Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — A company in Hà Nội has released a platform called iPub to facilitate online publishing.
Sống Cultural & Communication JSC said it was the first service of its kind in the country.
iPub is the first app to allow authors to design, revise and publish their works online.
“The application offers transparency in terms of expenses and profit,” Nguyễn Thị Nguyệt Nga, CEO of Sống JSC, told Việt Nam News.
Through the site, authors can connect with readers and manage their expenses and profits gained from each book.
Authors can also call for funding and publish books in print.
For the first six months, iPub will offer free services to authors, Nga said.
“iPub will develop functions to help authors design covers and layout the pages,” she said. “iPub will also assist with marketing, PR and distribution.”
“Before putting their works on the app, authors should ask for publishing permission from authorities,” she added.
After the trial period, the company will charge authors depending on the services they use.
Statistics show that only around 20 per cent of drafts sent to publishers are published
“The main reason for that is that the works may not feasible in terms of sales. That’s a huge waste,” Nga said.
She also said that young writers had adapted more to technology after struggling to approach publishing houses due to long administration procedures.
A new generation of writers
“E-publishing is an inevitable trend as mobile technology develops,” said Đồng Phước Vinh, director of Ybook (Trẻ Publishing House).
“It offers functions such as search, notes, marking, research and storage that printed book do not have,” he said.
Vinh said illegal e-books had deterred some authors from joining in.
“Writers will be more interested in a legal e-book market which brings a good income,” he said.
Writer Nguyễn Đình Tú is more optimistic, saying he hoped e-publishing would change the face of Vietnamese contemporary literature and create a new generation of writers.
“E-publishing promotes interaction between writers and readers, ignoring unnecessary middle stages,” he said. “Not only professional writers but simply people who have a passion for writing have the chance to introduce their work now.”
Poet Nguyễn Phong Việt appreciated the e-publishing trend.
“The most positive side of e-publishing is that it can facilitate writers to publicise their work very quickly, especially those who have just started writing,” he told Việt Nam News.
“I think that the chance for them to sell online books still depends a lot on their relationships,” he said.
“Authors will have to spend no small expense to take home a small amount of profit,” he said.
“But we can consider this a fresh step for new writers who want to create reputations for their works,” he said.
Chu Văn Hòa, director of the Publishing, Printing and Distributing Department said the Publishing Law 2012 and Regulation 195 mentioned e-publishing.
“These are only the basic principles for developing e-publishing in Việt Nam,” he said.
“Publishing houses just need to submit a file to the department to ask for permission,” he said.
Young writer Văn Vũ Song Toàn, who has published some short story collections, revealed that he preferred printed books.
“We can takes books everywhere so they’re easier to read, and the smell of a freshly printed book cannot be beaten,” he said.
“Printed books are engraved in our minds,” he added. “It’s like despite the fact we have electricity, we still sometimes prefer to burn candles.”
Việt shared the same opinion.
“Maybe in the future, after my 10th collection, I will turn to e-books to access the audience at the lowest price I can offer.” — VNS