Many local e-books publishers have offered reasonable prices, provided many bonus services, and simplified payment methods in an effort to combat copyright infringement in Vietnam.
Since being put into operation last April, Alezaa.com has become one of the country’s biggest e-book websites with more than 3,000 book titles. According to Tran Trong Thanh, chairman of the managing board of Vinapo Online Services Company, the managing unit of the page, the prices of most books on Alezaa are 30%-40% lower than printed editions.
“If publishers want to lower the prices of e-books to attract readers, we will follow them,” he added.
Another e-book site offering around 2,000 book titles at cheap prices is anybook.vn, run by the Vietnam Military Telecommunications Group (Viettel Group) since September. The group has also announced that the company will add 1,000 more book titles, including a number of renowned classics, to its store by the end of this year.
Also, the Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House has recently launched a website site selling e-books at sachweb.vn, adding a new place for local book lovers. The new site offers 1,000 titles at prices ranging from VNV5,000 to VND50,000.
For its part, Tre publisher has not only focused on providing services for readers who read e-books on laptops, smartphones, and tablet computers, but also aims to offer programs via the Internet for people using normal dekstop computers.
“We think that we need to provide e-books for people living in remote localities, people who need books to shorten the distance between urban and rural areas,” said Dong Phuoc Vinh, vice director of Ybook, an e-books company run by Tre publisher.
Besides cheap prices, e-book providers have also pushed efforts to attract readers by offering many bonus services.
To help readers feel like they are reading a traditional printed book, some e-book editions have the sound of a turning page added to them.
Sites like sachweb.vn also have background music which automatically plays when readers enter the site. The website also offers a search engine to help readers look up everything related to what they read.
Games and quizzes whose results will be given automatically have been added to e-books editions as well, adding more activities for readers.
E-book providers also try to provide as much information related to the content of e-books as they can, making e-books an improvement compared with traditional printed editions. For example, when a reader reads a page introducing HCMC’s Benh Thanh market, he can click on the word “Ben Thanh market” to link to another window which features information, images or even songs about the typical market of Saigon.
The most common payment method is for customers to register an account on the website they want to buy e-books from, and then purchase them online. Local e-book providers allow customers use many types of credit cards to pay for their books. Notably, anybook also allows visitors to purchase books without registering by using their mobile accounts.