But since it was first launched 5 years ago, the e-book market has remained stagnant.
There are only a few companies participating in Vietnam’s e-book market including the Youth Publishing House, the City Publishing House and Phuong Nam Book Company.
With prices accounting for only 15 to 30% of printing books and being available on multiple media and easy access, e-books have become popular among young readers. But, in the last five years, the e-book market has not prospered.
Nguyen An Tiem, Deputy Director of the Press-Publication Department of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Communications and Education, said, “We have plans for e-book market development but have not implemented them effectively. Vietnamese people still favor printing books. We have not had incentives to promote this market. E-payment for e-books has not become popular among Vietnamese people”.
It costs about US$50 to digitalize a book. Those who have a big book store need to spend between US$100,000 and US$150,000 to publish e-books but their revenues are equivalent to 30% that of printing books. There are also e-books without copyrights in the market making it difficult for registered companies.
Chu Hoa, Director of the Publication, Printing and Issuing Department said promoting the e-ebook market is an obvious trend amidst current technological developments.
He noted, “We need to prepare get ready for the future. It will be difficult book publishers if they only focus on printing books. They need to work out a strategy on promoting e-books”.
Nguyen An Tiem, Deputy Director of the Press and Publication Department, shared, “Vietnam’s slow development of the e-book market will obstruct its international cultural integration. In the near future, we need to be more resolute in promoting e-books. We need to mobilize all sectors and especially the public in this process”.
It’s important to strengthen the management of the e-book market, improve quality, reduce prices and diversify forms of payments to further develop the e-book market.