Digital transformation in publishing makes book access easier hinh anh 1Readers experience reading by electronic devices (Photo: VietnamPlus)
Hanoi (VNA) – Thanks to efforts to promote digital transformation, the publishing industry’s revenue has grown despites difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the period when all sectors affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the sector still maintained its activity to serve the demand of readers.

Digital transformation in the publishing industry has contributed to promoting reading culture as books can reach readers in remote and mountainous areas, said Nguyen Nguyen, Director of the Authority of Publication, Printing and Distribution under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Nguyen affirmed this at a seminar in Hanoi on October 5, which aims to seek solutions to further accelerate digital transformation in the industry.

The event was jointly organised by the Su that (Truth) National Political Publishing House, the Department of Publishing, Printing and Distributing and the National Digital Transformation Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

According to Nguyen, while technology moves forward, with some 70 percent of the population having access to the internet, Vietnamese readers are being left behind. Although the digital transformation plays an important role in promoting reading culture in the country, overall readership is still lacking.

Digital transformation in publishing is a global trend in the world. After the pandemic, Vietnam has recorded a strong growth in electronic publications in both the number of book titles and sales, he said.

The virtual book festival has been held since 2020, considered the best solution during the pandemic. The online format of the book festival also helps raise awareness of the significance of digital transformation to the sector. This nudges publications closer to readers in remote and mountainous areas – a potential market for publication firms if they apply technologies that work online and offline, along with sound promotional programmes.

Nguyen said reading culture is actually the launcher for publication. A large number of readers will help expand the publication market. Reading culture is envisaged to branch out not only for the development of the publication market but will also improve reading quality.

Digital transformation in publishing makes book access easier hinh anh 2 Nguyen Nguyen, Director of the Department of Publishing, Printing and Distributing under the Ministry of Information and Communications (Photo: VietnamPlus).

The National Online Book Festival, the online book exchange, as well as e-commerce sites have met the demand of readers in remote areas, helping them access many new books and save transportation costs, Nguyen said.

However, besides positive signs, digital transformation activities in the publishing sector remain limited as the change from traditional publishing method to electronic publishing still takes place slowly. Electronic publishing has just focused on digitising published books.

There are not new forms such as audio and virtual-reality books, and those allowing interaction between readers, authors and publishers.

Participants discussed digital transformation trends in Vietnam and the world as well as guidelines and policies of the Party and State on promoting digital transformation. They also shared experience on publishing e-books and introduced initial results in implementing digital transformation in publishing units.

Digital transformation in publishing makes book access easier hinh anh 3Participants at the seminar (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Director of the National Digital Transformation Department Nguyen Khac Lich said that it is necessary to have a synchronous legal corridor for comprehensive digital transformation.

For his part, Dinh Quang Hoang, Director of Waka E-Book JSC, said the copyrights and investment costs for technology to carry out digital transformation are the big challenges facing e-publishers, and these are closely related.

Publishers need to invest in technology to produce better quality products compared to those copied on 'piracy' websites, Hoang said, adding that publishing units need to share data and jointly use platforms to save costs.
Nguyen underlined the necessity for involvement of many sectors, to further promote digital transformation in publishing activities, he said.

Within the framework of the seminar, the organising board opened an exhibition to introduce digital transformation publications of 20 publishers./.