One of our favorite Chinese sites seems to have run afoul of the net nanny: vip.bokee.com has been on again off again, but perfectly viewable with a proxy. Using the proxy we saw an article about a list published in a Chengdu newspaper of the top-grossing authors in China, at least based on royalties from the sales of their books. At the top of the list was a Guo Jingming, a young author (born in 1983), whose books earned him over 10 million RMB in royalties this year. According to Xinhua, his latest book, The River of Sorrow, was released in April of this year and sold a record high of one million copies in the first two weeks. Second and third on the list were Yu Dan (also over 10 million) and Yi Zhongtian, both professors that have made their fortunes
peddling popularizing versions of the classics, such as Confucius’ Analects or the Zhuangzhi. The chart you see shows the break down of sales from Yu Dan’s various books, with her book on the Analects being the most popular, selling 6.72 million copies.
Despite being convicted of plagiarism in 2004, Guo seems to be a real phenomenon: his book signing events cause traffic jams, and of course, there are crazed fans and groupies to boot. We haven’t read any of his novels, but if, as the reports say, he drives a Caddy, we are going to boycott his books just on that principle. If anyone has read of any of his books, let us know what we are (presumably) missing out on in a comment.