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2018.03.13 Signs of Recovery in Taiwan’s Publishing Sector: Children’s Books the Key?
According to an article published by Taiwanese information site Focus Taiwan (CNA) on February 13, 2018, there was a slight increase in the number of books published in Taiwan last year compared to the year before last. A report by Taiwan's National Central Library found that a total of 4,987 publishing houses published 40,401 books in 2017, compared with 4,979 publishers that published 38,807 books in 2016. The downsizing of the publishing sector seems to have been halted, with signs emerging of an upward trend. 

The linguistics and literature category claimed the largest share of newly published books in Taiwan, followed by applied science and social science. Translated works from foreign languages took up 24.05 percent of the whole, or 9,716 books, of which more than half—5226 books—were translations of books from Japan. This preceded translated works from the United States (2076), the United Kingdom (703), and South Korea (591). Last year, digital books accounted for 10.24 percent of publications—this was double that of the year before last. 

In another comparison, children’s books came in third place after fiction and human science, and strong growth is expected to continue for this category. Publishers Weekly, covering Taipei International Book Exhibition (held from February 6 to 11), wrote that in addition to the demand for translated as well as imported books, booths for children's books and educational texts garnered a lot of attention. Despite Taiwan's relatively low birth rate, the children's books sector was driven by an emphasis on children's education.

The book markets of Japan and Taiwan are said to be similar. Japan has been witnessing a continued decline in the sales of books as well as magazines since 1996. If Taiwan has been able to turn around its downward trend in publications, perhaps there is a hint here for the Japanese publishing industry. 

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