Publishing professional and practical books that are worth it
What defines a good book? Everyone has their own yardstick for selecting good books, but one thing in common would be that “good books” have all been a good teacher that provided insights and lessons. In this aspect, Hanbit Media is a publisher that makes good books. It not only offers answers to questions but also enables the readers to make use of them. Hanbit Media, mainly specialized in the IT field, was established in 1993 when computers began to spread out across the country, and computers and PC communication were anticipated as one of the bright future industries. Almost 30-years-old today, Hanbit Media has become a mid-sized publisher in Korea. We asked CEO Kim Tae-Heon about the path Hanbit Media – which actively tries to identify and reflect readers' needs – will walk in the future.
Please introduce Hanbit Media to overseas publishers.
Established in 1993, Hanbit Media is a publisher that pursues three core values of “We dream of the future and work with passion,” “We aim to become a publisher that is trusted by readers,” and “We seek sustainable and balanced growth,” under the vision of “A publishing hub of Asia that delivers a better tomorrow and a better world.” IT had been our main field in the early days, but now we have expanded our scope of publication to encompass various fields, including business, economics, self-help, leisure, hobby, parenting, and college textbooks.
What is the standard or value Hanbit Media pursues when it comes to choosing authors or works?
There’s one principle that Hanbit Media has been trying to stick to ever since its establishment. It is “to become a publisher trusted by readers.” This is also because Hanbit Media mainly publishes practical books. We are aiming to publish books that satisfy readers’ needs, and which the readers feel were meaningful or worth reading. And when we are choosing authors, we tend to prefer authors that can be our long-lasting partners, steadily publishing works over time.
Why did Hanbit Media choose to specialize in IT among other fields, and what do you think is the compelling point of IT books?
The year 1993 – when Hanbit Media was established – was when computers began to be distributed across the nation, and PC communication services such as Chollian and Hitel were newly born, heightening anticipation for computers and communication to be the next industry in Korea. So, we thought that ICT will be the infrastructure of new industries, just like automobiles and railways and that the general public and developers will be in continuous need of IT applications and expertise. Well, I was not that greatly specialized in literature or liberal arts, and maybe this was also one of the reasons, but I’d rather say that Hanbit Media joined the big trend in the publishing market.
I am proud that Hanbit Media has been growing step by step as a mid-sized publisher in Korea.
It’s almost 30 years into Hanbit Media’s establishment. How do you feel?
They say that only 30% of startup companies in Korea manage to survive for 5 years. This means that 7 out of 10 companies shut down in 5 years. I am so thankful for our readers, authors, and our staff that enabled Hanbit Media to observe its 30th year amidst such a business environment. There are even four staff members that have worked for more than 20 years at our company. All companies have hard times. I myself also faced a tough time, the Asian Financial Crisis, not so long after I set up Hanbit Media. It was actually the time I experienced how risky promissory note transactions are. (laughs) And I faced another challenge in 2002 when the bubble in the IT industry burst. But at the same time, I feel proud that Hanbit Media grew step by step along with the staff members. And I also feel a sense of accomplishment that it can continue to contribute to Korea’s publishing industry with readers as a mid-sized publisher in Korea.
Please recommend some of Hanbit Media’s books to our readers.
I am a Programmer / Written by Lim Baek-Jun and 6 others
I am a Programmer, Self-Learning Python, Mom’s Talking Practice
Hanbit Media has recently published 3 titles. Please introduce them to us.
Actually, I wanted to be loved / Written by Park Jae-Yeun
Actually, I wanted to be loved, Sweet Design Photoshop Illustrator CC 2021, Self-Learning Machine Learning Deep Learning
Hanbit Publishing Network has many other brands other than Hanbit Media. Could you please introduce each of the brands to us?
Hanbit Media is the mother company established in 1993, an IT specialist publishing books about programming and computer engineering for IT developers and OA (Office Automation), graphics, and social media for the general public. Meanwhile, Hanbit Academy makes college textbooks, and Hanbit Biz produces business, economics, self-help, and liberal arts books. Also, Hanbit Life mainly publishes books in categories such as life, hobby, parenting, travel, and children, where readers can discover a happiness in ordinary daily life. Hanbit Life is the youngest brand of all.
You have been elected as the 12th president of the Korea Publishers Society. How do you feel?
The first two ideas that came to my mind were “Am I capable enough to be in such a position?” and “Is it about time?” Past presidents of the Korea Publishers Society were from companies which publish liberal arts or literature books. So, I wondered if I am the right person to be in that position as I was from the tech / practical field.
Hanbit Media hopes to be a publisher that plans and publishes each and every book with sincerity.
What kind of publisher does Hanbit Media aim to become, and what are your future plans?
There is a saying that people make books and books make people. With that saying in mind, Hanbit Media wants to become a publisher that plans and publishes each and every book with sincerity. People say that the publishing industry is a matured, or stagnant, industry but as books (content) are the bowls that keep the knowledge, wisdom, and values that humanity has been cumulating, their roles and values will persist regardless of their form, whether it be paper books or e-books.
Organized by Lee Ji-Hyeon
#Hanbit Media #Hanbit Publishing Network #Kim Tae-Heon #Korea Publishers Society #practical books