Publishing 3.0 - HK Smart e-Book Hub Opens for Registration

Publishing 3.0 - HK Smart e-Book Hub Opens for Registration

To read anytime and anywhere with just "one device in hand" is enabled by cutting-edge technology which can facilitate local publishers and authors to promote their publications to international markets without language and geographical barriers. With the funding support of Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and technical support of the Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre (LSCM) under Innovation and Technology Commission, the organiser Hong Kong Publishing Federation (HKPF) and the implementer Hong Kong Reprographic Rights Licensing Society (HKRRLS) initiated the "Publishing 3.0 – HK Smart e-Book Hub" Scheme (Pub3.0), which provides an e-Book Publishing Conversion Platform and a smart e-Book hub, to assist local publishers speeding up their digital transformation. Starting from the World Book Day on 23 April 2023, the Pub3.0 opens its portal for local publishers and authors free registration. Registered users can translate their Chinese publications via the A.I.-empowered conversion platform on the portal into English, as well as convert them into audiobooks in Cantonese, Putonghua and English.

A sharing session was held on 19 April 2023 to introduce the Pub3.0 portal. Representatives from more than 40 local publishers including authors and editors participated in the event, where they had in-depth discussion with the organiser of the Pub3.0 about the technological application and operation of the portal's conversion platform. In general, their feedback on the "Pub3.0" was positive as they found the adoption of artificial intelligence could help them lower their production and time costs in digital publishing. Additionally the Scheme could facilitate Hong Kong publishers to market their publication overseas.

Dr. Elvin LEE Ka-kui, President of the HKPF and Chairman of the Pub3.0 Steering Committee, said "the launch of the Pub3.0 is in a good time to catch the growing trend in digital reading habit. With the advanced technology, Hong Kong publishers can convert their high quality contents into e-books easily." He encourages the publishing industry to grasp this opportunity and fully utilise the technology provided to speed up their digital transformation.

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Representatives from more than 40 local publishers including authors and editors participated in the sharing session on 19 April 2023.

During the sharing session, Mrs. Lowell CHO LAI Suk-ha, Assistant Head of CreateHK, expressed her gratitude for the HKPF's and the LSCM's efforts in creating the conversion platform long-awaited by the publishing industry which integrates art and innovative technology. She called for local authors and publishers to support and submit their e-books for selection into the "Hong Kong Smart e-Book Hub".

Dr. Sharon WONG Yin-yue, Executive Chairlady (Administration) of the Pub3.0 Steering Committee cum Chairlady of Hong Kong Reprographic Rights Licensing Society (HKRRLS), expressed that the conversion platform literally built from scratch has been constantly improving and upgrading to ensure quality outputs of machine translation and "Text-to-Speech" technology. After the official launch of the Pub3.0 service portal, the conversation platform and the "Hong Kong Smart e-Book Hub" would be promoted on different occasions this year including the Hong Kong Book Fair in July and the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany in October. She hoped that the Pub3.0 in the long run could facilitate the publishing industry's copyright trading and the procurement of more local e-books for the benefits of readers.

A series of local publications have been collected by the Pub3.0 at the initial stage of the project for conversion into e-books and audiobooks, samples of which are available on the Pub3.0 portal for readers to read or listen starting from 23 April. To enrich the portal's content, the Pub3.0 is recruiting more publishers and authors to convert their publications through the conversion platform and upload the introduction to these publications with the sample e-books and audiobooks onto the portal, while nominating suitable publications for building the "Hong Kong Smart e-Book Hub". The first phase of the recruitment started from 23 April and will last till 30 June this year. The books that are eligible for selection by the panel and uploading onto the e-Book Hub fall into five categories, namely Literature & Fiction, Living & Social Lives, Medical Healthcare, Finance & Business and History & Biography. The e-Book hub will be unveiled in July’s Hong Kong Book Fair and promoted in local and overseas events in the second half of this year.

Disclaimer: The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials/events (or by members of the project team) are those of the project organisers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee.