Hard on the heels of the announcement StreetLib is launching in India, comes news of a distribution deal with China’s CNPIEC, as part of StreetLib’s global expansion programme.
State-owned CNPIEC, aka the China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation, will be distributing StreetLib’s catalogue to thousands of Chinese libraries via the e-reading platform CNPereading. And yes, the site is in English as well as Mandarin.
The CNP ereading platform dates back to 2013, when CNPIEC partnered with the UK content solutions provider Publishing Technology to launch at the Beijing International Book Fair, and was one of the first clear signs of China entering a new stage as a global publishing power. Not that CNPIEC had been indifferent to the world previously:
In a post on Medium, StreetLib’s global officer Anne-Catherine de Fombelle explains that,
Since 1949, CNPIEC has been responsible for opening China to other cultures around the world, as well as promoting Chinese culture outside of the country. Such an initiative aligns perfectly with our global vision. By adding our catalog to their collection for libraries, CNPIEC will offer books from over 80 countries, with a particularly rich selection of Italian and Spanish literature.
StreetLib COO Marco Croella said,
We’re both proud and excited to take this first step into a market as large as the Chinese one, and give all our authors and publishers the opportunity to expand their readership to the world’s most populous country. This latest addition makes their reach more global than it was yesterday, and we are constantly striving to make tomorrow’s even wider.
While this is great news for authors and publishers using StreetLib, perhaps the most telling comment comes from StreetLib CEO Antonio Tombolini:
We hope to soon be able to extend this partnership on the export side of CNPIEC’s mission, to help their catalog reach new markets worldwide, and thus support Chinese authors and culture.
Here we see the bigger picture emerging of StreetLib as not just as a distributor for the western author and publisher sector but as a gateway distributor partnering worldwide with publishers and authors to take content from across the globe and to deliver content across the globe.
Full disclosure here: The New Publishing Standard is published by Antonio Tombolini Editore, a sister company of StreetLib, but those who have followed my musings elsewhere will know that, long before TNPS came along, and long before StreetLib’s China partnership came to fruition, I’ve been an ardent fan of the China opportunity, and was the first indie author to hit #1 on Kindle China back in 2014.
So I’ll end this post on a purely personal note by saying I hope this is just the beginning of StreetLib’s engagement with China’s immense e-reading public.