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Korean Non-Fiction in the Southeast Asian Publishing Market

 

2020.03.02

 

Korean Non-Fiction in the Southeast Asian Publishing Market

 

Centering around English-speaking countries including the Americas and Europe, public interest in Korean literature is steadily growing; meanwhile, Korean non-fiction books such as self-development and health-related books are drawing relatively positive responses in the Southeast Asian publishing market that is taking root as a major market for Korean publishing culture and contents.

 

Covers of <Blonote>: Korean and English

Covers of Blonote: Korean and English

 

Since the book Blonote (Tablo, Dal Publishers) wrote by the Korean singer Tablo was published in Thailand in 2019, it has been receiving positive comments from local bookstores – it even made its way to the list of best sellers in some. Young local readers in Vietnam have praised the book after it was published in Vietnamese; it contains Tablo’s short but powerful message to the world. His short messages with cool-headed insights from daily life appeal to the readers throughout the book.

 

<BTS and Army Culture>

BTS and Army Culture

 

BTS-related books are spotlighted as well. The book BTS and Army Culture (Lee Jee-Heng, Communication Books) published in Korea in 2019 successfully sold its publication rights to Vietnam, Indonesia, and Russia – publishers in other countries are actively reviewing it as well. The book covers every aspect captured through various and specific cases as to how the new history written by the chemistry between BTS and its fan club Army and the dynamism of Army affect today’s pop culture.

 

<I Want to Die, But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki First, Vol. 1, 2>

I Want to Die, But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki First, Vol. 1, 2

 

Favored by young readers in the Korean publishing market, I Want to Die, But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki First, Vol. 1 (Baek Se-Hee, Heun Publishing Co.), I Want to Die, But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki First, Vol. 2 (Baek Se-Hee, Heun Publishing Co.) is drawing attention in overseas publishing markets as well. Its publication rights were sold to several countries including Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is known that in Thailand, the contract for Vol. 2 was signed following the first volume and is undergoing translation. Popular Korean food “Tteokbokki”, perceived as one of the representative dishes of Korea by young foreigners, first draws attention from overseas readers. This book is for people with untold stories kept in their hearts while they seem ordinary outside – neither depressed nor happy. The strength of this book is that it talks about the story that applies to every ordinary person that always cares about how others think about him or her.

 

<Juice over Medicine>

Juice over Medicine

 

An eye-catching health book is Juice over Medicine (Ryu Seung-Sun, Gilbut Publishing Co., Ltd.) written by an oriental medicine doctor Ryu Seung-Sun. With the subtitle “Survival Juice Recipes by a Doctor of Oriental Medicine”, the book includes a 4-week program about healthy and tasty juice and 101 recipes for the natural cure of lifestyle-related diseases. Since its translated edition was published in Vietnam, it has been receiving a good response from local readers.

 

Major readership in the Southeast Asian publishing market appears to be distributed among people in their mid to late teens to 30s. Those in their 20s are loyal readers among them. These people look for the art of living in this tough world, along with a pathfinder for life. Also, they need consolation and encouragement that can heal the pain within themselves. It is expected that books related to these elements would be welcomed by the local publishing markets in Southeast Asia.

 

 


Written by Joseph Lee (President of KL Management)

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Joseph Lee (President of KL Management)

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