Book Prices in Taiwan

Having analyzed the prices of paper books in China, it seems necessary to study the prices of paper books in Taiwan. Specifically, what is the difference between the average price of locally written Chinese books and that of translated Western books?

Publishers in Taiwan have considerably more control over their titles when compared to their Chinese counterparts. According to Taiwan Review, Taiwan’s book publishing industry releases approximately 40,000 titles every year. Although translated books account for only 25 percent of the market, they comprise approximately 50 percent of the books on the country’s bestselling lists.

The number of publishers in Taiwan has surpassed ten thousand in recent years. However, a recent study shows the publishing of the world’s translated literature is done by only 21 publishers. Most translated literature and authors are concentrated in the United Kingdom and the United States, followed by France, Germany and Russia.

I decided to take a look at the books sold by the prestigious Kingstone Bookstore, which has been operating in Taiwan since 1983. Here are the top 10 bestselling translated Western literary books in New Taiwan Dollars (TWD) in April 2012, and the prices of their English counterparts in USD on Amazon.com:

  • The Hunger Games Trilogy (3 volumes), by Suzanne Collins. Price on Kingstone: 960 TWD (~32.37 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 53.97 USD (hardcover).
  • Awakened, by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast. Price on Kingstone: 280 TWD (~9.44 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 9.99 USD (paperback).
  • Before I Go to Sleep, by S.J. Watson. Price on Kingstone: 290 TWD (~9.78 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 10.19 USD (paperback).
  • A Clash of Kings (2 volumes), by George R.R. Martin. Price on Kingstone: 760 TWD (~25.62 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 17.00 USD (paperback).
  • Tiger’s Voyage, by Colleen Houck. Price on Kingstone: 280 TWD (~9.44 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 17.95 USD (hardcover).
  • A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron. Price on Kingstone: 280 TWD (~9.44 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 12.99 USD (paperback).
  • The Color of Law, by Mark Gimenez. Price on Kingstone: 380 TWD (~12.81 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 7.99 USD (paperback).
  • Warriors: Into the Wild, by Erin Hunter. Price on Kingstone: 250 TWD (~8.43 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 6.99 USD (paperback).
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson. Price on Kingstone: 360 TWD (~12.14 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 9.99 USD (paperback).
  • Relic, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Price on Kingstone: 380 TWD (~12.81 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 7.99 USD (paperback).

From the list above, one can see the average price of these 10 translated Western literary books in Taiwan is 324.62 TWD, or 10.94 USD. This is slightly higher than the average price of these books in the United States in paperback or mass market paperback formats, which is 10.39 USD.

In comparison, the average price of the top 10 locally written Chinese literary books on Kingstone is 243.90 TWD, or 8.22 USD. This is about 75 percent of the average price of the top 10 translated Western literary books.

Finally, here are the top 9 translated Western business books in TWD in April 2012, and the prices of their English counterparts in USD on Amazon.com:

  • Storyselling for Financial Advisor: How Top Products Sell, by Scott West & Mitch Anthony. Price on Kingstone: 300 TWD (~10.11 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 30.00 USD (hardcover).
  • Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker. Price on Kingstone: 250 TWD (~8.43 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 22.99 USD (hardcover).
  • Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World, by Stuart Diamond. Price on Kingstone: 370 TWD (~12.47 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 15.00 USD (paperback).
  • The Growth Map, by Jim O’Neill. Price on Kingstone: 350 TWD (~11.80 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 29.95 USD (hardcover).
  • Sanningen om Ikea [The Truth About IKEA: How IKEA Built Its Global Furniture Brand], by Johan Stenebo. Price on Kingstone: 350 TWD (~11.80 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 13.11 USD (Kindle).
  • Mob Rules: What the Mafia Can Teach the Legitimate Businessman, by Louis Ferrant. Price on Kingstone: 300 TWD (~10.11 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 25.95 USD (hardcover).
  • The Great Crash Ahead: Strategies for a World Turned Upside Down, by Harry S. Dent, Jr. & Rodney Johnson. Price on Kingstone: 400 TWD (~13.49 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 27.00 USD (hardcover).
  • The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, by Josh Kaufman. Price on Kingstone: 450 TWD (~15.17 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 27.95 USD (hardcover).
  • Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. Price on Kingstone: 599 TWD (~20.20 USD). Price on Amazon.com: 35.00 USD (hardcover).

From the list above, one can see the average price of these 9 translated Western business books in Taiwan is 374.33 TWD, or 12.62 USD. This is only 44 percent of the average price of these books in the United States in hardcover format, which is 28.41 USD.

In comparison, the average price of the top 10 locally written Chinese business books on Kingstone is 290.00 TWD, or 9.77 USD. This is about 77 percent of the average price of the top 9 translated Western business books.

 

— This article is simultaneously published on eBook Dynasty, the leading publisher of Chinese ebooks.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply, Please

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: