Sunday, April 04, 2010

Korea Blossoms

Korean shopping heavyweight Interpark hope to take the Biscuit in their market with their eink ’lookie likie’ called Biscuit. Normally this would only just touch our radar and be ignored as yet another short life expectancy story but we have been invited to speak at the forthcoming Korean Book Fair in May so everything Japanese and Korean is attracting our attention.

The Korea Electronic Publishing Association have announced a series of free education programs aimed at teaching publishers and writers how to create e-books and give an overview of the e-book market. It is interesting that an increasing number of Korean publishers are finding it difficult to publish print books. The Korean Publishers Association claim that the shrinking book market has resulted in more than 90% of the country’s 31,700 registered publishing companies not publishing paper books last year. The association will also help participants sign contracts with distributors and have a goal of helping Korean publishers create some 100,000 e-books every year.

As with everyone else they believe the e-book business is a different and estimate, Korea’s e-book market will be worth around 1.06 trillion won ($935 million) by the end of this year, and more than 2.4 trillion won in 2012.

As always it will be a case of two ears and one mouth on our visit and learning and exchanging ideas and insights in May. We hope that it may be more than the cherry tree that is starting to blossom in the East.

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