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70-year-old publishing industry tries to catch up with rest of the world

Tran Chi Dat, Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Information and Communications Publishing House, says that e-books and other modern publishing models are now giving more choices to readers in accessing content.

E-books now have multimedia components combined with virtual reality and augmented reality technology. The content of some books has simulated video clips associated with devices such as 3D virtual reality glasses, especially useful for travel guide books or technical instruction books.  

“Digital transformation has been taking place in all links of publishing activities, most clearly seen in marketing and sales on e-commerce platforms, and in electronic publications. Most publishing houses and book companies have been using high technology in publishing and distribution activities. Distribution channels have been expanded, going beyond the frame of traditional distribution channels, with online distribution channels built on the basis of multi-platform and multi-interface technology."

New types of books such as ebooks, audiobooks and videobooks have appeared in the Vietnamese publication market, satisfying the needs of many readers such as students at different education levels and the visually impaired.

According to Dat, digital transformation has been used to its in editing. 

Phan Thi Thu Ha, Director of Tre Publishing House, said that Vietnam’s publishing industry follows trends in the publishing industry. 

When ebooks appeared, many ebook companies in Vietnam were established. When audiobooks become hot, audiobooks also developed rapidly in Vietnam.

According to Ha, the number of copyrighted ebooks in 2020 was 2,000, while the figure was 2,300 in 2021 and 1,142 in the first half of  2022. There were two reasons behind the growth.

First, the licensing of e-publishing activities has  accelerated. As of early 2022, 12 out of 57 publishing houses were allowed to publish ebooks.

Second, audiobook apps have been created since 2019, including Fonos, Voiz FM and Waka.

Nguyen Canh Binh, CEO of Alpha Books, said a new publishing vision is gradually becoming apparent.

“We want to work with National Geographic so that children can watch interesting scientific content. We want to develop digital content to sell to schools and families so that scientific videos can reach children, like the way Netflix brings movies to viewers' beds,” he said.

Tinh Le


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