Tuesday, May 5, 2009

From GalleyCat.com - Korea Book Sales Skyrocket

I'm recovering from a bit of low blood sugar and procrastinating at the same time. That gave me time to click on the GalleyCat.com blog. Of course, this caught my attention.

Read on.

Korean Book Sales Skyrocket

090501_p15_korean2.jpgWhile American publishers struggle through the recession, Korean online booksellers have posted impressive gains. The online Korean bookseller, Kyobo Bookstore, reports that first quarter sales increased 35.7 percent and Korean literature sales skyrocketed 36.2 percent.

According to Korean Times, other online stores have seen similar gains. The article attributes some of the sales to the bestseller "Take Care of My Mom" by Shin Kyung-sook.

Here's more about the book: "Since it was first published in November, about 700,000 copies have been sold, a mega hit given that it is hard for a novel to sell 100,000 copies in the sagging publishing industry. Most readers of 'Take Care of My Mom' are women in their 20s and 30s who have strong buying power." (Via Book Bench)

When someone smugly assumes I spent eight years in a backwater country, I'll point at least people are reading in South Korea. I'll also mention that, simultaneously, American booksellers' sales are dismal. In the midst of an economic crisis, a book might be one of the best forms of entertainment and education. Too bad for the US publishing industry, not many here agree with me and maybe it's just that there isn't an American version of 엄마룰 부탁해. Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that's the reason.

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