In countries of similar size to Korea the publishing industry is heavily centralized. As Bucheon is only 30 minutes away from the capital, Seoul, conditions are not favorable for development of a publishing industry independent of the capital. What's more, most publishing businesses are now accommodated in the big publishing complexes constructed under support policies from the central government. Despite these circumstances, about 529 publishing businesses are registered in Bucheon, and thanks to the cultural milieu and the city's support for local publishers their combined annual sales reach approximately 10.3 million USD. Due to the emergence of online bookstores, however, the number of bookstores in the city has fallen from a high of 30 to 11 at present, prompting the municipal government and local community to work together to keep local bookstores in business. To promote growth of Bucheon's literature related industry, the city is also carrying out projects to revitalize libraries.
[One of Bucheon’s seventy-three small libraries, full of enthusiasm]
The revival of bookstores in the region and development of the publishing industry are major policy objectives designed to foster Bucheon's cultural industry focused on literature. Thus the city has signed an MoU with the Bucheon Bookstore Association to carry out mutually beneficial projects. In 2015, Bucheon City Library and Bucheon Small Library spent 1.3 million USD on the purchase of new books through local bookstores. Under policies to promote development of the local publishing industry, the city also purchases books and digital contents from local bookstores and provides subsidies for local publishers. The Bucheon Bookstore Association was organized to facilitate bookstores' cooperation with local libraries. It organizes "Meet the Author" events and other varied book-related events such as fairy tale readings and mini-bookstores in the park to promote reading. Residents actively participate in the Book Sharing Bank Project by donating book purchase receipts, of which one percent of the total amount is donated for the purchase of books for libraries.