CHINAUS AFRICAASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Books

Forging a canon in Hong Kong

China Daily Asia | Updated: 2018-10-30 15:12
Blacksmith Books' Pete Spurrier at the Hong Kong Book Fair [Photo provided to China Daily]

Blacksmith Books is a small outfit with a big agenda – to educate the English-speaking world about Hong Kong through memoirs, fiction and studies of its social make-up. Publisher Pete Spurrier opens up and turns the page.

So what got you started with Blacksmith Books?

I used to publish a free monthly magazine called Town Crier, which taught me the ropes. But then SARS hit and we went bust. Some of the contributors had ideas for books, so I put three together to keep busy. To my surprise, they all sold really well. I'm still doing it 18 years later.

What's your marketing strategy?

I stick to local publishing. Most of our books are on Hong Kong or Chinese culture, so that's got to come across in the cover design. A lot of my consumers are women buying gifts for family and friends, or to send to people overseas to say, "This is Hong Kong; this is where we live now." They've got to look as good as the imported books on the shelves, but stand out as a book on Hong Kong. A major part of bookselling is catching the eyes of readers. If it's a book about people, put the person on the cover, put eyes on the cover.

And how do you see Hong Kong's English-language book trade when compared to other cities in the region?

Well, I know in Bangkok there's more of a rotating population, so English publishing is very strong there. They can sell the same books to different flight-loads of tourists, lots of fiction – spy novels and locally written detective stuff that's perfect for a beach read. Most of it isn't to educate people about Thailand, though – you won't find many books in English about the lives of Thais. In Hong Kong, there's more of a settled population and the books I publish tend to explain Hong Kong culture, either directly in showing how people live or via memoirs. They give insights into why people behave the way they do here.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next   >>|
BACK TO THE TOP
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349
FOLLOW US