3 thoughts on “Noted with minimal comment: How NOT to export Korean books..

  1. Korea is rather hopeless.

    As someone involved in publishing, I tried to see whether I could arrange for the purchase of rights for a Korean fiction book.

    The responses I received back were essentially unintelligible.

    A priority for ROK should be to have those whose job it is to work in publishing and the sale of foreign rights to learn English.

    Their implicit assumption that the rest of the world will learn Korean is not supported by facts or logic.

  2. LOL.. no kidding about that last point.

    As to the hopelessness, it’s largely generational. I was at Seoul Book Fair yesterday talking with authors, translators, and unnamed folks in LTI Korea. They are just as frustrated as we are, but in each of these camps (add Korean literary agents as another epic impediment, as well as jealousy from older authors who are not internationally successful and you have the full toxic broth) the younger people are plotting an overthrow of the ‘hopeless’ regime.^^

    It will take time, but I have faith it is coming…

    I’m working on a post on this topic, but need to be careful how I phrase things, as there is no need to piss people off – that is the ones who can deport^^ me.

  3. It would be really helpful for a post on the issues for foreign publishers (like me) who want to see whether Korean lit makes sense.

    When I explored it, the issues were simply insurmountable.

    If they want to have works be published abroad, they need to understand that Korean literature in English is not like French literature in English, but rather more like Slovenian literature in English.

    And, the Slovenians are rather more cooperative and DO manage to communicate in English.

    And English, whether a publisher is in the UK, or Germany, or Peru, is the international language of commerce.

    I expect that authors will at times be difficult — they are so everywhere in the world.

    But I would have thought that those in publishing industry professions would be interested in assisting with publishing — and in ROK that is simply not true.

    Terribly disappointing, but the facts are what they are.

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