Last Word

A twist in the tale

Updated: 2011-06-17 11:18

By Andrew Moody (China Daily European Weekly)

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A twist in the tale
Jeffrey Archer says he wants to visit the Chinese mainland, where he has never been to. Nick J B Moore / for China Daily 

Author Jeffrey Archer wants to add Chinese to his growing number of readers

Jeffrey Archer, one of the world's most prolific best-selling authors, is keen to conquer China.

The most populous country is one of the few markets where the 71-year-old author is not a household name.

His most successful book Kane and Abel, which has sold 33 million copies worldwide and is now on its 84th reprint, however, has just been translated into Chinese and will be published by local publisher Tianjin Huawen Tianxia Publishing in China in August.

"I will love having a crack at China. I definitely want to get in on that market," he says.

Archer was sprawled out on a luxurious sofa at his famous penthouse London home overlooking the Thames with a panoramic view of the Houses of Parliament in the near distance.

If there were any doubt about the wealth that can be created by selling so many books, it would be dispelled by even a cursory glance at the paintings that bedeck the inner walls - his art collection alone is reputedly worth 100 million pounds (113 million euros).

Apart from Kane and Abel, two more of his most popular books, Shall We Tell the President and The Prodigal Daughter, are being translated and will be published this autumn in China.

"I wish we could do what we are doing in India. I have been No 1 (on the best-seller list) in India for the past 10 weeks and I would love to do the same in China," he says.

"It would be strange if I didn't since I am No 1 everywhere else."

Archer, whose boundless energy didn't seem to wilt from the slight greenhouse effect the late spring sunshine was managing to create through the glass walls of his expansive apartment, is very keen to go to China to promote his books but admits to being unsure about how the market operates.

"It is very strange but I have no feel for it. I wouldn't be shocked if three people turned up for a signing. I also wouldn't be shocked if 3,000 people turned up," he says.

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