Current Status of the Korean Standard Publishing Distribution Data Hub System (BookNet Korea)
In terms of the market volume, Korea is the 6th largest publishing powerhouse in the world, following the United States, China, Japan, Germany, and Great Britain, who are leaders of the global publishing market, publishing more than 65 thousand titles each year. Various excellent K-books have been recently mesmerizing international readers alongside K-pop, K-drama, and K-movies as well.
However, let’s look into the environment surrounding the distribution of publications in Korea. Information exchanges among publishers, distributors, and local bookstores are not active, hampering systematic marketing activities. The reality in the distribution part is failing to catch up with the advancement of the publishing market. Also, as publishers, distributors, bookstores, and libraries set up their own data network, there were raised voices saying that there needs to be a data hub system that manages publishing-related data in a systematic and integrated manner.
Discussions about the Korean Standard Publishing Distribution Data Hub System (BookNet Korea) included in the plan’s major policy tasks began to take place in earnest to facilitate exchanges of data related to books and sales. They are mainly carried out under the leadership of the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA), a public organization established to promote publishing and reading in Korea. KPIPA came up with optimal systematic components by analyzing how similar systems are operated at home and abroad in order to set up a data hub system that is beneficial to all publishers, distributors, bookstores, and readers. It also set a direction for the to-be system by analyzing the demands of the publishing and distribution industries. Furthermore, to make the system function as a cooperative model for interested parties to devise practical plans for operation, the BookNet Korea is scheduled to be open in September (BookNetKorea, bnk.kpipa.or.kr) this year after three years of development.
Concept Map of the Korean Standard Publishing Distribution Data Hub System (BookNet Korea)
KPIPA anticipates that parties involved in the system will be able to get support in various fields. For instance, publishers can better expose their books to consumers (bloggers, librarians, journalists, and readers) through the up-to-date online/mobile service, which can improve the accuracy of market demand estimations enabling them to set a more reasonable number of copies for publication. Also, distributors and bookstores will be able to boost logistical efficiency and reduce cost through more efficient stock management, such as keeping the inventory more adequate, reflecting the sales status, and purchasing books more reasonably. In addition, they will be able to provide more various book curations for local readers as they might be able to find information about regional sales trends. Meanwhile, in the overall publishing distribution industry, it is expected that the system will facilitate the publishing industry and positively affect the overall increase in sales and readers as consumers will be able to better access information about books. From a longer-term perspective, the “Korean Publishing Distribution Data Center” will be established where data about International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and publishing/distribution are managed as a whole, and operate a publishing data system that provides an integrated service related to the production, distribution, and sales data of publications.
Searching Relevant Books by Topics
This system is currently under development for domestic service in Korea. However, it has room for overseas advancement as well. The system was designed to meet the general demands of the global publishing industry by adopting the "Online Information Exchange (ONIX)," which is standard metadata used to exchange data related to books, and "Thema," which is a subject category scheme of EDItEUR, an international non-profit publishing organization. I hope that the Korean Standard Publishing Distribution Data Hub System (BookNet Korea) can provide opportunities for publishers to introduce Korean books and the newest information about publishing to overseas publishers and related parties and grow as a global platform where they can interact with books and readers from across the world in a more varied way.
Written by Kim Jin-Woo (Center Manager of the Department of Publishing Industry Support Book Distribution Advancement Center)
Kim Jin-Woo (Center Manager of the Department of Publishing Industry Support Book Distribution Advancement Center)#Korean Standard Publishing Distribution Data Hub System#BookNet Korea#K-book#KPIPA