SEOUL, April 3 (Korea Bizwire) — With reading declining among South Korean adults, that a creative arrangement between neighborhood bookstores and Munhakdongne Publishing Group is yielding strong book sales should be encouraging news for book printers and sellers alike.
An editor for Munhakdongne told Yonhap News yesterday, “Despite this being our first try, our stock from the first print is nearly all gone as orders made prior to publishing exceeded 1,000 books. The response is very positive compared to average sales developments of Munhakdongne’s other Korean literature titles at both major bookstores and online distribution channels.”
The success this editor describes refers to a special collection of stories by recognized up-and-coming writers that are sold only at neighborhood bookstores. Collaborating with 56 bookstores nationwide, Munhakdongne created a list of stories by young authors that the bookstore owners said left a lasting impression. The list was then whittled down to seven titles and assembled into one book, available for sale only at neighborhood bookstores.
The list of recommended titles by the bookstore owners consists of work by authors that are widely admired by younger readers and who are popular on social media.
Munhakdongne is not the first publisher to work with neighborhood bookstores on this type of project; Minumsa Publishing Group also had a go at a similar venture in the past by issuing a special edition book.
As neighborhood bookstores are becoming viewed by younger consumers who ascribe to the modern trend of “finding assured happiness in the small things” as “hip” places, publishers have come to regard local booksellers as important outlets for selling their books.
Munhakdongne explained that each neighborhood bookstore is a “mini-universe” where like-minded readers can interact with one another with books that reflect the personality of the establishment.
Munhakdongne said collaborating with neighborhood bookstores on another special project will most likely be looked into going forward.
The government has been taking steps to encourage South Koreans to pick up a book with more frequency. Last year, the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism declared 2018 to be a “year of books” and set a goal of pushing up the publishing industry’s total revenues of 3.95 billion won in 2016 to 4.37 billion won in 2021.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)