eBook sales are still seeing minimal growth in South Korea
Due to the increasing adoption of mobile technology, a growing number of readers are also making a shift from traditional hardback books to its digital counterpart. In fact, a renowned resource for technological studies revealed the industry is expected to rake in $15 million from eBooks this year. From the aforementioned figure, $2.34 million is projected to come from the Asia-Pacific region.
Undoubtedly, smartphone and tablet sales have led to the increasing number of eBooks purchased, with their capabilities to connect to the internet wirelessly. According to a mobile tech website, South Korea leads 4G adoption worldwide, where adoption is expected to jump from 80% to 90% by 2019. Gaming Realms, the creators of a host of mobile casino and slot websites, claims that 4G mobile data has changed the landscape of digital content, offering wireless and portable devices the ability to access the internet and its content wherever users go.
Thus, in theory South Korea should be one of the leading countries when it comes to downloading eBooks, given the high volume of 4G internet users in the nation. However, this isn’t the case as a source on Asia-Pacific issues revealed that the country is still lagging behind other leading economies in terms of growth in the eBook industry.
“The Korean e-book market accounts for only two percent of the total publication market while in the U.K. and the U.S. e-books take up about 15 and 20 percent of their respective markets,” as discussed in the post.
That’s not to say there isn’t a lot of popular Korean Novels with eBook alternatives that are gaining a strong following online, because there is a substantial amount. Case in point:”
• Please Look After Mom by Kyung Sook Shin
• Our Twisted Hero by Yi Munyol
• I Have the Right to Destroy Myself by Kim Young-ha
• The Guest: A Novel by Sok-Yong Hwang
Despite a number of great Korean writers expanding their reach through eBooks, the slow acceptance of eBooks in the country is said to be due to the lack of quality content (36%), according to the survey, as well as lack of proper electronic reading devices that support Korean eBooks (19%).
In order for eBooks to prosper in South Korea, there should be a boost in the reading percentage by encouraging publishers to promote their digital books more often.
“Taking the U.K. or the U.S. as a good example, a new strategy to combine the e-book market and other media industries could be a good way of boosting e-book markets,” said Yook Gwan-seok, a lawmaker in South Korea proposing a government policy to support the further development of the eBook market.