Exporting to Indonesia


Today there are more than 1,000 active book publishers in Indonesia—largely concentrated on Java—and around 50% of the books published are translations.  With a population of 240 million and an impressive economic growth rate, Indonesia’s market potential rates high. Take this opportunity to take a closer look at the next Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair and explore its opportunities as a potential export market for your books.

Market Profile

Population: 240 million people spread over an archipelago of 17,500 islands, huge and extremely fragmented book market.

Economy: Indonesia’s growth trajectory remains impressive.  The Indonesian economy presented a growth rate of 6.5% in 2012 and the country’s gross national income per capita has steadily risen 60% over the past 14 years. Today, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, the world’s 10th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, and a member of the G-20.

Number of Book Publishers: Today there are more than 1,000 active book publishers in Indonesia—largely concentrated on Java—and around 50% of the books published are translations.

Importance of children’s book publishing: as 25% of Indonesia’s population are school-aged children, children’s books are a significant and growing market. Print books will remain significant in Indonesia, particularly in early education.

Increased demand for digital content in Indonesia: Although Indonesia has grappled with ebook piracy, there is an increasing demand for digital publishing and a confidence that a bright future exists in Indonesia.

Government investment: Since 2003 the Indonesian government has spent 20% of its national budget on education, including investing in digital textbooks. In 2011, this amounted to a sum of $29.36 billion CAD.

Changing demographics: Indonesia has a growing educated middle class and a very digital minded young generation, it is the land that features the world’s third largest Facebook and Twitter communities.

About the Borobudur Agency:

The Borobudur Agency represents publishers and authors for children’s and young adult books, picture books, fiction, non-fiction: cookbooks, fashion (Muslim wear for women), social studies, Indonesian arts and culture, interactive digital textbooks. Established by IKAPI – Indonesian Publishers Association.

Join Thomas Nung Atasana, International Rights Director, for a 90-minute webinar exploring the Indonesian book market, including:

  • Licensing translation rights
  • Co-publishing opportunities
  • Exporting finished products
  • Reading and book buying habits
  • and much more

Your Host

Thomas Nung Atasana

Initially a parents’ magazine editor, Thomas Nung Atasana started venturing the book publishing world in 1981 by joining Kompas Gramedia, the largest media group in Indonesia. After working as a book editor for several years, he ended up as a chief editor for Gramedia Pustaka Utama – one of the leading book publishing companies in Indonesia. In 1995 he switched position to head the marketing division of the same company, covering the domestic market and including some overseas orders. In 2009 he developed an international marketing program by licensing copyrights of Indonesian contents abroad, mainly titles published within Kompas Gramedia. In 2012, he was invited by IKAPI – the Indonesian Publishers Association – to establish Borobudur Literary Agency, representing Indonesian book publishers and authors. Currently the International Rights Director of Borobudur Literary Agency and the Coordinator of Rights Sales for the National Committee for Indonesia as Guest of Honour Country at the Frankfurt Book Fair, he has also published three books.


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