Korea’s Training Programs for Publishers Today and Tomorrow
1. The early establishment of educational organizations for cultivating talented publishers
The paradigm surrounding planning, editing, producing, and marketing in the publishing market is changing with the rapid transformation of the publishing environment. With the coexistence of the old and modern trends in the market (e-books & paper books or audiobooks, analog & digital, and traditional media & smart media), “publishing” has become a key medium for developing and bridging new content. As we are living in the era of a cultural economy based on knowledge-intensive industries that create original content for the cultural content industry, cultivating talented publishers that are capable of understanding the attributes of content and consumers’ desires has become a key factor in developing the publishing industry.
Apart from these official educational organizations, institutions including Hankyoreh Culture Center, Korea Publishers Society, and the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea are also running courses for preparatory schools and publishers providing practical programs they can relate to in the field.
2. Training Programs for Publishers Outside Government Policies
1) The Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA) - Publishing Academy
The Publishing Academy was established to promote the continuous development of the publishing industry and to reinforce the capabilities of professionals and the competence of publishers. It opens classes for publishers working in companies (requires them to have employment insurance) that signed an agreement with the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA).
2) The Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA) – Digital Book Center
To meet the demands of the publishing industry and to strengthen the working capacities of future publishers, the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA) has established a "one-stop" support system that provides help for producing e-books, consultations, and training. Also, the organization rents out its facilities, including the recording and editing studios, to promote the audiobook industry. It strives to introduce innovative content and business models that have been applied to publications with the development of technology to Korean publishers, and contribute to the development of the publishing industry by organizing space for exhibition and experience programs to help readers have continuous interest in e-books through new content.
3) Daegu Publishing Industry Support Center – Publication & Printing School
The Daegu Publishing Industry Support Center runs “Daegu Publication/Printing School” to nurture professional publishers and reinforce the competitiveness of the local publishing and printing industry. Anyone interested is asked to check the notices on the official website as the schedule and details of each course change every year. Those already working as publishers, to-be publishers, and residents can apply for a course they like, and the tuition is free of charge. Each course is open for a maximum of 24 students. As of 2019, the School opened courses related to fostering publishing/printing startups, planning and marketing for publications, and producing children’s books (picture books).
4) Hankyoreh Education – Publishing School
The Hankyoreh Education & Culture Center, established in 1995, has been training publishers through courses that boost the capacities of publishers in fields such as planning, marketing, and revision from its early stage. With the name changed to Hankyoreh Education, the organization mainly offers courses including the H-Academy, Journalism School, Writing & Translating School, Publishing School, On & Live, and customized training programs for companies. Amongst them all, the Publishing School provides multiple lectures covering Book Makers, planning, editing, printing, production, marketing, and operation.
5) Korea Publishers Society - Seoul Book Institute (SBI)
The Seoul Book Institute (SBI) is an educational organization that aims to bolster publishers’ professional attitudes and healthy work ethics. It was established with a foundation fund from 18 publishers, including Gimmyoung, Munhakdonge, and Sakyejul Publishing Ltd., and a special accounts subsidy for promoting reading culture, and donations from 67 publishers.
(1) Course for Pre-Publishers
As of December 2020, the overall average acceptance rate was 4.7% (7.2% for the editors’ course (24 applicants admitted), 3.3% for the marketers’ course (22 applicants admitted), and 2.4% for the designers’ course (22 applicants admitted)). The average rate of students finishing the course was 98.2% for the editors’ course, 98.3% for the marketers’ course, and 95.2% for the designers’ course. The overall average was 97.4%. Among the students who have complete the course, an overall average of 87.1% got a job in the publishing industry (average of 89.2% in the editors’ course, 91.3% in the marketers’ course, and 78.3% in the designers’ course). A total of 791 students among 908 graduates are actively working in the publishing industry.
(2) Performance-building Course for Publishers
This course consists of planning, editing, marketing, designing, and producing publications and content related to e-books. A regular course and a special course (100 books & 100 lectures, publishing conference, etc.) are run throughout the year.
Curriculum Roadmap of Seoul Book Institute
* Parts of the curriculum are subject to change or may be canceled due to changing demand and instructors’ schedules each year.
(3) General Training Course
The best example of this course is “Introductory Course for Editors”. The course has classes for 3 hours a week (45 hours in total), and the admission is open several times throughout the year. It is mainly for undergraduates interested in the publishing market or those working in the field.
Overseas programs for publishers consist of many different areas such as the basic theory related to publishing, future of publishing, publishing business and strategy, digital publication, planning, editing, budget and financial planning, global publication, roles of copyright agents, intensive courses for each field of publication, media marketing, PR, distribution, analysis of readers, communication, and others.
Written by Park Chan-Soo (President of Research Institute for Book Cultural Content)
Park Chan-Soo (President of Research Institute for Book Cultural Content)