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How Eduwill successfully exported the PERFECT TOPIK series to China and Taiwan

 

2019.07.08

 

Eduwill is a South Korean education company that prides itself on turning dreams into reality. A business that focuses on many aspects of education in addition to providing online and offline classes on obtaining various certificates and licenses, Eduwill also runs a publishing business for education material. Among the company's publications is the PERFECT TOPIK series that helps students study for the official Test of Proficiency in Korean. The series had previously been available only in South Korea before it was exported to China in 2016 and Taiwan in 2018. "Education can change lives and the world, and with this belief, we will lead efforts so that education may truly show its power," Eduwill says. The following details the export process Eduwill went through for PERFECT TOPIK.

 

에듀윌

 

Q. Hello. We are delighted to introduce Eduwill to K-Book Trends readers. We heard PERFECT TOPIK 1, 2, 2-Writing, preparation materials for the TOPIK exam for non-Korean foreigners was exported to China after a Chinese public agency for global publications reached out to you regarding the series in 2016. You also started the export process for PERFECT TOPIK 1, 2 in 2017 for Taiwan and the series became available there in 2018. Were there any special events that made these connections with China and Taiwan possible?

 

A. In August 2018, Eduwill's PERFECT TOPIK 1, 2, 2-Writing were released in South Korea and not even a month had passed before we received contact from China inquiring about the export of the three books. This resulted in the books being published there in 2016. We were offered another export contract from a different Chinese publisher at the time as well, and in 2017, we were contacted by two Taiwanese publishers in 2017. Of those, we chose Jong Wen Books to publish PERFECT TOPIK 1, 2 in Taiwan last year.

 

국내표지

PERFECT TOPIK 1, 2, 2-Writing Cover art for South Korean publication

 

중국표지

PERFECT TOPIK 1, 2, 2-Writing Cover art for China publication

 

대만표지

PERFECT TOPIK 1, 2 Cover art for Taiwan publication

 

Q. PERFECT TOPIK was released in South Korea, but its core readership has been comprised of non-Korean foreigners. This is different from other books that are geared towards South Korean readers, and perhaps this helped the series become published elsewhere outside the country. We are curious to know whether you planned the series with it eventually becoming exported in mind.

 

A. TOPIK is an exam that has many more test-takers outside South Korea than inside the country. When we were first developing the preparation material, there were twice as many test-takers of the TOPIK outside South Korea than inside. So, when we were creating the content, we contemplated whether to focus on the local market or develop content with foreign readers in mind, but in order to target readers outside South Korea we needed more precise surveys and information on markets in other countries, so we ended up thinking about South Korean readers at first. However, we feel the series has been accepted well by non-Koreans because of its diverse lessons and trustworthy content that can actually help students.

 

Q. Could you tell us what the reader response was like in China and Taiwan for PERFECT TOPIK?

 

A. In the case of China, copies of the PERFECT TOPIK series have been selling nearly as well as they have sold in South Korea despite the fact that the series was not developed with aggressive export efforts in mind. As for Taiwan, it hasn't been a year yet since the series was published there, so we are not at a point to discuss detailed accomplishments, but our hopes are high for Taiwan sales when looking at how the series did in China. 

 

 

We are planning to continuously research content needed to study
the Korean language as the number of TOPIK test-taking countries grows
and the popularity of Hallyu (Korean culture) booms.

 

 

Q. Thanks to Hallyu, more non-Korean foreigners are taking an interest in the Korean language as Korean music, movies and television dramas gain popularity. It's not difficult to think the demand for Korean language study material will expand further from here on out. Do you have plans to export the PERFECT TOPIK series in other countries besides China and Taiwan?

 

A. The accumulated number of TOPIK applicants surpassed 2 million two years ago. This is 108 times more than what it was 20 years ago. And it's not hard to see foreigners singing along quite easily to Korean songs by BTS at their shows.
In the case of our PERFECT TOPIK series, we weren't planning to export the books when we were developing the content. We did not have detailed export plans either as publishers in China and Taiwan reached out to us first after they recognized the series' excellence. However, as more countries take the TOPIK exam and Hallyu becomes more popular, we plan to observe the growing Korean language education market and will continuously research what kind of content is needed to study Korean by foreigners.

 

Q. It must be important for Korean language study material to have content overseas readers want when they are exported outside South Korea. The publications should be right for the client country markets too. What would be some necessary criteria study textbooks for Korean should have in order to do well outside South Korea?

 

A. We really made our utmost efforts in selecting the authors and reviewing the content material in order to create textbooks that students all around the world would find easy to understand. We invited expert teachers of the Korean language who have experience in teaching Korean in universities outside South Korea and teachers who conduct classes on Korean for foreign students in local universities. There are commentaries provided in Korean, Chinese and English and the content was reviewed multiple times by students who major in Korean at the Laiocheng University in Shandong Province in China and the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Especially for PERFECT TOPIK 2-Writing we included actual answer examples from students and the feedback they received from the author.
We believe the series received good responses because our examples and commentary took into mind the various levels of study students have, as well as precise analysis into how test questions are created. We didn't focus just on perfunctory hypotheses and the perfect answers to questions. Combining content that test applicants really need is the biggest competitive edge that an exam workbook can have.

 

Q. When one thinks of exporting books abroad, it is easy to think of genres like picture books or novels. However, a closer look reveals books in the education genre are being readily exported overseas. Does Eduwill have a specific, relatively unknown genre to tell overseas publishers about?

 

A. Eduwill usually focuses on study workbooks for Korean licenses and certificates, which are difficult to understand if you are not fluent in Korean. However, because we publish books that have diverse content, we have some that are bound to attract foreign readers. For example, readers who are interested in Korean history after watching historical Korean dramas, they could have fun learning about the details of Korean history in our workbooks for the official national test for Korean history, even if they don't plan to take the exam. We are actually seeing non-Koreans who have much interest in Korean culture go on to challenge themselves to take certificate exams for Korean cuisine or to become tourism guide interpreters. So, workbooks for these exams could all be exported.

 

Q. We would like to know if Eduwill has exported any other books besides the PERFECT TOPIK series, or if Eduwill plans on exporting more.

 

A. Aside from the three PERFECT TOPIK books, we don't have other export cases yet. However, the overseas response for the PERFECT TOPIK series has been positive that we are looking at possibly publishing more workbooks within that series. Like we said above, demand for content dealing with the Korean language, Korean culture and travel are only becoming bigger through the Hallyu boom. There is also much interest in Korean language education in countries like China that many South Korean education companies are now branching out into the neighboring country. Eduwill will also keep a continued interest in possible overseas exports going forward.

 

 

The reason why Eduwill exists is to turn the dreams of people
who dream of a better tomorrow into reality.
It is the final goal for all of our business endeavors.

 

 

Q. In our last question, we'd like to ask what Eduwill's future vision and plans are. Also, do you have a message you would like to tell our K-Book Trends readers?

 

A. Eduwill's mission is to become an education company that turns dreams into reality. Our vision is to make the dreams of our customers, workers and regional society come true. The reason why Eduwill exists is to make the dreams of people who dream of a better tomorrow into reality. It is the final goal for all of our business endeavors. We focus on lectures and workbooks on employment and licenses, but we contemplate on what kind of studies, information and networks people will require after they achieve their certificates or licenses. We plan to keep challenging ourselves to create content and services to help more diverse people achieve their dreams. With that being said, we have hopes there will be more opportunities for us to meet overseas readers who are currently reading this. We are curious to know what your dreams are and if there are any that you would like for us to know about, don't hesitate to contact us. We will put our heads together to find a way to make your dream come true.

 

 


Arranged by Choi Ha-Yeong

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