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A Journey Of Inspiration: The Story Behind BookGoodCome

A Journey Of Inspiration: The Story Behind BookGoodCome

Ever wondered how a small publishing house can make a big impact? Meet BookGoodCome, a Korean publisher dedicated to children's literature. I recently had a conversation with Soonyoung Lee, the owner, to uncover their story and vision.


From Humble Beginnings

BookGoodCome was founded in 2009 by Soonyoung and Rury Lee. As Soonyoung approached her 40s, her desire for a meaningful and enjoyable pursuit led her to the world of publishing. With a degree in English and a passion for literature, the idea of starting a publishing house became increasingly appealing. Rury was already known for successfully translating children's books and writing columns on picture books for newspapers. Their combined interests and expertise naturally culminated in the establishment of BookGoodCome.

BookGoodCome started with a simple yet powerful mission: to publish books that console and nourish the soul. “Whether a book makes us laugh, touches our emotions or opens up new perspectives, we believe that good books provide essential nourishment for our souls," shared Soonyoung Lee, adding that as a publisher, they love funny and happy books.



Curating Stories with a Purpose

Selecting stories for publication is no small feat. Soonyoung takes this responsibility seriously. “When selecting stories, we look for originality, fresh perspectives and the ability to bring happiness.” Their passion for finding stories from both domestic and international authors and their commitment to seeking books with strong messages and lessons, as well as those that provide children with the pure joy of reading, quickly set them apart in the crowded publishing world.



The Role of Books in a Digital Age

When asked about the necessity of books in a world with many media choices, Soonyoung shared her belief that picture books, with their beautiful illustrations and texts, are a form of art that provides children with the nutrients they need to see the world with a balanced perspective, make judgments and think logically.

For BookGoodCome, the answer is clear. "Through art, our children can gain not only simple knowledge, but also the power to understand the world, develop the ability to discuss and think critically and grow into well-rounded adults," said Soonyoung. She believes that children's books have the power to move not only young readers but also adults.

“The impact of art can bring about change in our society. It can lead to small changes for the environment and spark the consideration for the underprivileged in society. Anything is possible because the emotional impact of art can move people's hearts.”



Vision for the Future

Looking ahead, Soonyoung says her goal for BookGoodCome remains simple: to publish books that are loved by everyone around the world. As BookGoodCome is selling foreign rights more than ever before, she would like to invest more in Korean picture book authors rather than translating books from abroad. “We always strive to discover new talented authors with unique stories to share with the world. I would like to spread happiness throughout the world with our books.”



Nominated for the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year

BookGoodCome was recently shortlisted for the 2024 Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year, a prestigious annual award that promotes excellent publishing houses from all over the world, as recommended by publishers, publishers’ associations and institutions devoted to reading. And although BookGoodCome did not win the award, Soonyoung believes this is just the beginning of recognition for their dedication to excellence. 

“Many of our fellow publishers congratulated us at the event, and I will remember that night for a long time. Publishers from all over the world gathered to celebrate good books and support each other, and I was deeply moved by the atmosphere they created. This is precisely what I aspire to achieve with my books. Through acceptance, respect, and encouragement, I hope all beings in this universe can coexist peacefully.”


Photo Courtesy of Soonyoung Lee