Lin Jingjing is an editor at Insight Media, an imprint of the China South Publishing & Media Group (CNS) in Shanghai, China. We caught up with her recently to find out what kind of books she is currently working on, which international markets she is doing business with, and which author she is particularly excited about right now.
Please tell us about your role at Insight Media. How long have you worked for CNS and have you always worked as an editor?
I am an editor of art books. I have worked for CNS more than 2 years, reading and editing raw manuscripts which is a large part of my daily work. I am on the lookout for potential book topics all the time. I also keep track of schedule dates, and check on every step in the production process to ensure each book publishes on time.
Are there certain types of books that you are particularly interested in publishing, and why?
I am interested in art books, especially books about Chinese traditional art, because there are already a lot of great literary treasures on Chinese traditional art but many of them aren’t obviously published for the general reader.
Apart from commissioning books from authors in China, are there any other countries that you are currently doing business with, or would like to buy books from? What kind of international books work well in the current market in China?
I am currently doing good business with publishers in Japan, America and Korea, such as Chikumashobo, Princeton Architectural Press, Wisdom House Publishing and so on.
In my view, international children’s picture books are very popular in China right now.
Which author are you particularly excited about at the moment, and why?
Chuin Tung, the author of Glimpses of Gardens in Eastern China. He is from the first generation of modern architects and architectural educators in China. He has long been committed to the theoretical study of Chinese ancient architecture and gardening, and introduced the classic beauty of Chinese gardens to the world through this book.
What kind of books do you read for pleasure?
Books that can help me know the world better. For example, James Cahill’s studies on the Chinese paintings give me a unique and comprehensive perspective of appreciating ancient paintings. And Liang Sicheng’s books about Chinese architecture teach me about architecture history in China.
If there was one writer that you’d like to meet, dead or alive, who would that be and why?
I think that would have to be Cao Xueqin. His work Hong Lou Meng (The Story of the Stone) is, in my opinion, the best novel ever. A great novel is a work that you can interpret from different angles, and this is the case with Hong Lou Meng. You can learn each aspect of Chinese traditional culture, including architecture, food, clothing, entertainment etc.
If you were ship-wrecked on an island, and were allowed to save just one book, what book would that be?
Tao Te Ching (roughly means ‘the way of life’). The author Laozi is the first philosopher of Chinese Daoism. Tao Te Ching, a classic of Chinese philosophical literature, has had a profound influence on Chinese traditional philosophy, science, politics, religion and literature. To truly understand Laozi’s philosophy, I still have a long way to go. And each time I read it, I can always learn new things.
If you would like to learn more about the work IPR is doing in China, please contact Lingyu Zhang on firstname.lastname@example.org
In June 2017, China South Publishing & Media Group (CNS) acquired a stake in IPR License.