In order to win the Chinese publishers’ trust and join the International Union of the Silk Road, four Iranian publishers have taken steps to negotiate and sign an agreement with a Chinese academic publisher.
Iranian publishers to join Silk Road Union
According to IBNA correspondent, four active Iranian publishers in the fields of traditional medicine, theater, academic books and fiction could communicate with a Chinese academic publisher through Iranian Tamass Literary Agency, and discuss basic ways of cooperation.
Poriya Nickbakht, literature department director of Noda publishing active in the field of theater and one of the publishers who has begun to negotiate with China Renmin University Press said: “In 2017, a play was staged in Shanghai, China, where discussions began.”
Referring to the formation of this relationship, he said: “Hamid-Reza Naeimi’s book has played an important role. The book that China Renmin University Press offered us contains three works, ‘Carnival Bakhtin’, ‘Svejk’, and ‘Richard’. To coordinate with this work, Hamid-Reza Naeimi collected three works, ‘Socrates, Richard and Svejk, the Good Soldier’ in a collection entitled, Happiness and Sorrow.”
“We are planning to continue this collaboration at the Fajr International Theater Festival. Throughout the world, the book is known as a cultural commodity, and through that, it communicates with other countries,” Nickbakht added.
Specific Situations of Communication with Foreign Publishers
Seyyed Hossein Abedini, a director of Safir Ardehal Publishing, is another publisher who has partnered with China Renmin University Press.
He said: “I have previously participated in foreign fairs, including Frankfurt Book Fair. I have realized that communication with foreign publishers has its own conditions. Due to this reason, through Tamass Literary Agency, Safir Ardehal Publication has been enabled to establish a better connection to the publishers of other countries’.”
He stated: “With the help of Tamass Literary Agency, two books on Chinese culture and custom have been introduced to this publication. Iran has yet to join the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. So, Iranian publishers do not obtain copyright in translating and publishing foreign works. For this reason, there are steps to be taken to build trust between the Iranian and Chinese publishers.”
About measures to improve relations among publishers in China and Iran, Abedini said: “China has founded a union which is called the Silk Road. This union is recruiting members from countries in the Silk Road zone. We carry out our activities and try to introduce ourselves to the world.”
“China Renmin University Press is engaged in the promotion of Chinese culture and custom. We are trying to publish our books in China because China is a large country with a high population, if it only uses books for its institutions, it will cover a large number of books,”
On the introduction of two books translated in this publishing institute, the director of Safir-e Ardehal Publishing stated: “The books about religious practices, music and cultural traditions in China are going to be printed. We are also negotiating to publish a book on the environment.”
Grant Plan fees are not enough
Tabasom Atashin-Jan, director of Howze Noghre Publishing said: “Negotiations with China Renmin University Press has led to the publication of a book, ‘Special Interview’.”
She said that, “Howze Noghre Publication translated this Chinese book from English to Persian. The financial support received through the Grant of China for publishing this book were not enough for the cost of paper and zinc in Iran, but cooperation between Iran and China was very pleasant.”
“As a matter of fact, since the majority of Iranian publishers do not obtain copyrights in publishing foreign books translated into Persian, many countries in the world do not sign agreements with us because of the economic sanctions.”
The director of Howz-e Noghre Publishing expressed regret: “Our Publishing House has not been able to obtain copyright of all foreign books that has published. By acquiring copyrights, we will see an increase in the price of books, but it is important that if any publisher continues such a process, other publishers will be encouraged to do that little by little.”
Importance of communication with a Reputable Chinese Publisher
Hadi Tale Khorsand, a director of Khorsandi Publishing House, siad: “For this publication, cooperation with foreign publishers is very significant. That’s why we maintained contact with Tamass literary Agency, and by means of this agency, we knew China Renmin University Press. The head of this university is responsible for managing the Silk Road Publishers.
He argued: “These actions are just the initial steps in joining Berne Convention and negotiations have been conducted to exchange the copyright of two books.”
Additionally, Khorsand pointed out: “Khorsandi Publishing House is connected with three vice presidents of the judicature, universities and vice presidency. Actually, the connection with a reputable Chinese publisher was very important to us.”
Renmin University, the Major Initiator and supplier of the Silk Road Union
Renmin University Press is the largest Chinese academic publication that has translated its books into 27 languages and has more than two million students. In addition to being active in publishing academic books, it’s a supplier of “One Belt and One Road. This publication participated at Tehran International Book Fair with the president of China Renmin University Press Mr. Li Yongqiang; chairman of the Council, B and R Publishing cooperative Mr. Wang Lei; director of the editorial management office Mr. Sun Binghen; sales manager Ms. Wu Miao, English-Chinese translator and rights manager, and Ms. Yolanda Liu, a director of the publishing center of the International Collaboration at Renmin University Press of China in attendance.”