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Smarter designs facilitate e-reading

Reporter: Yuan Chenyue 丨 CCTV.com

08-25-2016 00:40 BJT

Visitors to the ongoing Shanghai Book Fair can find many publishers offering electronic books. With the popularity of smart phones and e-readers, more publishers are now producing their own proprietary applications for distributing their books.

This publisher is using a corner of the book fair to showcase its reading app on smartphones. Publishers say the app draws a lot of attention, increasing its daily sales of e-books by almost two-fold. Readers say e-books are already very popular.

People experience e-books at Shanghai Book Fair in east China

People experience e-books at Shanghai Book Fair in east China's Shanghai, Aug. 23, 2016. The seven-day book fair displayed more than 150,000 kinds of books closed on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

“E-books are easy to carry. And some e-books’ designs look just like the paper books as they can imitate the frames of pages,” Lu Huangchuan said.

The manager of the Shanghai Translation Publishing House said they started launching their own e-book app several years ago and said e-books attract more readers. However, she said that although there is more exposure to e-books, improving the e-reading experience is not easy.

“The titles of our e-books increased from dozens to about 700 now. The most important part in developing electronic reading is its design,” she said.

“You must consider its cover, sizes of characters, and even how to separate paragraphs. A bad design will reduce the appeal to read it.”

Another publisher said electronic reading now contributes to about 5 percent to its annual sales. She also said the most popular e-book platforms include Kindle, Douban and Zhangyue.

“We authorized book copyrights to those major platforms and we share the revenue together. Previously we also launched our own reading app, but it cost much in personnel as running an app require constant technical update,” said Sun Ting, East China Normal University Press.

But still for a lot of readers, paper books cannot be replaced.

“Reading an e-book is tiring to me, so I usually don’t buy them. Also, it is quite fulfilling when you finished reading a paper book when you’re holding it on hand,” Gong Zezheng said.

“I read e-books when on my way to work. But when I’m at home, I prefer reading paper ones as I enjoy their texture. I spent 100 to 200 yuan in buying books,” said Li Feng.

Publishers say future apps will more commonly use multi-media effects such as audio and interactive tools for readers to write and mark.

Earlier this month, Shanghai Press and Publication officials released a survey on local residents’ reading habits, finding an increasing number of people choose to read e-books as a first choice, an increase of 3.4 percent from last year.

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