State Publishing Bureau, Central Propaganda Department
20 April 1980
Publishing work is an important component part of the propaganda, science and culture fronts, and bears an important function concerning the construction of our country’s Four Modernizations and the people’s spiritual and cultural lives. In order to strengthen the work of publishers and raise the quality of publications, these Regulations are formulated.
I, The principles and tasks for publishers
(1) Publishers must persist in the Socialist path, persist in the dictatorship of the proletariat, persist in the leadership of the Communist Party, persist in Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, must serve the people, serve Socialism, and implement the policies of letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools contend, making the foreign serve China and making the past serve the present.
The basic task of publishers is to mobilize and organize writing and translating forces to engage in creation, writing and translation, publish books that are needed by the country and the people, propagate Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought, disseminate and accumulate scientific, cultural and technological knowledge and achievements, enrich the people’s spiritual cultural lives, and contribute to raising the scientific and cultural levels of the overall Chinese nation and to realizing the Four Modernizations of Socialism.
(2) Publishers of different kinds determine their book publishing scope according to the division of work and characteristics of each. Specialist publishers shall publish books related to their specialization.
II, Book quality and quantity
(3) Publishers publishing books must persist in putting quality first, pay close attention to social effect, strive to contribute even better spiritual and cultural nourishment to readers. All sorts of books must strive to raise quality in terms of ideological content, science, technology and artistic levels, written expression as well as binding and layout design, proofreading, printing and other aspects, persist in opposing the tendencies of rough and bad production, one-sided pursuit of quantity in assortments and pursuit of profit.
(4) Publishers must vigorously support there being books and works with original ideas in academia, innovation, courage to explore and give rein to a spirit of original creation in art, encourage and organized the publication of academic works with different viewpoints and literary and artistic creation in different styles and with different schools.
(5) Publishers should pay attention to grasping focus books, must strive to annually publish some more books of relatively high levels, including popular literature that the masses love to read, and progressively accumulate their retained books.
(6) Books have different characteristics and tasks from newspapers and periodicals, books require a relatively stable content, and are provided for readers’ long-term use. Materials in newspapers and periodicals may be used for publishers’ soliciting contributions and editorial work, and sometimes, on the basis of requirement, may be earnestly selected for use in the compilation and publication of special collections, but they cannot be wilfully cut and pasted, and knocked together into books.
(7) The variety and print numbers of books must be determined on the basis of need and possibility, weighing the quality and content of all sorts of books. Under the situation that material conditions are relatively difficult, the publication of the most necessary books must be guaranteed. Under the presupposition of guaranteeing quality, an increase of the variety of new books must be considered, but an annual proportional increase of new books must not be mechanically required. All sorts of specialized academic work varieties may be more in number, print quantities may be lower in number. First-edition news books generally may not have too large a print run, and reprints or revised editions should be produced through reader’s choices in the distribution process, on the basis of the real demand situation. For certain books that should not be distributed in great numbers, attention must be paid to strictly controlling print runs. Publishers must both give preference to arranging the publication of new books, and must arrange reprints in a planned manner.
III, Book publishing planning and programming
(8) Formulating book publishing plans and programmes is an important measure in strengthening the purposive nature and planned nature of publishing work, in mustering the vigorous factors in the writing and translation circles and in raising book quality.
Publishers should, on the basis of their own tasks and conditions, have an approximate idea of which areas and which important categories of books or book sets that require a relatively long time to be completed, and have a long-term plan. Some categories of books cannot be completed by the forces of one publisher, and it is permitted to cooperate with some relevant publishers to jointly, under united plans, divide work and realize this.
Publishers must formulate annual book publishing plans, including plans for new books and plans for book reprints. Annual book publishing plans must strive to achieve a relatively high reliability, and should include focus book titles that must be completed and of which the completion will be grasped, as well as measures to complete focus books.
Book publishers formulating plans and programmes must fully conduct investigation and research, realistically estimate objective and subjective conditions. Apart from earnestly understanding the real demands of readers and the publishing situation of similar books, they should pay attention to exchanging full opinions with academic research organs, relevant work units, writers and translators, and should at the same time solicit the opinions of distribution departments.
(9) Relevant publishers should regularly exchange the situation of submission of manuscripts and book publishing plans, to avoid unreasonable duplication. There should be mutual respect, mutual support and strengthened cooperation between publishers. There are some specialist works in remote categories or that have interdisciplinary value and should be published, relevant publishers should consider these as much as possible, and ensure that these book manuscripts gain publishing opportunities.
IV, Author work
(10) Publishers must broadly unite and organize writers and translators from all academic schools of thought, all genres and all areas, vigorously discover and earnestly foster newly-emerging forces, fully mustering their vigour. Specialist and amateur writers, old writers and new writers must all be treated warmly, book manuscript selection should happen through equal treatment without discrimination. Contacts with writers must be strengthened, their situation must be regularly understood, the necessary conditions are to be provided to them under condition of possibility, and problems should be regularly consulted with them, their opinions must be heard with open minds, in order to improve work.
(11) Publishers should actively strengthen cooperation relations with all scientific, literary and art groups, universities and colleges, research organs and professional work units, understand their research and writing plans, solicit their opinion over book publishing plans and programmes, strive to participate in necessary conferences and academic activities, grasp trends in the academic, literary and artistic fields and the basic situations of writers in all areas. Some collectanea, some focus book manuscripts and some important reading materials that require appropriate human power to be completed may be worked on thorough organization of writing and translation forces or organizing editorial committees by relevant leading departments.
(12) Publishers must guarantee the proper rights and interests of writers and translators. Publishers should generally, when accepting book manuscripts, conclude a written publishing contract through consultation with writers and translators, the rights and duties of both sides stipulated in the contract should be strictly respected.
(14) When all used book manuscripts are published, authors, editors, translators as well as the chief editor or writer of collectively written book manuscripts shall sign their name. The publisher’s responsible editor and cover designer may also sign their name.
V, Editorial work
(14) Editorial work is a central segment in publishers’ work, guaranteeing the good performance of editorial work is an important key in realizing book publishing plans and raising book publishing quality.
For making a basic appraisal of the political content and academic (artistic) quality of book manuscripts, and to decide whether or not to use them, a triple-level manuscript examination system should generally be implemented, which is first examination by the editor (or the assistant editor), and re-examination and final examination by the editorial department head and the editor-in-chief. Different examination methods may be adopted for different book manuscripts. Some important book manuscripts may be decided upon through proofreading and discussion by relatively many persons. Some procedures may be omitted for some book manuscripts according to concrete situations. All levels’ examination shall have written opinions.
Responsible editors must earnestly do editing, processing and arrangement work for manuscripts that have been decided for acceptance, if there are issues of violating the country’s present laws and policies or divulging Party and State secrets, as well as other oversights or flaws in content or argument, opinions should be put to the author, or revision should be consulted with the author. Where these concern differences and quarrels about academic thoughts, arguments, verification as well as study, the writer cannot be forced to make revisions. Some books, especially on the cultural heritage of China and the outside world, should as far as possible have a foreword or a publishing explanation. When composing modern writers’ foreword and publishing explanations, and it involves the author himself or an appraisal of the work, the opinion of the author should be solicited.
In editorial work, democracy must be promoted, editorial staff must be encouraged to think independently, dare to express different opinions, and they should at the same time have a high level or organization and discipline, and strengthen the instruction and reporting system. All issues that cannot be decided by general editors and in general editor business meetings, must be timely reported to relevant higher-level authorities for instructions.
(15) Publishers may, on the basis of need, engage experts from outside the publisher to act as adviser or special editing committee member, or editorial committee member of some books, and rely upon them to edit a part of the manuscript or resolve difficult issues in examination work. Staff from outside the publisher examining manuscripts may be recompensed according to the concrete situation.
(16) Publishers’ editorial and publishing departments shall take the distribution effect and readers’ opinions of the books they publish to heart, and timely put forward reprinting or republishing plans. Before books are reprinted, the responsible editor shall examine them, and consult with authors and translators about opinions on whether or not to revise them.
(17) Publishers’ editorial departments must establish and complete book manuscript filing systems. Every book manuscript should have a complete file, including all the relevant documents from organizing the manuscript to the time of publishing, as well as important reflections and comments by readers, quality inspection records, revised specimens and all other first-hand materials. The plates and paper moulds of books shall be properly preserved and managed by special personnel.
(18) Publishers must have a special organ to be responsible for book material work, accumulating and researching materials, and serving editorial work.
VI, Printing work and distribution work
(19) Publishers must conclude contracts in consultation with printing departments and distribution departments, and have good relations of cooperation. There must be special organs or special personnel to be responsible for regular contact with printing and distribution departments, jointly researching methods to raise printing quality and improve distribution work, discuss and resolve issues in work between both sides.
(20) Publishers should work in concert with printing plants and, under the presupposition of guaranteeing book quality, adopt realistic measures to progressively reduce book publishing times. According to the concrete situation of different manuscripts, suitable book publishing process (from sending manuscripts to publishing) periods should be provided. Publishers sending manuscripts must strengthen planning, and must strive to achieve completeness, clarity and finalization (if the manuscript and appendices are complete and writing clear, it should be finalized), and not make relatively large changes to final proofs.
(21) Proofreading work shall be responsible for the master copy, and delete all mistakes in typesetting. Where it is discovered that the master copy has errors, omissions or improprieties, it should be timely submitted to the editorial department for resolutions. The stipulated number of readings may not be wilfully reduced.
(22) Different distribution methods shall be adopted for books published by publishers, aimed at the nature of the book, and in consideration of the social effect and reading targets. The absolute majority of books shall be openly distributed; some books should not be openly distributed, and the internal distribution method may be adopted for research work and specialist staff needs, and allocation and distribution is to be conducted in a planned way among specific targets. Publishers shall pay attention to and assist bookstores’ doing distribution work well. Publishers meeting conditions may, after consultation with distribution departments, set up mail-order businesses and salesrooms of themselves, as a supplement to bookstore distribution work.
(23) A cautious attitude must be adopted when stopping the sale of books. Publishers should put forward reasons and handling methods on the basis of the spirit of relevant documents or when examiners believe that sales of some book should be stopped, petition higher leading organs for examination and approval (State Publishing Bureau-subordinate publishers report to the State Publishing Bureau; all Central specialist publishers report to the subordinate ministries or commissions; local publishers report to provincial, municipal or autonomous region departments in charge)
All publishers stopping sales of books shall report this to the State Publishing Bureau for filing. A small number of specimens of books of which sales have stopped shall be preserved by publishers for future reference, their plates and paper moulds shall be appropriately preserved and may not be destroyed without approval.
VII, Book propaganda and appraisal work.
(24) Publishers should strengthen book propaganda and appraisal work. Apart form regularly printing all sorts of book catalogues and publishing advertising on new books, they must vigorously launch book appraisal work. Publishers should make organizing book appraisal work into a regularized system, appoint special persons to be responsible, coordinate with and stimulate academic organs, literature and art groups, higher education institutes, newspapers and periodicals to launch book appraisal writing and organization work. They must advocate and encourage editorial personnel to write book appraisals.
Publishers must establish systems to connect with readers, use forums, visits as well as book store selling, and other methods to regularly understand the reflections and requirements of readers towards books. They must give high regard to dealing with letters from readers.
(25) Publishers should establish book quality inspection system. Every year, they should have one complete book quality inspection, being one important measure in summarizing work, accumulating experience and raising quality. After quality inspection, the chief editor shall compile a concrete analysis report concerning work of the entire publisher’s personnel, and put forward measures for improvement aimed at problems found during inspection. Every year, publishers should, on the basis of quality inspection, compile book selection lists with content synopses of those books with good quality or relatively good quality among the new books of that year that have republication value, and report it to higher-level leading organs and the State Publishing Bureau.
Publishers may also organize book quality exhibitions, to select excellent books and grant rewards to relevant persons (including editors, cover designers, proof-readers, publishing and other personnel) having contributed to raising quality.
VIII, Business management and logistics work
(26) Publishers must, on the basis of the characteristics of scientific and cultural undertakings, strengthen and improve business management. They must both strive to contribute to the flourishing of science and culture according to the tasks and rules of publishing work, and must manage affairs according to economic rules. They must earnestly implement economic accounting, organize financial planning, abide by financial discipline, reduce capital use, reduce expenses, lower damage through accidents, strive to use human power and material power most efficiently. Publishers must have a vice-director in charge of business management work, who regularly reports the business management situation to the staff of the entire publisher. Personnel that make prominent contributions to business management or prevent major accidents should be rewarded. Personnel gravely neglecting their duties should be subject to criticism and education, as well as necessary punishment.
(27) Publishers should pay attention to save paper, apart from rationally planning book print runs, they must appropriately design typesetting specifications. Management must also be strengthened over other sorts of materials and goods, to prevent overstock and waste.
(28) Publishers should have cost accounting systems suited to the characteristics of book publishing, and incessantly reduce publishing costs through cost management. They must strictly abide by the price standards provided by the State. They shall completely account for the economic situation. Where a few publishers create deficits because of non-commercial reasons, deficit plans should be made, and reported to higher-level leading organs for approval.
(29) Publishers must realistically grasp logistics work, logistics work must establish an attitude of serving editorial and publishing work. They must reward and commend logistics personnel enthusiastically serving editing work.
IX, Cadre work
(30) Publishers must strive to raise the ideological and professional levels of cadres, vigorously discover, foster and promote talents in all areas. Fostering cadres must persist in a path that is both red and expert. Apart from requiring editorial personnel to have a certain level of Marxism-Leninism, having corresponding cultural and scientific knowledge, knowledge about editorial and publishing business, grammatical knowledge and specialist knowledge, they must also have a certain organizational capability. It must be advocated that editorial personnel establishes ad strong sense of dedication and a high sense of political responsibility, assiduously gain professional proficiency, splendidly do editorial work well, and diligently strive to become talents that both have extensive knowledge and a relatively specialized level in some discipline.
(31) Publishers should pay attention to organizing editorial personnel to discuss major issues in book manuscript and editorial work, and summarize concrete experiences in editorial work. They must encourage editorial personnel to vigorously participate in social activities related to their profession and all sorts of academic activities, and engage in academic research. Editorial personnel creating, writing manuscripts or translating books after hours should be supported. Cadres of great seniority in editorial work that have conditions for deep research or to conduct creation may, on the condition that daily professional work permits this, be granted an arrangement of certain time for investigation, research and creation. Young editors should ne encouraged to strengthen basic training and raise basic knowledge, to grasp skills in all areas of publishing work. Study classes, non-scheduled lectures as well as sending them to higher education institutes and other methods may be organized in a targeted manner, in order to foster young editors in a planned manner. It should also be advocated to, on the principle of voluntary integration, have experienced old editors using apprenticeship methods to help young editors raise their professional abilities.
(32) Publishers should guarantee that editorial personnel use their main time and energy on editorial work. Every week, the time they engage in editorial work may not be less than 5/6.
(33) Publishers must implement cadre assessment systems, earnestly conduct editorial personnel job title appraisal and promotion work Attention must be paid to selecting cadres with good ideology and strong editorial professionalism, and especially excellent middle-age or young cadres for promotion, and substantiating leading ranks.
X, Party leadership
(34) Strengthening Party leadership is the basic guarantee for correctly implementing the Party line, principles and policies, and doing publishing work well. Publishers should complete a leading Party core, of which the main tasks are: researching and implementing Party principles and policies, guaranteeing the implementation of higher-level instructions and completing all tasks; discussing and authorizing book publishing plans and programmes as well as major issues in professional work; leading the entire publisher’s political and ideological work and study; fostering and selecting leading backbones, editorial and publishing talents.
(35) Publishers implement system of director and chief editor work division and responsibility under Party Committee leadership
(36) Major issues in publishers shall be decided upon through discussion by the Party Committee. Under the leadership of the director and chief editor, publisher business meetings and editorial business meetings are to be convened regularly, to discuss work; overall work personnel meetings must be regularly convened as well, to discuss major issues relating to the publisher, and let Party and non-Party cadres fully express opinions.
(37) Publishers’ Party members and especially leading Party cadres shall have a model function in implementing policies, abiding by discipline, gaining professional proficiency, working diligently and other areas. They must set the example, and establish a work style of being serious and earnest, seeking truth from facts, being unselfish, striving for efficiency and daring to take responsibility among the whole body of work personnel. Party and government work cadres who are well-versed in editorial work, earnestly implement intellectuals’ policies and gain clear achievements must be commended.
(38) Publishers must strengthen ideological and political work, all levels’ leading cadres must do ideological work. Ideological and political work must be brought into editorial, publishing, logistics and other work, to guarantee the smooth conduct of professional work.
(39) Publishers’ Party organizations and leading cadres should not only regularly understand the ideological situation of work personnel and care for them in terms of politics and work, but should also care for their lives, and assist them as far as possible in resolving all sorts of difficulties. Cadres who are old, weak in health, ill or have other special situations should be given the necessary consideration. Measures must be adopted in all areas to unite the whole body of personnel, muster their vigour, and ensure that their whole heart and mind is focused on doing publishing work, and giving rein to an even greater function in modernization construction.
(40) These Regulations apply to publishers nationwide. All publishers may, on the basis of the spirit provided in these Regulations, and integrating the real situation, formulate concrete work rules.