UMP Press, Perbadanan Kota Buku intensify book marketing efforts to international market
PEKAN, 3 December 2021 - Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) Press and Perbadanan Kota Buku (PKB) have entered a strategic collaboration involving various segments of collaboration, especially in the promotion and marketing of books to the international market, to share the same values and aspirations for the future and sustainability of the country’s book industry.
As a company owned by the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MoE), PKB serves as a one-stop centre that connects writers, publishers, and readers in addition to promoting local content to international book fairs.
Moreover, PKB is also involved in the preparation of future books through the go digital initiative, which offers digitalisation services of various physical documents for commercialisation or access services.
Meanwhile, through the development initiative of a Super Apps known as BOCA, PKB has a more holistic long-term plan by providing a dedicated platform for various book activities including digital bookstores, multivendor marketplace, eBook portal, BOCA Jobs, and BOCA Calendar for all stakeholders in this industry.
According to the Director of UMP Press, this collaboration is vital, and the support of all players in the book industry for this PKB initiative is very much needed.
“It is time for the country’s book industry to be more integrated and strategic.
“I am confident that PKB can lead the country’s book industry to be more competitive and at the same time form a more comprehensive book publishing community,” he said.
The brief ceremony of handing over the letter of intent was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of PKB, Saufy Nizar Abdul Rahman, better known as Mutalib Uthman, while UMP Press was represented by the Director, Muhammad Azli Shukri.
The ceremony held at the UMP Pekan Library Executive Lounge was also attended by UMP Library representatives and UMP Press staff.
According to Mutalib Uthman, this collaborative initiative not only opens up wider opportunities to market UMP Press products internationally, but UMP Press can also obtain more strategic data in developing publication titles that are of quality and accepted by the current market.
“PKB is not a profit-making entity but more towards supporting the country’s book industry.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, PKB has created a platform that houses all writers and translators, namely BOCA.
“BOCA works through the BOCA Mart, BOCA eBook, BOCA Jobs, and BOCA Calendar portals,” he said.
Furthermore, he added that through BOCA Mart, PKB will buy books from publishers and sell them in the first phase, while marketplaces such as Shopee will be created in the second phase.
“In the future, publishers will open their own digital bookstores in BOCA Mart.
“Meanwhile, the BOCA eBook portal is a rebranding of bookcapital.my.
“BOCA eBook is the largest ebook sales centre in Southeast Asia and now there are over 200,000 ebook titles available for public purchase,” he said.
He said, BOCA eBook also houses digital textbooks belonging to the MoE for students, teachers, and parents to access for free.
“BOCA Jobs portal is also provided for any organisation that offers vacancies such as freelancers related to the book industry such as editors, authors, proofreaders, ad writers, graphic designers, translators, and others.
“Meanwhile, BOCA Calendar portal displays book activities in Malaysia.
“It was created to avoid clashes in organising book-related events as well as to announce the activities that will be held to the public,” he said.
Moreover, according to Mutalib Uthman, PKB is now trying to follow current trends such as Shopee, Food Panda, and others because they have a market.
Concurrently, a question and answer session was also held through the Book Chat Programme with Kota Buku titled ‘Inside a Publisher’s Head’, which discussed various challenges and issues currently faced in the country’s book industry, especially the topic of branding and the position of this industry for the coming five years.
Among the topic discussed was the need to produce iconic book authors who can be elevated to attract the global community to learn more about Malaysia.
By: Athirah Ruzaini and Nur Hartini Mohd Hatta, UMP Press
Translation by: Dr. Rozaimi Abu Samah, Engineering College/Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering Technology