How is the publishing industry going digital?

October 12, 2022 | 04:46 pm GMT+7

Developing the publishing industry through digitization is a must.


Tran Chi Dat, Director and Editor in Chief of the Information and Communications Publishing House, said that digital transformation has been taking place in all phases of publishing activities, most clearly seen in marketing, online sales on e-commerce platforms and electronic publications. 

Most publishing houses and book companies use technology in their publishing and distribution activities. 

Distribution channels have also expanded with publications distributed not just through traditional channels. 

Online distribution systems use multi-platform and multi-interface technology, which means they are compatible for all kinds of devices, screen sizes and software regulating the devices.

Ebooks, audiobooks and video books are mire available in the Vietnamese publishing market, not only satisfying the demand of readers, but also special clients such as students and the visually impaired.

Initial achievements in the publishing industry have been gained but digital transformation is not simple, because it affects awareness, habits and ways of thinking. Meanwhile, the cost of digital transformation is not low.

Nguyen Nguyen, director of the Authority of Publication, Printing and Distribution, said there are four stages of digital transformation in the publishing industry. First, digitizing data. Second, utilizing platforms for simple activities. Third, applying platforms in complicated activities and publishing processes (management, editing, distribution, communication, etc…). Fourth, applying AI (artificial intelligence) in the working process.

Vu Trong Lam, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Tap Chi Cong San (Communist Review), believes there is still no publication house in the country that can collect and integrate a big digital database. 

Each publication house can only digitize a small part of the data resources they have. Many books have not been digitized or put into data warehouses.

Meanwhile, publishing houses, education and training establishments, and research institutes still haven't exchanged and integrated resources to create digital disciplinary databases.

Content resources remain scattered and not integrated to create a huge information volume, thus affecting the shift from traditional to digital publishing.

Changing way of thinking

Vu Trong Dai, CEO of Alpha Books, said the first challenge in digital transformation in the publishing industry is changing the way of thinking.

“We think too simply that digital information means shifting from printed paper format to ebook and audiobook. But in order to shift from paper format to other formats, the personnel, the way of thinking, and the apparatus also have to shift to another format,” he said.