2021

A bookstore in Harbin, Heilongjiang province. [Photo/Xinhua]

"I don't want to use other people's ideas and pass them off as my own. So why not focus on my original intention of making these short videos? I want to tell others that reading is a happy pursuit and such happiness can persist. I merely share my pleasure of reading and my thoughts about the books."

Anne is encouraging her fans to start a Readathon, an event in which people are encouraged to read books. Such events first started overseas to make reading more fun.

In China, an increasing number of Readathons have been held in recent years by libraries, bookstores and publishing houses, with most participants reading without a break for several hours.

In a short video, Anne encourages her fans to read a number of books within five weeks, with each one corresponding to a different score. A total score of 10 means a participant has successfully completed a Readathon.

She has various rules-for example, for participants to read a book with a red cover, or a work selected by others.

Marketing approach

Chang Tongtong, a senior marketing editor at CITIC Press Group in Beijing, said that to promote new books, domestic publishing houses often cooperate with influencers in the field of reading.

"The traditional way of promotion is through book reviews by experts and the media. However, in the mobile internet era, people are more interested in short videos than reading articles," Chang said.

"We have discovered this more efficient marketing approach, because short videos are easily spread online."

Chang said young people in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai face great pressure in their jobs and may only want to watch movies or short videos to relax after work.

He said that when people were confined to home during the COVID-19 outbreak last year, book sales in stores and on e-commerce sites dropped, but sales of books via short videos posted on Douyin rose suddenly.

"Before that, our major online sales came from promotions on popular WeChat accounts, but since last year, marketing through short videos has become more efficient," he said.

Chang attributes this partially to the fact that short-video sites such as Douyin have developed e-commerce platforms, making it easy for users to buy directly when they watch the videos. When fans view livestreaming book promotion sessions, they may buy on impulse, he added.

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