A Book for Exchange Students <Europe, Exchange Student: Between Beer and Tea>
Reached more than 3 times its original goal through crowdfunding with an E-Book on the way
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Kim So-yeon (Division of International Studies, senior) and Hong Do-won (Korea University, senior) published a book for students preparing for life as an exchange student titled Europe, Exchange Student: Between Beer and Tea. The book deals with a wide range of areas starting from preparing to be an exchange student to what it is like to live around the local area. The book contains detailed information on life in the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as traveling to Europe, which is also useful to those planning of staying in Europe for a month or so.
When the term 'exchange student' is searched for on a search engine, a vast amount of advice appears, starting from the application process to packing tips. Kim came up with the idea of the book, thinking that it would be helpful if there was someone that could gather this information and organize it all together. To Kim, the exchange student experience from last fall of 2018 was her first time living abroad. The information that she needed was neither the price nor the departure process, but on the culture and life of the people around the local area. Kim described the vagueness that she felt about living abroad, mentioning that "people post much information on personal blogs about preparing to be an exchange student, but not so much after leaving Korea."
Kim started writing the book as soon as she began leaving as an exchange student. The hardships and new information that she faced were immediately recorded in the writing, which added specificity to the book. She also collected information on other areas of Europe, which she gained through traveling around the area herself. Kim stated that she "tried to include information that can be both applied to the United Kingdom and Germany," such as in, "how to buy products online when there is no supermarket around."
Kim finished the first draft of the book last September, and, in the following month, a contract with a designer was made. While she was originally planning on only publishing an E-Book, she changed her plans after the recommendation from a designer who also worked as a one-person publisher. Because there is a fixed number of minimum prints, printing paperbacks comes with cost and risks. Kim explained that she "conducted crowdfunding simply to meet the printing cost, regardless of any extra profit."
Publishing paperback books does not stop on writing the book itself, including processes such as sales, delivery management, and marketing. For example, many thoughts were required when deciding the goods that come along with the crowdfunding rewards. Kim and her co-writer planned for a coin purse and a shopping bag that would come in handy when living in Europe, but after considering the minimum number of quantity of the customized products, they changed it to cups and postcards. Due to the characteristics of crowdfunding, the funding initiator has to make packages and deliver the products directly, not through signing a contract with an outside shipping company. This makes it difficult for them to track the delivery processes and costs. Kim mentioned that "there were some number of cases where the books were lost during the delivery process and sent again because we were not able to find them."
Reactions from those who received the book were very positive. On a social network platform, many reviews followed, such as "it helped me greatly on reducing unnecessary packages." It reached the original goal starting from the first day of crowdfunding, reaching 309% of the accumulated amount of money by the end date. "I give thanks to my parents, the friends around me who offered help, the Office of International Affairs of Hanyang University, and all of the readers," mentioned Kim. She also added that "it would have been better if I had had more insights on the marketing." The book, Europe, Exchange Student: Between Beer and Tea is currently going through a revision after its first edition and will soon be seen as an E-Book on Aladin.
Global News Team
Translated by: Lee Wonyoung
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