Vu Thuy

Thaihabooks JSC (Thailand)
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Please introduce yourself and your interests.

Hello. My name is Vu Thuy and I was born in 1984. I graduated from Vietnam National University, Hanoi, with a major in Chinese. I have a 12-year career in publishing, with 10 of those years in charge of management at Thaihabooks. I also have experiences in translating and editing books.
My hobby is reading books, and I am especially interested in culture, history, and education. I’m also interested in educational books for kids and storybooks, as I’m a mom. I like gardening and cooking as well.

Why did you decide to publish Korean books? Why Juice over Medicine?

1. I believe South Korea and Vietnam have a lot in common in terms of culture and lifestyle. Korean books feel familiar to Vietnamese readers, and they find them scientific, practical, and attractive. I believe it is necessary to introduce such strong selling points to the Vietnamese market and thus started to publish Korean books.

2. Like other countries, Vietnam has also been faced with issues including climate change and poor health over the past few years. Thus, we started a collection of books named Newme for the health of Vietnamese people. The Newme series aims to promote individuals’ health and protect the environment through a new and natural lifestyle. The collection includes books about health management, good eating habits, and cooking based on vegetables and fruits to educate readers on their health.
We chose Juice over Medicine as it suits the characteristics of the Newme collection. We hope the variety of juices introduced in this book will help improve readers’ health.
The juice recipes show simple and easy ways to make delicious and healthy juices that is are beneficial for all types of diseases. Juice over Medicine also has beautiful photos and colors.

What is the process of publishing Korean books in your country? For example, the steps of the publishing process, marketing and sales, specific challenges, and so on.

1. Introduction of new books by publishing houses or agencies > review of books > discussion and signing of contracts > translation > editing and printing > marketing and sales

2. Promotion on the Facebook page and website of Thaihabooks, announcement through press releases, and the introduction of books in the Green Lifestyle Healing Group

What are your thoughts on why Korean books gained attention in Vietnam?

1. Similar culture and lifestyle
2. Various themes that suit the trend of Vietnam’s economic growth: business economics, health, adolescent psychology, emotions of children, etc.
3. Distinctive colors and design of books that attract attention
4. Appropriate costs for publishing rights
5. We can meet with various Korean publishing houses at periodic and effective events and book fairs. Organizations and agencies provide active support and Korean publishers have a flexible attitude about the publishing system of Vietnam.

Are there any Korean books that have caught your eye lately?

1. Things You See When You Take a Break by Monk Hyemin
2. Love for Imperfect things by Monk Hyemin
Other categories:
– Use cosmetics for effective skin care
– Books of adolescent psychology
– Communication in the entertainment sector

What are some of the current issues in the publishing industry in Vietnam?

1. Compared to the same period in 2019, the sales of the publishing market declined 30 percent, and the market for business economics and self-improvement books seems to be saturated. People are highly interested in literature and children’s books.
2. Due to changes in book purchasing trends, readers prefer to buy books online, rather than visiting bookstores.
3. E-books do not attract much attention from readers. They still prefer paper books.
4. Audiobooks are gaining popularity among readers.
5. It is still difficult to control and deal with pirated books.

Lastly, what would you like to say to Korean publishers?

1. It would be good to hold a book fair where participants can buy the publishing rights of Vietnamese books as well as sell the publishing rights of Korean books.
2. I hope Korean authors have more opportunities to participate in book fairs and meet with other participants.
3. I believe it would be better for children’s books (for 0–6 years) to include softer illustrations.
4. Korean books have higher illustration costs compared to other countries.
5. I believe a children’s book series in Korea includes slightly too many books. I think it is appropriate for a children’s book series to have 10 books at maximum.