Ebooks to and from China: Trajectory, Tencent, technology

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Image – iStockphoto: GabyScheewe-Pfeil

At first glance, you may think that Trajectory is on a different trajectory.

Today’s news — released first by The Bookseller this morning — is, if nothing else, about a lot of titles. And those titles, first and foremost, are part of a distribution deal.

The Boston-based Trajectory, Inc., has inked a partnership with China’s big Tencent Literature to put some 200,000 Chinese ebooks into the North and South American distribution channels where they will be offered via “Apple, Amazon, Nook, Kobo,” according to Trajectory’s Jim Bryant (pictured).

Tencent, one wants to assume, has a lot of readers among the 820 million “active users” it says are currently enjoying its many Internet services. Tencent Literature, Trajectory’s partner — founded in 2013 and made an independently operating division in 2014 — is only a part of the conglomerate, which features messaging and social-media services as well as gaming and other popular attractions.

Some English-language publishers may be forgiven for hoping that Tencent’s legions of consumers are all busy in Tencent’s QQ Reading channel and QQ Bookstore channel and MobileQQ Reading channel. Because the new agreement also is to see Trajectory sending English-language books into the Tencent system.

Jim Bryant of Trajectory, Inc.
Jim Bryant of Trajectory, Inc.

Bryant tells us: “We are currently working with a slice of academic publishers (The MIT Press), business publishers (Berrett-Koehler), trade publishers (RosettaBooks), and popular culture (Titan Comics), and importing those titles into China.”

Certainly the timing is great for a US-based start-up like Trajectory: BookExpo America’s (BEA) Global Market Forum at the end of May welcomes China as its Guest of Honour.Charlotte Eyre has our Bookseller story on that. BEA director Steve Rosato tells me that he’s expecting several hundred delegates from China for the event, and Trajectory is featured in the International Digital Publishing Forum’s (IDPF) Digital Book Conference that opens BEA, 27th and 28th May.

And certainly when members of Novelists Inc. (NINC) gather for their fall conference at St. Pete Beach, the Trajectory-Tencent story may help them understand the importance of digital reading in any independent author’s efforts at international sales. Some of the veteran NINC members — accustomed to decades of contracts with print runs — are concerned that getting books overseas is so daunting in physical formats. Like the proverbial Bulgarian wine, paper books just don’t travel well.

Trajectory Tencent 5But as ebooks? They fly. Just ask Trajectory’s Bryant. He tells us:

Two years ago the Chinese language catalog offered in North America and Europe was less than 10,000 [titles]. Late last year, we more than doubled that number with export partnerships that we signed with Anhui and Guangxi that placed another 10,000+ titles into global distribution. With the Tencent deal, more than half of the entire current Chinese language catalog of fiction is now available.

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By Porter Ander­son

The FutureBook: Ebooks to and from China: Trajectory, Tencent, technology

Read the full post at: TheBookseller.com/futurebook



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