(Yonhap Feature) LTI Korea charts new strategy to raise profile

KTLIT LogoA piece by startlingly handsome up and coming writer…. well, you will recognize the name..


(Yonhap Feature) LTI Korea charts new strategy to raise profile
By Charles Montgomery
Contributing writer

SEOUL, June 11 (Yonhap) — When Antonio says early in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest “What’s past is prologue,” he is saying that what has gone before has merely set the scene for a glorious story to come. And so it is, at this moment, for the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea).

Last September, LTI Korea celebrated 10 years of service to Korea, Korean literature and its translation. At a two-day conference in Seoul, LTI gathered with students, publishers, professors and translators to assess the successes of the previous decade and the challenges of the future.

At that conference, participants noted the 486 books in 28 languages that LTI Korea has published, LTI Korea’s first moves into social media and the success of its translator-training program. Everyone present at the conference also noted, however, the path that still lay ahead.

Kim Seong-kon, head of LTI Korea (Photos courtesy of Charles Montgomery)

Now, with new CEO Kim Seong-kon firmly at its helm, LTI Korea is beginning to map out its specific plans for the next 10 years — partnerships, education, and expanding the role and influence of LTI Korea using newly available tools, including social networking services (SNS) as well as more traditional publishing outlets.

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5 thoughts on “(Yonhap Feature) LTI Korea charts new strategy to raise profile

  1. Well written, but a bit too laudatory.

    By starting with “participants noted the 486 books in 28 languages that LTI Korea has published,” it conveys a false impression that actual book sales have been strong, when that is not true.

    Most of the books had very low sales and very few readers.

    The new direction does sound promising, but I — as a publisher — hope that there will be a real effort to work with writers to expose them to what readers want.

    And, I had hoped that your write-up would include a reference to genre lit, because that is where all the readers & sales are.

    “50 Shades of Grey” means lot more to most readers and publishers than a translation of a book of medieval Korean poetry.

    So, a more skeptical tone would have been helpful.

    ROK writers seem to be happy to be unread by foreigners and have demonstrated little interest, with few exceptions, in a world readership audience.

    Have these writers changed?

  2. heh….

    Perhaps you don’t know what the mission of Yonhap News is?^^

    I will be doling out entire heaps of “WTF is wrong here?” at the ICF Colloquium at the end of this month.

    It’s an arena dependent thing..

    Also, the writers are changing and at least one publisher (Brian Boyd) who is entirely aware of these issues will be there..

    It’s a process. ^^

  3. This:


    is the type of thing that the KTI Korea should seek to offer.

    A foreign publisher will not want to deal with all the headaches for works for which the copyright holder is unclear or clouded.

    LTI Korea could indemnify a foreign publisher, and handle that set of rights concerns.

    And, again, the focus of LTI Korea should be on profitable works that can then subsidize unprofitable works (poetry etc,)

    And, I would note that romance and erotica (with 50 Shades of Grey) are the biggest profitability genres.

  4. Another genre in which ROK should excel (given its history) is military fiction.

    See this award:

    for examples of this.

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