From Publishing Perspectives:
The new Warner Bros. adaptation by Jon Spaights and director Denis Villenueve of Frank Herbert’s 1965 Dune was released on October 22 in China. With Hans Zimmer’s exhilarating score, Patrice Vermette’s design, and the complex performance of Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) as Paul Atreides, the film seems to be working its windswept magic on the Chinese readership.
Dune in an edition from Jiangsu Literature & Art Press has entered the overall fiction list at No. 19 in November, just as in the United States, the film tie-in edition (Penguin Random House/Ace Books) has arrived at No. 2 on the Most Read Amazon Charts and No. 7 in Most Sold.
Our associates at Beijing OpenBook note that the book has been published in China before now, although the interest driving it onto the lists is clearly related to the film release. The edition you see at No. 19 in overall fiction–and moving up a spot from No. 5 to No. 6 on the international fiction bestseller list–was first released in 2016.
The real question becomes how much staying power something like a film-fueled Dune can be expected to show on the Chinese list.
Those who regularly follow our lists will see that the top three positions in November were occupied by the 2008 The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin. It’s followed by its series-mates, The Dark Forest and Death’s End at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. This can be interpreted to be a reflection of Dune-prompted science-fiction interest, of course, but Liu’s trilogy has been charting for decades and these books are some of the cluster of the most reliably popular in the Chinese book industry.
What the OpenBook team describes as a condition of “insufficient hot spots” remains in sway on the Chinese lists. New work seems to have a tough time displacing the relatively recent “classics” that dominate this market’s slowly moving –most of these titles dating from the mid-20th century. “If a new book wants to be known by more readers,” our associates say in their discussion of the November charts, “it must overcome the existing bestsellers and gain an advantage. And that increases the difficulty of selling new authors and new works” who don’t come with their own following already intact.
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives