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Great places to meet South Korean books

Platforms for Korean books

 

2019.10.07

 

The Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA) has been managing an online platform since December 2018 through which users outside South Korea can search for Korean published content and use the information. Called 'K-Book', this platform has selected books determined to be well suited for global readers and provides detailed information on those books in English. When it first went online in December last year, it offered 1,147 book entries, and the number has been growing since.

 

K-Book 플랫폼

www.k-book.or.kr

 

When 'K-Book' first went online in December last year, it offered 1,147 book entries, and the number has been growing since.

 

To maintain sustainable expansion of the K-Book platform, referencing other countries' methods in providing information on publishing content may prove to be fruitful. Countries like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan and China provide such services. In the United Kingdom, information on foreign publishing markets is analyzed and provided to publishing industry workers there. In France, institutions have been active in collecting information on overseas publishing, and they are equally aggressive in exporting French books. Through the Frankfurt International Book Fair, Germany has been promoting its publication content at this international event where publishing representatives from all over the world convene. In the case of Japan, the country has been using strategies involving bookstores to provide its publishing content to global locations and China has been disseminating its publications to other countries through its language and culture.
In South Korea, there are other online platforms and locations where publishing content can be found in addition to the aforementioned K-Book platform being run by KPIPA. Below are introductions to several of those places, some of which are even based outside the country.

 

Seoul Selection

 

Seoul Selection is based in South Korea, managed by a publisher of the same name which specializes in books in English. From roughly a decade ago, this publisher has been involved in everything from planning to establishing bookstores in their efforts to create books that reflect South Korean culture in English. Seoul Selection provides a one-stop service from multi-language publishing to distribution while it offers a keen ability to understand clients and read their thoughts, creative designs where stories and images resonate and sophisticated translations.

 

서울셀렉션

 

https://www.seoulselection.com
• 2nd Flr., 6 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea 110-190
• TEL: +82-70-5038-5034(direct)
• FAX: +82-70-8668-1090
• E-mail: atoz@seoulselection.com

 

 

CUON / CHEKCCORI

 

CUON is a publishing company based in Japan, launched by a Korean named Kim Seung-bok in 2007 after he believed it was the right time for the publisher to grow into a place of deeper international cultural exchanges, beyond other media-led cultural interactions. The company usually translates Korean work into Japanese for publishing and has also introduced Korean publishing content to other publishers in Japan.
CHEKCCORI is a book cafe in Japan that has more than 3,000 books in Korean, including novels, poetry, essays, and comics. Some of them also include children's books and books on beauty and health. The cafe also has for sale some 500 books on learning Korean and Japanese books on Korea. It offers both the latest releases and secondhand books as well. In addition to coffee, the cafe offers traditional Korean tea, Korean rice cakes, rice wine and beer on its menu, providing a comfortable resting place for visitors. The cafe periodically features events called CHEKCCORI LIVE where writers and artists from both South Korea and Japan are invited to hold talk shows. Users who need space for their events can rent it at CHEKCCORI, which also provides a mail order service for Korean books. Its motto is 'connected to Korea through books' and is working to provide a space that can be used for exchanges between South Korea and Japan, as well as distributing information.

 

CUON / CHEKCCORI

 

http://www.cuon.jp
• Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Kanda Jinbocho, 1 Chome−7−3
• TEL: +81-3-5244-5426
• FAX: +81-3-5244-5428
• E-mail: info@chekccori.tokyo
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chekccori
• Twitter:  https://twitter.com/chekccori
• Operating hours: 12:00~20:00
• Closed on Sundays, Mondays

 

 

Ehon House Publishing Inc

 

Ehon House boasts a history of over 30 years as one of Japan's prominent sellers of Western books. It is also a wholesaler of Western picture books. It has directly-operated stores in 30 countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, South Korea and Iran. Here, visitors can not only find more than 4,000 picture books imported from countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Finland and South Korea but also character products related to picture books. Among the South Korean books on its website are those from Hollym Corp, later addressed in this piece.

 

Ehon House Publishing Inc

 

http://ehon-house.com
• Mejiro Kubo Building, Mejiro 1-7-14, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-0031
• TEL: +81-03-3985-3350
• FAX: +81-03-3985-4127

 

 

Bandi Book US

 

In 2013, OPES Inc that operates the U.S. arm of South Korean book vendor Aladin called Aladin US entered a strategic cooperation contract with South Korean bookstore chain 'Bandi n Lunis'. Shortly after, the online book shopping website Bandi Book US (www.bandibookus.com) was made available to American users. The website mainly sells Korean books, music and DVDs.
OPES started as an online bookseller in 1999 based in Los Angeles, California and is currently the biggest Korean book distributor in the United States with three online websites and 7 brick-and-mortar stores.
Bandi Book US sells everything from the latest bestselling Korean books to steady sellers. Members are provided with free shipping for every purchase over $50 and are given back $20 worth of points for purchases over $200 ($30 worth of points are paid back for purchases over $300 and $40 worth of points are paid back for purchases over $400). Newly joined members are given $5 coupons.

 

반디북스(bandibookus)

 

http://www.bandibookus.com
• 2777 W. Olympic Blvd Los Angeles CA 90006
• +1-888-880-8622(Toll Free)

 

 

Hanbooks

 

Hanbooks is a location established and managed by the biggest Korean bookstore chain in the United States. It is located in Los Angeles, California and provides services for customers who wish to purchase Korean books, CDs or DVDs but don't know how to read Korean or find it difficult to read Korean resources on computer screens.
Here you can purchase nearly all the same books, CDs and DVDs being sold in South Korea. Unavailable products can be separately ordered by emailing the website administrator.

 

Hanbooks

 

http://www.hanbooks.com/
• 2777 W. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90006 U.S.A
• FAX: +1-213-381-5334
• E-mail: Hanbooks@opes.net

 

 

HOLLYM International Corp.

 

Hollym International Corp. has been publishing and distributing high quality books in English on Korea-related topics since 1977. Publications include Korean language textbooks and dictionaries used in colleges, universities and language centers around the world, as well as critically acclaimed titles covering Korean history, art, travel, cooking, novels, folk tales, politics, poetry and children’s books.
Hollym is a South Korean publisher that plans, edits and produces publications. Nearly all books published under the Hollym brand receive U.S. ISBN codes and are sold throughout the United States via Hollym International Corp, which undertakes the administrative processes necessary. Some of their books are also available in U.S. libraries.

 

HOLLYM International Corp.

 

https://www.hollym.com
• 2647 Gateway Rd. Ste. 105-223 Carlsbad, CA 92009 USA
• TEL: +1-760-814-9880
• FAX: +1-908-353-0255
• E-mail: contact@hollym.com

 

 

Koryo Books Importing, Inc.

 

Koryo Books was the first brick-and-mortar bookstore for Korean books that opened in New York's Koreatown in the United States. It's a small store that's now being managed by a second-generation Korean American after the original owner retired. The store has been open for roughly 30 years and sells books on fashion, cooking and crafts. Visitors can also buy bestselling Korean novels translated into English, as well as magazines and other Korean content that has been translated.
Koryo Books is a place that has chosen to keep its sales of diverse Korean content offline. Although online bookstores dominate the industry today, Koryo operates its physical store because of the characteristics of Koreatown, where patrons seek out various products related to Korea.

 

Koryo Books Importing, Inc.

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/koryo-bookstore-new-york
• 35 W 32nd St New York, NY 10001 b/t 5th Ave & Broadway Koreatown, Midtown West Get Directions
• TEL: +1-212-564-1844

 

 

Helmut Hetzer, Korean Book Services

 

Helmut Hetzer is an online service provider dealing with Korean books and other content based in Germany. From 1999, the vendor has been receiving orders for Korean literature in German, English and Korean as well as other Korean books, movies and music. Users receive their goods via mail.
Dictionaries and materials for learning Korean are most popular at Helmut Hetzer, which is currently doing business with companies like Darakwon, Gimmyoung, Hawoo Publishing, Hollym Publishers, Ilchokak, Bobmunsa, Osung Publishing House and Yonsei University's press.

 

Helmut Hetzer, Korean Book Services

 

https://www.koreanbook.de/
• Prinzenweg 10, 93047 Regensburg
• TEL: +49-941-586-5231
• FAX: +49-941-586-5232
• E-mail: service@koreanbook.de

 

Aside from these, the Korea Foundation is supporting education and research on Korea as well as the dissemination of information on Korea by providing publications and audiovisual resources on Korean history in Korean and other languages to institutions like universities, public/private libraries, research centers and museums. Resources that can be requested include books and audiovisual materials on Korea (liberal arts or social science) and other resources registered at Books on Korea. For resources that can't be found on Books on Korea, like Korean learning materials, one can request it by handing in information on the book. Requests can be made on Korea Foundation's website for Korea research material support at www.booksonkorea.org. Related institutions are provided subsidies of up to 2 million won in cash to purchase books. Shipping costs are paid by the Korea Foundation and requested books are usually sent on ships, but in the case of in-land countries, flight shipping is also possible. Distribution takes place quarterly in March, June, September and December.

 

For Korean culture to become more popular globally, ways of understanding and utilizing Korea-related publications, which are representative of Korean culture, should be well established.

 

In conclusion, regardless of what shape they are, information service platforms for Korean publication content have emerged as important projects.
When one thinks about "globalization of the 21st century, everything turned into knowledge information and the strength that culture has in the age of culture", people have the ability to travel anywhere in the world within a course of a day and talk to someone else in a different country at any hour of day or night. You can't stop your culture from being changed through contact with another culture. The strength that culture has is stronger and perceived as more important than the power symbols and images have because culture is lasting. As perception on the power of culture becomes important, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say countries around the world today are in an 'image competition' of sorts to secure the hearts of the global population, boost their national competitiveness and gain the upper hand, each touting their own unique and attractive image.
For Korean culture to become more popular globally, ways of understanding and utilizing Korea-related publications, which are representative of Korean culture, should be well established. More than anything else, information service platforms for Korean publications through which the Korean language can be disseminated via books will provide opportunities for non-Korean users to boost their interests and satiate their curiosity about Korea. And this, in turn, may boost the country's image. If that happens, these various pieces of information could influence diplomatic policy, trade between companies and exchanges between members of the public.
The platforms introduced here do not provide a very wide range of Korea-related content. Users can purchase a limited range of publications that are about South Korea itself, the Korean language or bestselling novels. It is not easy for non-Koreans to come into contact with diverse types of Korean publications. Information service platforms for Korean publications should extend greater efforts to convey the appeal Korean culture has by actively providing Korean publications so lasting exchanges and not temporary cultural exchanges, can be possible.

 

 


Written by Park Chan-su (Head of the Research Center on Book Culture Content/Adjunct professor at Semyung University)

kbbok

Park Chan-su (Head of the Research Center on Book Culture Content/Adjunct professor at Semyung University)

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