Korean waves in Indonesian publishing

It is very interesting to observe how Korean waves wash the shore of Indonesian publishing. This year more and more publishers are turning their attention to the country of Gangnam style to find titles to publish. Recent surge of publication includes So I Married an Anti-Fan by Kim Eun Jeon, Guiyeoni's Romance of Their Own, a chick-lit best-selling titled Style by Baek Young-Ok, and Wonderful Radio by Lee Jae Ik.

Among the first original Korean novels published in Indonesia are Please Look After Mom (Shin Kyung-sook), and  Hyun Kyung Sohn's My Princess, both were released in early 2011. That was the beginning of K-pop influence to be seen in book publishing in Indonesia, following the fever of Korean television drama that has come earlier. Before this literary surge, Korean book translation are primarily educational comic like the wildly popular "Why?" series and other similar type of comics favorited by students.

After this first batch, there was a wave of non-original and Korean-like novels flooding the market. Domestic writers that loves Korean style and culture began producing books using Korean titles, featuring characters with Korean names, stories with Korean setting. It looks like everything related to Korea is loved, sales soaring high. Among the most famous titles are Seoulmate, Oppa & I, Khokkiri, Infinitely Yours, Rain Over Me. All of them are Korean-style romance written by Indonesian authors.

These kind of books are quite popular that many publishers follow each other's style and developed an imprint to specifically produce this type of books. Some of the new publishers are Penerbit Haru and Zettu. Other long established publishers also ride the wave.

Zettu published books with label "Korean Story". The writers are not Korean, they are Indonesian writer using Korean pseudonym. This move is so commonly used to allure Korean-lover book buyer. And it really works. Predictably,  the book cover use Hangul letters to amplify the Korean-ness.

No on can make a good prediction how long this wave will stay. But, it looks like every publisher are eager to join the ride while it lasts.



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