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Old 01-23-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
Kayarath

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Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

And How It Could Get Better

My favorite Manga/RPG guy has posted a piece that talks about the fate and future of publishing Manga! If you want a super quick summary: Manga not selling, bad! Internet piracy, bad! Manga industry not adapting, bad! Self publishing online, good! Four panel comics, good! Or better yet, go read it!
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:34 AM   #2
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Re: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

That was a fascinating read. Any of you manga fans out there should really give this a read, as it touches on the potential future of the manga industry by looking at current trends, but does it in such a way that it's not a pain to read. Definitely recommended.
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Old 01-24-2012, 12:54 PM   #3
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Re: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

I actually read this the other day before you posted it. I thought it was pretty interesting considering how in-depth it goes into the Japanese side of things. Usually we're so focused on the Western market and how... well, bad it can be economically. However, looking at it from a dual perspective gives the Western market a bit more weight all things considered.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:23 AM   #4
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Re: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

Great article, with many interesting points. I certainly embody at least one of them, spending much more money on such merchandise now than I did as a kid, and for the very reason mentioned--as a working adult, I have the money to spend. And it's also true that my tastes have changed as I've aged, although I do make some purchases based on nostalgia.

Personally, though, I was glad to see Borders fall--such large mega-retailers as Borders and Barnes&Noble monopolize the publishing industry through their own purchasing power. What they carry gets marketed--and so, written--while other ideas are ignored or abandoned. The Wall Street Journal only recently had an article about the resurgence in self-publishing because of shrinking outlets available to traditional publishing ventures (page D1, 09 December, 2011), and even Wired has recently addressed the issue (focusing mainly on e-publishing). I have a friend who self-publishes dojinshi/graphic novels through Lulu, and she's quite happy with the ease of the process (Meaghan Beninati's Grim Reaper School: read it, love it, send her money and tell her to buy me beer!). Meaghan also serializes her work online, a process mentioned in the article.

Just one quick, stupid question: Does anyone besides me think that maybe one reason for the decline in popularity of comics/manga is that people now have interactive games small enough to be carried about on their person? Comics and manga were both designed as quick, easy, and portable entertainment--just as were gameboys and such. And unlike comics/manga, games offer the chance to participate in--or actually determine--the outcome. Just a societal change I'm old enough to have watched happen. . .and did.
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Old 01-25-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
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Re: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

Love your article Kay, and the thing is I agree with it totally. Unfortunatly Japanese business's are not adapting well (niether or American comic book companies either) to the digital age. If anything has let me learn from experience is that the reasons big corporations want to pass over-riding laws like SOPA is to protect their content. Which is a legit excuse, but if Negima creator can turn scanalations into profit, and give the creator not the company more power than this is a revolution in the making. If the creators become the masters of their craft, then the Internet will re-shape the world in ways that surpass social networking and e-bay auction sites. Also streaming is changing the way we view, purchase, and distribute anime so I think anime and manga readers, publishers, and writers should look at your article with some degree of interest. Great article Kay, and I actually think the Bandai thing, and weak American comic book sales could actually be a good thing for me.

Someone who views the Internet as a way to bring back legitimacy not just to someone who grew up on comics, manga, anime, sci-fi, and films, but also a possible businessman in the future. Thank you Kay for helping me re-instant my theory that there is indeed need of some true revolutionary concepts in the Internet.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:02 AM   #6
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Re: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

Well Nerdwerld, it's not my article, I just linked to it! It was written by Jason Thompson, manga reviewer guy!

It really is a complex article touching on many subjects, one of the many good points is asking how do new manga artists can develop the support needed to develop and grow.

Moonhawk81, you are right about the rise (or rerise) of self publishing. While Lulu is great for a project with a low print run/low start up funds, there are plenty of other tools. One is Kickstarter, which can really benefit projects with a good following/promotion. One example I'm following is the Order of the Stick kickstarter project, which got over $125,000 in pledges in about three days! That's amazing!!!
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:19 AM   #7
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Re: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayarath View Post
Well Nerdwerld, it's not my article, I just linked to it! It was written by Jason Thompson, manga reviewer guy!

It really is a complex article touching on many subjects, one of the many good points is asking how do new manga artists can develop the support needed to develop and grow.

Moonhawk81, you are right about the rise (or rerise) of self publishing. While Lulu is great for a project with a low print run/low start up funds, there are plenty of other tools. One is Kickstarter, which can really benefit projects with a good following/promotion. One example I'm following is the Order of the Stick kickstarter project, which got over $125,000 in pledges in about three days! That's amazing!!!
Kickstarter isn't just for publishing, either! Two of my musician friends have both used it successfully, one to help finance an ep; the other, to help defray touring costs. I've great respect for the folks at Kickstarter--brilliant idea if they can maintain the level of service.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:39 PM   #8
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Re: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

I've been meaning to try out Kickstarter but I kind of feel weird about it, plus I don't have much of a following yet. Lulu is really expensive though, I had to find a local publisher and that cut down greatly on costs, plus I don't have to pay extra for shipping!

I don't really have anything to add to anyone's points, but I personally think its sad that manga and comics are going on a downward slope. TBH I hate reading scanlations, I would rather have a book in my hand or a cohesive file on my computer (I guess I could save each JPG one by one or download a .zip file or something but man...) I would honestly love to pay the artists and publishers for their hard work in exchange for good quality stuff. On the other hand I heard that Tokyopop wasn't really doing anyone any favors (just rumors and talk between people, I'm not stating any facts or that I know anything so don't take it personally!). I loved Yen Press's monthly zine as well but since they went to digital it's a bit awkward to read. I've personally considered buying an e-reader or a tablet (with kindle and nook apps, etc) and distributing ebooks to get to an international audience faster and more conveniently. And most times I won't read a lot of the popular titles or the ones that are (as one commenter on the article said) "Moe" or "slice of life' unless there is something unique about the style or characters that I enjoy. Or of course if the story is good or interesting. The usual factors. I'm very picky about my anime and manga basically xD;

Anyway, I had some other stuff to say but I sort of blanked out, but I guess as a comic artist this is something I need to watch for. Webcomic artists seem to do pretty well for themselves with digital and self publishing, with Kickstarter and other things. The only thing is they can only print a few hundred books at a time, and since they have such a big following, by the time I get to the point of being able to buy one of their books, it's too late because they are already gone :c

And lastly, I really hate that Borders went out. That was the only place I could get to for my manga, the place i bought my very first one, and I literally had to go out of state to find an obscure bookstore that sold Sailor Moon #3. I guess I could have ordered it online but MEH. I UH... /don't ask

That's my two cents. IDK. I never make any sense even if I try so sorry if that was a jumble of nothing xD:
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:22 PM   #9
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Re: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

Quote:
Originally Posted by reaperking View Post
I've been meaning to try out Kickstarter but I kind of feel weird about it, plus I don't have much of a following yet. Lulu is really expensive though, I had to find a local publisher and that cut down greatly on costs, plus I don't have to pay extra for shipping!

I don't really have anything to add to anyone's points, but I personally think its sad that manga and comics are going on a downward slope. TBH I hate reading scanlations, I would rather have a book in my hand or a cohesive file on my computer (I guess I could save each JPG one by one or download a .zip file or something but man...) I would honestly love to pay the artists and publishers for their hard work in exchange for good quality stuff. On the other hand I heard that Tokyopop wasn't really doing anyone any favors (just rumors and talk between people, I'm not stating any facts or that I know anything so don't take it personally!). I loved Yen Press's monthly zine as well but since they went to digital it's a bit awkward to read. I've personally considered buying an e-reader or a tablet (with kindle and nook apps, etc) and distributing ebooks to get to an international audience faster and more conveniently. And most times I won't read a lot of the popular titles or the ones that are (as one commenter on the article said) "Moe" or "slice of life' unless there is something unique about the style or characters that I enjoy. Or of course if the story is good or interesting. The usual factors. I'm very picky about my anime and manga basically xD;

Anyway, I had some other stuff to say but I sort of blanked out, but I guess as a comic artist this is something I need to watch for. Webcomic artists seem to do pretty well for themselves with digital and self publishing, with Kickstarter and other things. The only thing is they can only print a few hundred books at a time, and since they have such a big following, by the time I get to the point of being able to buy one of their books, it's too late because they are already gone :c

And lastly, I really hate that Borders went out. That was the only place I could get to for my manga, the place i bought my very first one, and I literally had to go out of state to find an obscure bookstore that sold Sailor Moon #3. I guess I could have ordered it online but MEH. I UH... /don't ask

That's my two cents. IDK. I never make any sense even if I try so sorry if that was a jumble of nothing xD:
Didn't realize that you'd gotten away from Lulu. I do have to agree with you that I prefer holding a book; I don't even like Kindle and such, and could probably never even find--let alone access--any book stuck in my computer. Some of us simply are not loved by the Computer Gods. And while I remain personally pleased by Borders' demise, I will say that Barnes&Noble--for all the evil they accomplish--do seem to be making an effort to expand their manga offerings, or so it seems to me. Also, keep an eye open for kid-attuned book fairs, like those by Scholastic. They show up in places about twice a year to sell to school districts and teachers, but the book fair is open to the public--I've picked up some great books and manga whenever Scholastic rolls into Memphis. Visit their website to inquire about local sales schedules.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:47 PM   #10
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Re: Why Manga Publishing Is Dying!

Sadly, it seems that comic shops are not willing to pick up the void left by Boarders...

http://comicsworthreading.com/2012/0...nga-customers/

There's always Amazon!
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