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E-book Market in Korea Sees Exponential Growth Updated: 2012-02-01 12:00:00 KST

E-book Market in Korea Sees Exponential Growth
Graduate school student Cho Han-na recently bought an e-book reader, and she enjoys reading through her device.

[Interview : Cho Han-na, Student] "I wanted to read books while I commute, but paper books are too heavy to carry, and I sometimes forgot to bring them with me. Smart phones are too small to read on. But with an e-book reader, I can read many books whenever I want."

Cho's story is becoming a more common one in Korea.
According to a recent survey by Kyobo Book Centre of one-thousand Korean workers, more than 30 percent of respondents said they read e-books last year.

[Interview : Jin Young-gyun, PR officer
Kyobo Book Centre] "Surveyed people responded that they read 16 books on average last year, and two of the 16 were through the e-book format."

Korea's e-book market grew more than five times last year.
It stood at an estimated 10 billion won, or about 9 million US dollars in 2010, but that number jumped to more than 45 million US dollars in 2011.
And it is expected to at least double, or even triple this year.

[Reporter : Park Ji-won
jiwonpark@arirang.co.kr] "Korea's e-book market ballooned last year, as more and more people begin to use portable smart devices."

Korea's electronics company Iriver and Korea's largest book retailer Kyobo Book Centre together launched an e-book reader earlier this January, and within just 10 days, the first four-thousand units were all sold-out.

[Interview : Ahn Ji-heon, Product Manager
Iriver] "As smart phones or tablet PCs become prevalent in Korea, consumer demand for e-book content has increased rapidly.
The demand has led to the increased sales of e-book readers."

Seeing the growth of the e-book market in Korea as an opportunity, many publishers have decided to go digital with their books.
The Korea Electronic Publishing Association, where publishers can learn how to digitalize their books, saw a surge in the number of people registering for their programs.

[Interview : Chang Ki-young, Director
Korea Electronic Publishing Association] "Until 2010, about 200 people registered for the e-book course, but last year, more than one-thousand people took the course."

Publisher Cho Yoon-jung is one of the publishers who digitalized her book to gain a wider readership.

[Interview : Cho Yoon-jung, Publisher
Bluemoon Park Company] 'Now my book is sold in both the domestic and international markets, on Amazon and iTunes."

E-books are certainly changing the way books are created and consumed in Korea.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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