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The Marketing Strategy for
the Chinese Version of The Mummy Book

A Korean picture book sold more than 30K copies in a year:
What was its secret to touching the hearts of Chinese moms?




I remember the day I first opened the book, The Mummy Book (Korean publisher: Woongjin ThinkBig, Simplified Chinese Version Title: 我的妈妈 (My Mom)), during the planning meeting deciding whether to publish it. On the sky blue cover, there was a round-faced young girl with curiosity all over her face, and its smooth feeling brought me back to the desk as I returned from work. I soon fell into the story. The book’s first page shows a mother and “I” lying silent on a bed and starts with a sentence that says, “A mom was born as I was born.” The beginning of the book leads readers on an adventure observing a mother from a young girl’s point of view.
Many picture books under the theme of mother, such as Anthony Browne’s My Mum, a Chinese classic children’s tale 小蝌蚪找妈妈 (Tadpoles Looking for Their Mom), or Japanese writer Sakai Gomako’s ぼくおかあさんのこと (My Mom Is), are gaining popularity among Chinese readers. Moms in those picture books are always beautiful, strong, and nearly perfect. In contrast, The Mummy Book, written by Kwon Jung-Min, boldly shows a mom living her reality. By exhibiting daily lives that make the mom seem pathetic, lazy, and even slightly distressed, the writer brings all readers to this reality and helps them understand that their mom is just another human. After finishing the book, ideas about how to lead more Chinese readers to read The Mummy Book and make the book stand out in a competitive market and how I should start to figure out the readers accurately swirled in my head.


The Korean and Simplified Chinese covers of The Mummy Book

The Korean and Simplified Chinese covers of The Mummy Book

The Korean and Simplified Chinese covers of The Mummy Book



Making Accurate Marketing Strategies through Clear Positioning in the Market


Distinct market positioning helps plan accurate marketing strategies and activate sales as the market can be segmented in detail. For example, a month before The Mummy Book was published, my publishing team asked many readers, book promoters, and online influencers to review the book by sending specially made dummy books. Some young mothers among the reviewers said their eyes reddened while reading the book and commented, “The book accurately reflects my heart” and “Undescribable feelings were depicted well in the book.” A renowned picture book artist expressed gratitude for sending the book and said, “All the scenes were shocking. Unlike other books, this piece boldly describes a true mother.” Some readers who are fathers asked why there is no book for fathers and said that fathers do a lot for their families at home too.
Through many investigations, I came to think that the main target readers of The Mummy Book are young moms born between the 1970s and 1990s. They are the ones who take on the social stress from home life and work, as well as the anxiety moms have, without an utterance. In other words, young moms are the pillars of society, the core of the household, and the ones kids rely on the most.
After setting the market position, we analyzed the target group’s education level, income, educational background, and other demographic profiles to plan for precise marketing strategies tailored to the target. The marketing strategy was set based on three steps: Pre-marketing, Launch marketing, and Post-marketing. Strategy for readers, marketing channels, and sales have to be specific and evident for each stage to successfully deliver the value of the content to readers and increase sales.


Word of Mouth on Online Channels through New Media Platforms


We introduced The Mummy Book to many Chinese readers through marketing and advertisement on new media platforms. As of June 2022, there were 1 billion 51 million Internet users and 1 billion 4.7 million mobile Internet users in China. As PC and mobile devices with a large user base met their golden age in the recent era, the new media telecommunication service industry had great potential to grow as a market. Using the new media platform was essential in delivering content value.
By sharing posts on Xiaohongshu (小红书), we let young moms listen to the story themselves. Xiaohongshu of China is a lifestyle and customer decision-making platform with over 200 million MAU (Monthly active users). The primary users of the platform are young females, especially netizens interested in child rearing and other content. Based on user tags, we found 100 influencers on Xiaohongshu who align with The Mummy Book, let them read the book, and then share posts about it. As a result of the activity, the post recorded more than 300K views.


A posting on the platform, Xiaohongshu (小红书)

A posting on the platform, Xiaohongshu (小红书)

A posting on the platform, Xiaohongshu (小红书)



One feature of the short clip length of another platform, TikTok, enables users to make and post videos on specific content. China’s TikTok is a music, creative, and short clip social platform for all ages. It has over 1 billion subscribers with a DAU (Daily Active Users) of over 700 million. Members aged 25 or lower take 32.99%, the highest among all, and subscribers between the ages of 26 and 35 account for 32.07%, the second largest group. We invited around 10 TikTok influencers, interpreted The Mummy Book, created short clips, and recorded more than 100K views. We also ran a campaign under the theme “Mom’s Tree Hole Time” on social media communities, including TikTok. Through the campaign, young moms posted their journey and feelings about being a mom for the first time in writing or videos, sharing their hearts actively.


The TikTok campaign, “Mom’s Tree Hole Time”

The TikTok campaign, “Mom’s Tree Hole Time”



Finding Content Value and Using It for Creative Marketing Models


Publishers need to deep-dive into the content quality of good books and spread their value as much as possible by using media. The Mummy Book is a book for young moms, children, and even the whole family. The reason so many readers love the book is that it delivers a unique value. While surfing the Internet, I found that the new writer Kwon Jung-Mins picture book The Mummy Book won the Korean Publishing Culture Awards, the best publishing industry award in Korea, from an article released by Hankookilbo in 2022. The book won the award for the following reason: “The writer creatively recreated maternity in the book, and the realistic images in the book went against the mythologization of maternity. The book can be said to be a masterpiece working as the wake-up call of modern maternity.”
To better understand what the commentator meant by “the wake-up call of modern maternity,” we invited Yuan Xiaofeng (袁晓峰), a Chinese children’s literary writer, renowned children’s book promoter, as well as the principal of the Houhai (后海) elementary school, Jiuer (九儿), a famous Chinese picture book writer and illustrator, and Li Yiman (李一慢), a well-known book promoter in China, to have an in-depth discussion about the content.


Many books have been on motherhood, but The Mummy Book is an exceptional, realistic, and uncommon piece. Instead of a story about a perfect mother, in the form of an encyclopedia, the book tells you about the daily life of a mother raising her child through stories of the mother’s deep love felt by children and children feeling touched by a strong mother who would go to great lengths.

- Yuan Xiaofeng (A children’s literary writer, a renowned children’s book promoter, the principal of the Houhai elementary school)


The picture book made me cry. This is my first time seeing a book written from such a different viewpoint. I strongly recommend the book to new dads and moms. Let’s read it together and show love to our mom and our family.

- Jiuer (A famous Chinese picture book writer and illustrator)


Growing up, I wondered how to learn more about my mother and keep a good relationship with her. The Mummy Book finally allowed me to think deeply about it. The book’s first sentence on its first page, “A mom was born as I was born,” deeply touched my heart.

- Li Yiman (A well-known Chinese book promoter)


More than anything, principal Yuan Xiaofeng said that the book could be an excellent way to keep positive relations with family members. He also wrote a special reading guide, “妈妈图鉴 (Homework for Dads),” which included a phrase that said, “The writer studied mom closely and directly after birth and wrote the book from a perspective of a little girl who wants her dad get to know more about mom as she does. So, the kid wrote the book named The Mummy Book. The girl knows that she is a baby of both mom and dad, and new moms have new dads beside them. So, the kid would want her dad to finish the reading homework at once. The homework is a must, not a choice.”
The interpretation of The Mummy Book by experts from various fields, readers, and book promoters diversified as their social status differed. As my mom is unique to me, it shows that 100 readers of The Mummy Book could have 100 different interpretations of it. It may be the charm of The Mummy Book.
To better deliver such news, we wrote various articles. Then, we published them in media outlets, including - “The Mummy Book, which won the Korean Publishing Culture Awards. Why was it referred to as the wake-up call to modern maternity?” and “To moms who struggle alone in this wild world!” The writings posted on major media each recorded 200K reader interactions, becoming the book recommended by CCTV (China Central TV).
At the same time, we brought the book to many bookstores and kindergartens for moms and their children to read the book together. In the participatory session where kids shared how their moms are, some said their moms are like older sisters or celestial maidens, giving opportunities for children to have a better understanding of their moms through reading.


As I finish this article, I would like to emphasize that many young Chinese parents love The Mummy Book for its unique value. From the novel viewpoint of a young girl, the book shows how hard it is to become a mom for the first time, and the writer’s courage to show it impressed many readers. Also, children naturally learned how much effort moms expend through the book. Through a well-thought-out marketing strategy utilizing the book’s strengths, our efforts to run the promotion and our plans were finally recognized in the Chinese market.



Written by Jie Ma (马婕) (Vice Editor-in-chief of Jieli Publishing House and Youth Branch President (接力出版社副总编辑, 青年分社社长))



Jie Ma (马婕) (Vice Editor-in-chief of Jieli Publishing House and Youth Branch President (接力出版社副总编辑, 青年分社社长))

#The Mummy book#China#Jieli Publishing House#Chinese
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