China Foreign Languages Press is currently looking to hire qualified, preferably bilingual English-speaking authors to participate in its landmark book series "Cities of China (中国城记)." Dedicated to presenting fresh, in-depth illustrations of rising Chinese cities to readers across the globe, the books in this series are written exclusively by foreign professional authors. Below is a translated sample from the "Cities of China" official introduction:
"Cities of China" presents in detail the unique characteristics of Chinese cities, following the economic and cultural development of the municipality as well as the lives of its ordinary citizens. Through the vivid narration of real peoples' stories, "Cities of China" opens a window for foreign readers to glimpse the real China.
In order to guarantee that content and style will meet the needs of foreign readers, the authors within this series are all foreign literary professionals. Foreign Languages Press invites each of them to the subject city for an extended visit, that they may experience first-hand through observation, interaction and interview the spirit of the city...
If you're interested, I'll send you the entire document. Essentially, they have a short list of cities that wish to participate in the project. If they like you, you pick a city that sounds interesting and they send you there for a couple of weeks, where you run around and look at things, talk to people (including interviews) and generally find stuff to write about, all on the local government's dollar. They also provide a translator upon request, but FLP is hoping to find bilingual authors, as such projects would be better handled by someone already familiar with China. Then you write the manuscript, the FLP editor goes over it with you, they pay you a manuscript fee and the book gets published.
I've actually met a couple of FLP's foreign authors, and they say the pay and conditions are quite good. There's also a lot of publicity for this series in particular, foreign and domestic. Email me at email@example.com if you're interested, and I'll put you in touch with the editor in charge.