Discussion » Nonsense » A Dumb Idea?

  • Peter Baird
    Peter Baird wrote:
    I'm teaching 5 writing classes this semester. It's a pain in the ass, as not only is it difficult to teach, but there is also a lot of unpaid marking invloved, and a lot of what I mark is pure crap.. I'm finding myself working 55-60 hours a week.

    However...it does have its rewards. Recently, I assigned them the task of writing an autobiographical short story. This was basically a "freebee" assignment to give them a chance to bring their grades up by doing a task that is seemingly impossible to screw up. Anyways, a lot of what they turned in is really quite good.

    While grading them, I had an idea. An anthology of some of the better ones might make for a very interesting book. What do you guys think? Is there a market for autobiographical short stories written by Chinese students? If so, who would the audience be? And furthermore, how would I go about finding a publisher?
  • John
    John wrote:
    That's not a bad idea at all man. There's a market for everything. I would assume that folks in your home country (foreigners in general) would find such work interesting. As for finding a publisher I have no idea where to start. Research is key. Good luck!
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    I don't think Chinese audience are very interested in autobiographical stories written by a bunch of university students. They are more interested in celebrities, politicians, businessmen etc.Maybe they wonder a bit, but perhaps It's unlikely to ask them to pay the money for satisfying their curiosities toward ordinary people's lives.

    Most Chinese publishers will suggest you to buy the publishing license by yourselves and you also need to pay the money for printing them if publishers feel there is no clear market for this book.

    How to find those publishers? Normally renowned universities have their own publishing agencies. So perhaps you could contact the university first ( since you are teaching there) and have some information.
  • Pete DeMola
    Pete DeMola wrote:

    I think it could be marketed to well-to-do Europeans and North Americans with a soft spot for Horatio Algeresque stories of overcoming hardship.

  • Yuki Inés
    Yuki Inés wrote:

    I think it is a creative idea but u need to find a potential common concepts in those autobiographic stories. Concepts is more important, stories are just an expression.


  • Peter Baird
    Peter Baird wrote:
    Maria, the target audience would definitely not be Chinese. I'm thinking something more along the lines of Western sinophiles obsessed with all things Chinese and "Chicken Soup For the Soul" types.
  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    could you give us a little snippet of the sort of stuff they came up with? I'm intrigued...
  • Siliconfish
    Siliconfish wrote:
    Hey peter not being negtive, i really doubt the impact of a book today will be stronger than a blog, a youtube channel, or a twitter account.

    I think it will be more efficient to firstly arrange a blog or something virtual more flexiable and dynamic via internet. Then you can recommand it by through your network your friends' network and your students' network... Then if the audience responds well publishing a book will be just an esay next step. lol.

    As for the target audience. my experience is really limited. I can just say go to BLOGSPOT or sinaBLOG, tons of college students' daily nagging...

    Anyway wish for you the best, good luck there.lol.
  • John
    John wrote:

    Great advice! Not the first time I've heard something like that either....
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    Peter, The best seller books about China are always the ones related to Economy, business and politics. Your idea is quite creative, but "being creative" also means "being unsafe".

    So I guess, like Letsmojito suggested, start to write a blog first to see the responds from audience.

    I don't know how it works in western countries, but in China, there are quite a few famous writers who start their writing career in internet, and become very poplular in digital world, then many publishers find those writers, begging them to publish the stories into books.

Please login to post a reply to this thread.


WeLiveInBeijing.com is a social community for people living in or traveling to Beijing.

Powered by: Bloc