18 February 2015 at 9:00 am

NZ publishers optimistic about Korean market

Four New Zealand education publishers were in Seoul and Hong Kong in early February to talk about exporting their learning resources with Korean and Hong Kong publishers.

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Above: New Zealand educational publishers display their resources at a reception held at the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul. Left to right - Kathleen Ferrier of Lanky Hippo Publishing, Joy Allcock from MJA Publishing, Project Manager David Glover, Mark Sayes from ESA Publications, and Bob Andersen from Wendy Pye Publishing.

Korea is the world’s tenth largest publishing market, valued at an estimated NZ$5.4 billion. Children’s books enjoy the largest market share at 16 percent – if multi-volume sets were included the children’s book would account for 30 percent of the total market.

“We’ve had 17 one-on-one, high-quality meetings over the two days of our visit thanks to Education New Zealand having done a lot of preliminary scoping in advance. The reception at the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul was a further opportunity to build networks, and was well attended,” said David Glover, Publishers Association of New Zealand’s project manager responsible for the trade mission to Korea.

“The Korean education publishing market is both sophisticated and highly competitive. Publishers have good knowledge of what other major countries such as the US and UK have to offer. So it was very encouraging that so many local publishers took the time to meet visiting New Zealand publishers.”

Joy Allcock of MJA Publishing found that travelling in a group with support of ENZ was helpful in opening the right doors.

"In Seoul, David Glover and Onnuri Lee [ENZ Market Development Manager]did an incredible job – the visit was well-organised and researched. The people I met were preselected and were already interested in the product. They were ready to provide helpful feedback," said Joy. 

In Hong Kong, Joy was invited to present to 200 early childhood teachers by the Bureau of Education, an opportunity that would not have been offered if she had been visiting as a single company.   

David noted that selling our learning material to Asia is challenging.

“It is clear that NZ publishers will have to adapt their materials quite extensively to local market conditions if they wish to succeed here. But initial feedback from the visiting publishers is very positive and there are a number of good leads to follow up and hopefully turn into long term contracts,” said Glover.

The four educational publishers, ESA Publications, Lanky Hippo Publishing, MJA Publishing, and Wendy Pye Publishing visited Korea and were joined in Hong Kong by academic publisher NZCER before all travelling to the Taipei International Book Exhibition 11 – 16 February 2015.  

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