Forum - View topic
Column - Why Don't Manga Publishers Announce When Books Go Out Of Print?




Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1397
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:50 am Reply with quote
The article isn't tagged 'Answerman' on the front page and the archive link doesn't take you to the answerman archive.Oversight I assume?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1156
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:23 pm Reply with quote
This is one reason that I've got so darn many manga series that I'm buying. I want to make it profitable for the publishers to license & print the types of manga I like.

Of course I can't do it all on my own, but if that one copy keeps selling at my local BAM then there's a good chance that BAM will keep ordering at least that one copy of the next release and the publisher will see that ... hopefully along with many others.

Mark Gosdin
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Nom De Plume De Fanboy
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 124
Location: Great Falls, MT -inland US west
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:34 pm Reply with quote
If people just want to read a comic, this is where buying a digital copy can really help.

But if you're a collector- well, I hope those people have bigger budgets than I do. Sad I'm not a big manga fan, and I've still been burned this way a couple of times. That I liked to buy used stuff at a brick and mortar place ( Hastings ) contributed to this, but now they're gone. So I've pretty much gone digital with manga and reduced my buying rate to compensate.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
vashthekaizoku



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 257
Location: The House of Rat
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:58 pm Reply with quote
Good column! I remember my hunt for a copy of Clamp's Miyuki-chan in Wonderland manga when I was in college. That was before Tokyopop went down, and even then I had a lot of trouble.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1397
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:07 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
... If their rights come to an end, however, they have a few months to sell off whatever extra copies they have in the warehouse. After that, they're no longer allowed to sell that title.

Reminded me of Digital Manga offering Aoi Hana manga first volume as digital add-on in their Kodomo no Jikan kickstarter, which they've lost their license to(Viz has Aoi Hana currently).

Not to mention that even if that wasn't the case(they offered volumes of a lot of their manga properties as add-ons, most of whom I assume they still retain the license to(probably?)), doing it like that violates Kickstarter's own rules, specifically these two;
Quote:
Prohibited Items

-Projects that share things that already exist, or repackage a previously-created product, without adding anything new or aiming to iterate on the idea in any way.

-Resale. All rewards must have been produced or designed by the project or one of its creators — no reselling things from elsewhere.

Which is all unfortunate because I really want that project to fulfill, being a backer. But DM (nonexistant updates, delays, sudden staff changes, etc) doesn't make it easy to keep up hope...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
katscradle



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 336
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:18 pm Reply with quote
In this day and age of social media I’ve seen several manga publishers warn followers when stock is low or a license expiring, contract terminated. Still I get a sense that message only reaches a more select group of their customers. Most of the time I hear about a title becoming difficult to obtain it’s because someone starts looking for it or, through researching when I’ve got older books to sell. Just seriously pre-order/special order more than a couple of months in advance. Better to have a stack of books you haven't found the time to read yet than pay the price when you are ready for the next volume in a series.

Quote:
If their rights come to an end, however, they have a few months to sell off whatever extra copies they have in the warehouse. After that, they're no longer allowed to sell that title
.
This gets confusing for fans too. Juné was still selling leftover copies of Libre titles they lost the license to last year at a con this year. They’re also taking several leftover copies of various Libre titles for YaoiCon as prizes too apparently. Since SuBLime has rescued some of the titles some people aren't understanding why there is more than one edition.

Blanchimont wrote:
Reminded me of Digital Manga offering Aoi Hana manga first volume as digital add-on in their Kodomo no Jikan kickstarter, which they've lost their license to(Viz has Aoi Hana currently).

Looks like they lost all their Takako Shimura titles. They had some other ones digitally too that are gone from eManga and elsewhere. I would guess Digital Manga may be able to fulfill the DMG Sweet Blue Flowers add-on to any backers that pledged for it since it would have been a previous "sale" so to speak. Since the same thing happened with Libre print add-ons after the Sakira Kickstarter ended.

Quote:
Many of us had high hopes for print-on-demand books and DVDs, but technical and contractual issues have made that technology a tough sell.

I have come to loathe POD books and DVDs since the quality (and for DVD compatibility) more often than not is bad.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 3462
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:11 pm Reply with quote
Nom De Plume De Fanboy wrote:
If people just want to read a comic, this is where buying a digital copy can really help.

But if you're a collector- well,


Whether you buy digitally or buy a physical copy, both are collectors. Digital buyers do not delete their books after buying them. There is not much price difference between digital and physical anyway. D-Frag! Vol 4 - Digital: $6.84 - Physical: $7:20.

I buy digital, because I no longer have room for a vast collection of manga and other books.

If you want to read a comic, without paying for it, you go to the library or you go online.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
katscradle



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 336
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:11 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
Whether you buy digitally or buy a physical copy, both are collectors. Digital buyers do not delete their books after buying them. There is not much price difference between digital and physical anyway. D-Frag! Vol 4 - Digital: $6.84 - Physical: $7:20.

I buy digital, because I no longer have room for a vast collection of manga and other books.


Unfortunately I do see different mentalities between some comics fans. Whether collector or reader are good ways to describe it I don't know. I own hundreds of print books. I'm also at a point where a personal library that large creates difficulties. Instead of turning to digital completely I'm buying less because I've lost access in the past to digital titles under DRM unless I illegally work around it. I wish more manga was available without DRM because most eBooks and platforms are basically a service offering a lease on access to the title. Few publishers have worked out global digital rights too.

Prices can vary widely as well. Some prices are as much as print on eBooks so when there are certain promotions the digital version is more expensive. Or situations like some individual volumes of Chi's Sweet Home are going for less on the used market than the eBooks. Or print goes for much more and stays that way to begin with. Unico, one title I own, the digital version is $22 whereas a print copy is $40+ depending on where you live. Titles without reprints get even worse. There is a light novel I've been debating over right now siting around $50 on the used market but, the digital is $6. With price discrepancies like that I can't say certain fans are being attracted one way or the other.

I'll take digital over no license at all. I think I have eBooks spread out over six platforms. But, many fans I know refuse to buy any digital copies even DRM-free ones because they love print. They think print gives the proper experience. They take pride in showing off their shelves or getting copies autographed by the artist.

Plus many fans already indulge in pirated digital versions despite questionable quality for free. I also know of aggregator sites and fans that think it's perfectly appropriate to upload official English versions when the print copy may be OOP but, a person could still purchase the digital version.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sakagami Tomoyo



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 559
Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:16 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
Whether you buy digitally or buy a physical copy, both are collectors. Digital buyers do not delete their books after buying them. There is not much price difference between digital and physical anyway.

On the contrary: I value (and trust) digital less than physical. Every form of digital comic I've seen is DRMed and tied to a particular platform. If the platform disappears, or the publisher decides to remove the comic, it's gone. If you actually care about having and keeping a collection, print is the way to go. Besides, there's just something about paper in your hands versus a screen.

As such, what comics I do buy digitally are ones I like enough to want to support but don't value enough to A) take up physical space, and B) be certain I still have in the longer term.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Frenzie



Joined: 08 Sep 2017
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:34 am Reply with quote
Sakagami Tomoyo wrote:

On the contrary: I value (and trust) digital less than physical. Every form of digital comic I've seen is DRMed and tied to a particular platform.

Completely agreed, but I'd like to add that all of the comics I've bought on Humble Bundle are free from any such defects. Though the only real problem is that they're advertising and charging the price for "buying" when it's actually "lending".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
I_Drive_DSM



Joined: 11 Feb 2008
Posts: 19
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:30 am Reply with quote
I've been collecting English translated manga since the days gone by era of printing them like American comics (VIZ, Dark Horse, etc) and remember very well the first few times I walked into my local comic book store and realized there was thing called "Japanese comics". At the time I was very young and didn't put much thought into them being all black and white or having Japanese artists; they all just looked interesting. I still have a lot of those old series; Sanctuary, Outlanders, Tenchi, Ah My Goddess, even the first print run of Evangelion was done in the American comic book format.

At the time it was very difficult to know what exactly was being published unless you had access to each publisher's circulars or were dealing with a publisher who promoted all types of manga (VIZ comes to mind here, as they often would deal and note all manga currently being published and had access to a lot of back issues). I remember eventually I learned of Animerica's publication which would often note currently published manga; you have to know this was mostly long before I had access to anything resembling the internet outside of a library. The whole situation however was fantastic for collectors as each volume would have it's own cover artwork, often being original promotional artwork by the artist (something modern manga frequently lacks), and the multiple volume print runs meant that each volume often didn't cost more than an American comic [$2.50-$3.00].

When TokyoPop (or if you remember their original name MixxZine) began producing "graphic novels" the standard sized $10 a piece format they pushed was great because all of a sudden you had a lot of various manga titles that you could get into, and you were guaranteed to pay only $10 each.

Nowadays the format is starting to push away from any standardization (nothing wrong with that obviously, as books themselves are not "standardized" so to speak) and it's created a pricing structure that's sometimes very strange and I guess plays into what is discussed. Sometimes I'll see very quality print runs but the volumes cost $15-$18. That blew me away when I first started coming across these as at one point the only volumes that pushed that kind of money were omnis-. Conversely it's made it difficult to get into a lot of modern manga due to the massive amount of series published. Where at one point I could go into a local BAM or B&N and spend say $40-$50 and get four to five volumes a week, I'm now looking at maybe getting two to three for that same price range. It's made me become really selective when I buy, and I've actually come to buy a lot of manga used (something I couldn't fathom years ago).

Ultimately I don't know how what I've said relates to the topic but I feel that a lot of modern manga tends to be priced in a structure that lends itself to either go out of print more quickly (if anything due to cost) or be "lost" in just this utterly large sea of titles.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
katscradle



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 336
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:57 am Reply with quote
I_Drive_DSM wrote:
Ultimately I don't know how what I've said relates to the topic but I feel that a lot of modern manga tends to be priced in a structure that lends itself to either go out of print more quickly (if anything due to cost) or be "lost" in just this utterly large sea of titles.


I know what you mean I’ve been amazed at some the licenses in the last say four years. Still, it kind of makes me feel sad that Fantagrahics has released some of Moto Hagio’s work but like prestige projects where they’re hardcover and MSRP for $40 a volume. Otherworld Barbara that was on the cover of TCJ years ago retails at $80 for both volumes. I buy a lot of manga when discounted, club promotions, free shipping when I can but it still adds up. Especially, since I import too. People also expect eBooks to be cheaper than print, however the contracts involved in that can really cut into margins.

That said while Tokyopop did some good and interesting things for the English speaking manga market, their effect and legacy were largely a negative. It’s not all one company’s fault but, I can’t look well on Stu Levy. R-L books, it was much more about saving money. It’s not worth the time to translate sound effects. It saves lots of money using a smaller trim size, cheap paper. $10 a volume is a tough price unless you’re talking about a something selling at the highest numbers.

It meant other companies had to try to compete changing their products and business practices. VIZ at one point dropped MSRP on some titles below $10. You saw publishers start compressing and inverting salaries, lowering page rates for freelancers. So freelancers would need to take on even more work to try and make a living. Or publishers hired fans with basic skills, students and people straight out of college, unpaid interns to do work. Then there was the volume of new titles every month, Tokyopop absolutely flooding the market which had previously been carefully curated. Many mediocre licenses during the manga boom because people were seeing double digit growth. Don’t even let me start on what they did to original Japanese inspired comics and creators. It’s taken years for people to crawl out of that. And there are still predatory companies waiting to use young artists that don’t any know better.

It’s really sad that many people in the North American manga industry have had to take on other jobs or, rely on partners or family and friends to be able to keep working on the comics they have a passion for. It’s why I get very angry when entitled fans start acting like publishers are some evil cooperate conglomerate of people that sold out. Some people can act badly. But the majority are people just like you and me except they’re dealing with all of the business side, some of it they can’t explain.

I’m not sure where I was going with this…
There is a pretty good book called Manga in America by Casey Brienza if anyone wants a window into publishing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 3462
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:15 am Reply with quote
Sakagami Tomoyo wrote:

On the contrary: I value (and trust) digital less than physical. Every form of digital comic I've seen is DRMed and tied to a particular platform. If the platform disappears, or the publisher decides to remove the comic, it's gone. If you actually care about having and keeping a collection, print is the way to go. Besides, there's just something about paper in your hands versus a screen.


It is not a matter of trust, but rather of practical reality. Any long time buyer of hardback books, paperback books, and paper manga will have to determine the answer of storage sooner or later. What good is your private library, if most of your books are boxed up and buried in your garage. I only keep physical copies of favorites, or those I really like, but there are no digital replacements.

Your reasons for paper are quite correct, but the question of storage and how much effort you are willing to put into maintaining and moving your ever growing library will remain.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group