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EunHaeng NaMu Publishing

Fun and touching books, books on the ages and the future




Stories still entice people's imaginations. We live in an age inundated by images and videos, but despite this, everything circles back to stories in books made of paper and letters. This might be the reason why books are continuously being created ever since humans created written characters. And EunHaeng NaMu Publishing has a special talent for making stories that leave readers wanting for more.




Hi. It's good to meet you through K-Book Trends. We are aware that EunHaeng NaMu Publishing has made many efforts in publishing many stories in the form of novels and essays. Could you introduce EunHaeng NaMu Publishing to our readers?


After our establishment in 1997, we have published some 700 liberal arts and general education books of many genres including history, philosophy and science from inside and outside the country with the motto, 'fun and touching books, books on the ages and the future'. We don't have a long history, but we aim for open publishing that thinks of readers' diverse demands first, young publishing that leads changes of generations and trusted publishing through good content and accurate knowledge and information. We take pride that we continue to grow by endlessly communicating with our readers.
Also, through our bi-monthly literary magazine called Axt launched in 2015, we have been seeking out new authors by making new attempts involving Korea's literary sphere. 'Axt' means 'ax' in German and it was taken from a quote by Franz Kafka, who once said "books should be an ax to break the frozen sea within us". Breaking open the sleeping awareness, emotions, intellect, and reason of existence within us - that is what EunHaeng NaMu Publishing aims to do through publishing.


Bimonthly literary magazine <Axt>

Bi-monthly literary magazine Axt



Like a gingko tree that has useful leaves and fruit and strong life force,
we hope EunHaeng NaMu Publishing will live long in the hearts of our readers.



We see many publishers use tree names. This is probably because trees tend to portray a certain image in terms of identity and direction. What does EunHaeng NaMu in EunHaeng NaMu Publishing mean to you?


Books have strength, strength to compel one to look inside oneself and take interest in the outside world. Through books, our lives can be expanded and become more plentiful. With that faith, we create books. And the books we make carry our hope they will stay in our readers' hearts for a long time, like a gingko tree that has useful leaves and fruit and strong life force.


When looking at the books from EunHaeng NaMu Publishing, they are mostly novels. Is this a genre you have a fondness for?


Literature has always thrived in the core of all our products. We can largely divide our books into foreign novels and Korean novels. In our early days, we published Korean versions of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and Jeong Bi-seok's Records of the Three Kingdoms and Sun Tzu's Art of War. In 2005, we released Japanese hits like Okuda Hideo's Flying Trapeze and South Bound and Yoshida Shuichi's Evil Man. Another representative foreign novel published by our house would be Alain de Botton's The Romantic Movement. After 2010, we've been reaching readers with works by up and coming Korean authors who have both literary quality and popular appeal, like Jeong You-jeong, Lee Jung-myung, Chang Kang-myoung and Sohn Won-pyung. We've really tried to show readers literature that's easy and friendlier to approach through differentiated quality and entertainment, set apart from previous novels. As a result, we have achieved satisfactory results both in literary and product quality.


What was the most meaningful moment for EunHaeng NaMu Publishing after it opened in 1997? Do let us know if there is a book that has been most meaningful to the company so far.


The most meaningful moment was when South Korean football player Hong Myung-bo's essay collection Eternal Libero rose to no. 1 on bestseller lists at nationwide bookstores in May 2002. It was the first time any of our books had gone to the top of the charts, and we also set a surprising record by selling 300,000 copies of that book during the month when the World Cup was ongoing. After that, books by Okuda Hideo and Jeong You-jeong have all gone to no. 1, but Hong's book was meaningful because it was the first.
The most meaningful books for us were those in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. We published the first installation in the series, A Game of Thrones in November 2000 and it took us more than a decade to publish the fifth book in the series A Dance with Dragons in 2013. Back then the sales weren't great, but we were able to continue publishing the series because of incredibly strong requests from die-hard fans of the books and their encouragement. And in 2011, the series was adapted into a television drama, and sales skyrocketed as the show was popular globally. We can't help but remember this book series because we were able to see great results by not giving up thanks to the strength our readers gave us.


<Eternal Libero>, <A Song of Ice and Fire> series

Eternal Libero, A Song of Ice and Fire series



The books released then are introduced to readers via various marketing and promotion strategies.
Even the best of books can't reach readers without strategic and detailed editing and marketing.



Works like Seven Years of Darkness and The Good Son by Jeong You-jeong, who's seen so much frenzy every time she's released a book, have been published by EunHaeng NaMu Publishing. Her latest, Jiny, Jinny was also released recently. Books by both Korean and non-Korean authors have been published by EunHaeng NaMu Publishing. What is your know-how when it comes to identifying good writers?


Finding good writers and manuscripts is tough for all publishers. So, in order to find new authors, we currently run three literary awards for long-form writing. We also are able to find young writers through writing series, interviews and op-eds in Axt.
In the case of non-Korean work, we carefully sift through catalogs from our editors or agencies in different countries, and after a multi-step screening process, we make our selections. We make our decisions based on literary quality, awards or prizes and other notable promotion or sales issues we should know about. Once we've made a decision on an author through this process, we try our best to release the entirety of that author's work. Instead of vying over book advances, we feel it's better for the author and publisher to grow together by publishing books with good translations and decent quality that reflects the characteristics of the book.
The books released then are introduced to readers via various marketing and promotion strategies. Even the best of books can't reach readers without strategic and detailed editing and marketing. Efforts aimed at getting the books known to the public are as important as efforts made to find the authors. Once we feel the book is worth trusting, we throw ourselves into promoting the book through book talks, book trailers, promotion events on social media and news, reader events and advertisements.


EunHaeng NaMu Publishing has published many Korean books and imported diverse non-Korean books. Thanks to this, many readers, even outside South Korea have been able to enjoy your books. Are there standards you have for exporting or importing books? Please tell us about any exported books that received good feedback from non-Korean readers.


Our standard when it comes to publishing manuscripts is the same when it comes to Korean and non-Korean work. We ask ourselves whether the content is fun and meaningful for readers. Naturally, we've come to select books that have strong storylines with defined characters and themes. We get many requests from drama or movie producers regarding adaptations.
Two key examples would be authors Jeong You-jeong and Lee Jung-myung. These two authors' novels have nearly all been adapted into video form because their novels aggressively draw readers in, and the finished quality is very good. They also carry universality other global publishers have acknowledged, as well as distinct Korean tones. All of Jeong's works have been or will be adapted into movies, webtoons and plays. Seven Years of Darkness and The Good Son have now been translated and published in more than 20 countries, and we have been receiving remake copyright requests from a non-Korean film producer. The Good Son was one of the top 5 summer reads recommended by NBC's Tonight Show in the United States. Seven Years of Darkness was among the top 10 crime novels of the year selected by German daily Die Zeit and has been leading a K-thriller boom globally.
Lee Jung-myung, who is famous for having penned the original works for popular television dramas The Deep Rooted Tree and The Painter of the Wind, was shortlisted for a foreign novel by the Independent in the United Kingdom after Lee's novel The Investigation was published in more than 20 countries. The novel was also the recipient of the Premio Selezione Bancarella award in Italy, reflecting the popularity it's enjoyed so far among non-Korean fans.


Cover art for Korean versions of <Seven Years of Darkness>, <The Good Son> and <The Investigation>

Cover art for Korean versions of Seven Years of Darkness, The Good Son and The Investigation

Cover art for the German version of <Seven Years of Darkness>, the U.S. version of <The Good Son> and the U.K. version of <The Investigation>

Cover art for the German version of Seven Years of Darkness, the U.S. version of The Good Son and the U.K. version of The Investigation


Are there any books from EunHaeng NaMu Publishing you'd like to promote to readers outside South Korea?


That would include Chang Kang Myoung's Keyboard Troop and Homodominans - A Dominating Man, Sohn Won-pyung's Counterattack at Thirty, Cho Nam-joo's For Gomaneci, and Im Sung-soon's The Consultant and The Frozen Sea. These books have already been published in other Asian countries so far. Chang and Im have been forging their own styles with thick, masculine narratives satirically portraying South Korean society. They also have sharp emotional aspects which are characteristic to younger writers. In the case of Sohn and Cho, after their hits Almond and Kim Ji-young, Born in '82, they have been wildly popular with young, female readers by portraying problems modern women and youths face with upbeat, active narratives. Keyboard Troop, Counterattack at Thirty, For Gomaneci and The Consultant are all literary award recipients, and they are all books that not only have literary quality but popular appeal as well. In addition to these authors, the 150-page series Novella written by young authors like Choi Jin-young, Jeong Se-rang, Kim Hea-na and Seo Yu-mi is worth checking out.


<Keyboard Troop>, <Counterattack at Thirty>, <The Consultant>

Keyboard Troop, Counterattack at Thirty, The Consultant



Literature can portray and draw everything from the smallest universe
inside people's heads to the cosmos far away, without limits.



Many people like to say the age of text has gone and passed. This is because a lot of writing has been replaced by images and video. We now even have a generation that is not accustomed to reading traditional clocks with arms. What is EunHaeng NaMu Publishing's plans for publishing books in this kind of day and age? Please tell us about your vision and future plans.


Even if we are living in an age where images and video have influence rather than writing, the source of all stories lives in literature. Our imagination alone can surpass visual limitations. Literature can portray and draw everything from the smallest universe inside people's heads to the cosmos far away, without limits. The true nature of literature, which draws readers into a strange world and has them experience all sorts of emotional waves, will not fade with time. As long as humans consume stories and seek them out, new stories will sprout anew. Of course, tastes or preferences of readers are expected to become more detailed and complicated.
EunHaeng NaMu Publishing plans to publish diverse books that are faithful to the nature of literature while erasing the borders between genres and form. We also plan to create beloved stories that will be remembered by Korean and non-Korean readers alike - stories that will be understood by all and stories that are beautiful and have strength. Please enjoy them with us.



Arranged by Jeong Hwan-jeong


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