Local publishing company Life Growth Bookhouse was established in 2012 and in just a ten year period it has managed to publish over 300 books by a wide range of authors.
Brach Vichey, publisher at Life Growth Bookhouse, gave an interview to The Post about his business and how he's managed to maintain such a prolific output of new titles.
What was your motivation or inspiration for founding a publishing company? Why the name Life Growth?
The Life Growth Bookhouse was established in 2007 when “life growth” was the name of the radio station ABC 107.5 FM.
Our goal is to nurture a culture of reading widely across the country and help our country create as many good authors as we can who are part of the next generation.
Back in 2012, I could see that in our country there weren't very many books being published. I decided to do it myself so I started a business and I mostly used the station name for ABC 107.5 FM because it was really well known.
But I also liked the format of their station because it would give time to ordinary listeners to call in and talk about their problems in life. They were given an opportunity to speak and to ask whatever questions they wanted about life.
Since 2012, we have held book fairs across the country at markets, high schools, universities, public gardens and other programmes. We have sold books wholesale to traders or retail at festivals and we have also donated a large number of books to schools and libraries.
What kinds of books do you generally publish? Do you specialize in any genres?
We have now produced over 300 titles written by different authors. The books are about everything. Religion, family and child education, health, leadership and management, general education, teaching and learning, histories, ASEAN, psychology, self-development, business, finance, markets and sales, methods and strategies in leading units and thinking. Any topic, somebody just has to write a good book about it.
What are your most popular or best-selling titles? Does your readership come from a certain demographic?
Perhaps 7 years ago or so, youths still did not show any interest in reading books, so we chose a mixture of books on mostly serious topics. Most of the books at that time were about things like education, religious teachings, ancient philosophies, psychology and so forth.
I don't know how old our average reader is, but I don't think it matters. Readers of any age like to read and even monks will get bored and want to read different sorts of books.
Today, the number of people reading books has grown remarkably and mostly it is due to the students who are purchasing books and looking for books. The books youths like to read the most are about self-development and business.
It has so far been observed that the books about markets, self-development, sales, business, finance and family education, especially child and family advice, have received the most support.
These books have drawn the attention of readers today because they are relevant to their lives and offer them help with real problems and I believe that our books in particular are popular because they are well-structured and organized.
What strategies do you employ to promote reading among the general public and to market your books to those most interested in them?
To tell you the truth, in recent years our team has done a lot to enhance the quality of our books and their contents through design and other methods.
Our message to readers is that reading our books can be helpful to them and the lessons can be applied to daily life.
Aside from that, our team actively uses social media and has tried hard to boost post views on our pages and we also share a lot of knowledge on them on a regular basis so there is a reason to follow them, not just advertisements.
Since 2015, we've done books on topics like health, philosophies, applied psychology, methods and strategies used in war, leadership, marketing, finance and many others.
Currently, youths have many choices for books to read that will help them to know themselves better and also help with their careers or jobs and understanding what role they want to play in life. We've found that the more choices we give readers, the more readers we'll have overall.
What did put for display at this year's National Book Fair?
For the books exhibited at the National Library this year, unfortunately we did not have all of the over 300 titles available because some of the books are out of stock or out of print.
However, we also have quite a few of our authors who are really depending on us to exhibit their books and promoted them at that big event, so we had many books on display and for sale at the book fair.