Beyond Hall 8: Indonesia may not be on your Map


This article suggests that there really is hope for the publishing industry in Indonesia. It says that Indonesia is a market to watch, and, “…the low standard of living for most Indonesians makes books a luxury item, but its middle class is growing.” This is signifying a potentially growing market for books. The annual Jakarta Book Fair is popular with locals and well-attended. The Indonesian Publishers Association is working hard to create opportunities for people to have access to books that they would like to read. And Indonesian publishers are certainly buying and distributing books in the hopes that people will invest in them, despite the number of physical bookstores being small.

There are challenges to publishing in Indonesia. Among the affordability and cultural issues, doing business in Indonesia can be a problem. “Graft and corruption is not unknown, particularly in the customs and excise department, making the simple activities of import/export something of a trial. The legal system can be unpredictable too, making things such as enforcement of copyright somewhat chancey.” We have all heard of the dodgy things that go on when tourists go through customs, drugs turning up and bribes happening. But a change in government has made a positive difference. “The Government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has announced a zero tolerance approach to corruption, and thousands of public officials have found themselves prosecuted by the Anti-Corruption Commission (the KPK) in recent years.” It sounds like Indonesia is being cleaned up and opportunities are being made more easily available to successfully publish books in Indonesia.

Overall, Indonesia is becoming an interesting country for the publishing industry. The future holds hope of seeing incredible growth in the rate of books being sold and read by all kinds of classes.



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