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NEWS: Manga Reading Site JManga to End Service in May


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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2149
Location: San Antonio, USA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:06 am Reply with quote
reanimator wrote:
Being a regular J-Manga subscriber, I'm really shocked by the announcement. I have purchased 41 volumes of various manga for an average of 500 points or $5 each. Pulling the plug like that is not fair, especially I've spent average of $5 for each volume. $5 is about the price for a print manga in Japan. I don't mind DRM, but people spent way too much for each manga volume in digital format. Download would be nice. If not, transfer to other e-book sellers like Amazon is also a great option.

I don't want to speculate too much about the business side like other fans, but J-Manga should state why they're pulling the plug. Is it because western fans are too cheap? Is it because some of them trying to pirate? Or is J-Manga has been losing money since the beginning? Whatever the reason, they should make a valid statement.

Dear ANN, please set up an interview with that J-Manga translator.

I'm sure your ~$200 and the other $200s from the ~500 hardcore jmanga supporters paid for all of 2 months of operating expenses for them.
I don't know why people are asking "why" they shutdown, it should be obvious considering the empirical evidence: They weren't making any money.
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tuxedocat



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 2183
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:06 am Reply with quote
JManga on twitter:

Quote:
We at @JManga_official thank everyone for supporting us since launch. We regret that we lack the revenue to continue as a business.


and

Quote:
If you have questions for us, email [email protected] It's been an honor serving you, and we hope you continue to support #manga!


Crying or Very sad
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2149
Location: San Antonio, USA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:08 am Reply with quote
tuxedocat wrote:
JManga on twitter:

Quote:
We at @JManga_official thank everyone for supporting us since launch. We regret that we lack the revenue to continue as a business.


and

Quote:
If you have questions for us, email [email protected] It's been an honor serving you, and we hope you continue to support #manga!


Crying or Very sad

And it seems my comment above was unnecessary... Glad they commented on it officially.
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invalidname
Contributor



Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 2177
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:08 am Reply with quote
So what are the odds that manga publishers now turn to the big guys in eBooks - Kindle, iBooks, etc. - as a digital publishing option?

On the one hand, Apple and Amazon aren't going away anytime soon.

On the other hand, Apple and Amazon drive a very hard bargain, and the Japanese media companies share that Hollywood mindset of "we'd rather make nothing than not enough."
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PrimalX3



Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Posts: 104
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:38 am Reply with quote
I too had invested in Jmanga and had volumes in there. So I know lose the online collection I bought the moment they disappear. Mad The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer is such a good series too. They were at volume 5, with 5 more to go.

I think the answer would have been to use Serial Codes like they do with Windows programs or Blizzard PC games. Either per volume or per series. That way, once you buy it online, you can download it to your computer to own it.

This way, even if you store the file in an external hardrive and your computer gets wiped, as long as you have the serial code, you should be able to read it offline.
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Vertical_Ed
Company Representative


Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 278
Location: New York, NY
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:46 pm Reply with quote
agila61 wrote:
Vertical_Ed wrote:

Against what base? List? Gross?

List for Saturn Apts paper is $12, 15% of which would be $1.80, List for the Saturn Apts Nook Comic is $6, 45% of which would be $2.70. Of course if its list, and if the ebook distributor were to take a 30% cut, with the ebook that would only leave $1.50 for everything else.


Generally speaking for manga royalties MSRP. There are exceptions, but in Vertical's case those exceptions are when we work directly with the author.

Quote:
Quote:
And manga eBooks also have advance costs. These costs have dropped, if bundled with the print version.

If this is in addition to the overheads that can be pooled between print and ebook, its yet more inducement to refrain from ebook-only distribution.


Exactly. eBook only has all the original overhead (translation, lettering, advances), higher royalties and then their is distribution which is 10% to 50% based on the service IE Comixology asks for 50%, Amazon takes 30% if you work direct, if you work with a distributor like MacMillan or HarperCollins the distrib takes 10% and the vendor gets wholesale prices, Apple takes 30% off all in App transactions...

It's slim pickings.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:11 pm Reply with quote
Vertical_Ed wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
And manga eBooks also have advance costs. These costs have dropped, if bundled with the print version.

If this is in addition to the overheads that can be pooled between print and ebook, its yet more inducement to refrain from ebook-only distribution.

Exactly. eBook only has all the original overhead (translation, lettering, advances), higher royalties and then their is distribution which is 10% to 50% based on the service IE Comixology asks for 50%, Amazon takes 30% if you work direct, if you work with a distributor like MacMillan or HarperCollins the distrib takes 10% and the vendor gets wholesale prices, Apple takes 30% off all in App transactions...

It's slim pickings.

Yes, AFAIR B&N Nook books are a 30% distributors cut at the mainstream price points, substantially higher than that at the $1-$3 price points.

Which is part of the impetus to online for those kind of titles (such as many of the yuri titles on JManga) where the prospective sales make a print run a dubious proposition: cutting out the middleman slices.

JManga did several of the things necessary to make that kind of system work, but of course ALL of the necessary pieces have to be working for the system to have a chance of success ~ and they never did get all of the pieces working.
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littlegreenwolf



Joined: 10 Aug 2002
Posts: 4792
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:22 pm Reply with quote
Part of me is happy because now they'll stop getting the English rights to series I really rather have seen in print, and I am outright against buying something in digital only format for reasons that now seem justified with JManga's shut down. It's reinforcing in my head that digital only formats are a huge waste of money and you can lose them at any time. I'll always prefer owning a physical copy.

But most I'm mourning over the loss of a legal alternative to scanlations and provider of niche, obscure titles. Now I'll never get to buy a physical copy of that final volume of Good Witch of the West, or the Mythical Detective Loki.

Good thing I at least have the Japanese versions imported.
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1654
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:40 pm Reply with quote
littlegreenwolf wrote:
Part of me is happy because now they'll stop getting the English rights to series I really rather have seen in print


Print rights are separate from digital rights. See Girl Friends as an example.
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BonnKansan



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:06 pm Reply with quote
There's a couple large reasons I can see why Crunchyroll has survived and JManga hasn't. There were many many other issues, but I think these were the big ones that really kept it from being able to keep going.

1) Manga just plain costs more to translate than anime. English anime subtitling has just translation as the very highly labor-intensive step. English manga localization also has lettering, which takes similar effort and time as the translation and also requires a specialist if you want it done well. For it to be profitable, they'd need to charge a lot more than the original cost of the Japanese volume. Discounted prices would require a lot more buyers for it to work out. It's all about economy of scale, which they didn't have in their favor as illustrated in point 2).

2) Crunchyroll has Naruto. Sure, they also aim to allow us to see quirky shows that normally wouldn't get a release, but they also were able to get some super-popular shows, which attracts more members and subscribers and allows them to afford the quirky titles. The closest thing JManga had to a tentpole title was SoreMachi, which is awesome but not enough to draw a huge crowd of buyers. They needed at least a few huge mass-appeal series, but either wouldn't or couldn't get them from the publishers they had actively on board with them.

I loved the books I worked on for them, and thanks to JM7 I discovered some great series I wouldn't have considered from a single chapter, so I'm sad to see them go. At least they tried all sorts of things within the limits imposed on them, so they'll have some useful data on what does and doesn't help in this business.
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tuxedocat



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 2183
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:42 pm Reply with quote
littlegreenwolf wrote:
Now I'll never get to buy a physical copy of that final volume of Good Witch of the West, or the Mythical Detective Loki.

Good thing I at least have the Japanese versions imported.


For me, its those and TACTICS!! They left off at volume 12, which ends right before the BIG boss fight. arrrrghh! Mad
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PockyCrusader



Joined: 18 Dec 2011
Posts: 18
PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:10 pm Reply with quote
I'm rather upset about this. I was so optimistic when they announced last year that they got all of Kodansha's old Del-Rey titles and were going to start putting them out because it meant I might get the rest of Princess Resurrection and Pumpkin Scissors, but then they just never did anything with most of the titles they rescued. I didn't want to purchase the first five volumes of PS because I already had them in physical print, but I guess because people weren't buying the digital copies of what they had already put out, they didn't think anyone wanted updates.

Some great titles are lost, though, like Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer and Soremachi. I loved PoyoPoyo after watching it on Crunchyroll and would love to add it to my physical book collection alongside Chi's Sweet Home, but I don't think that any publisher is going to rescue (or in some cases, re-rescue) any of JManga's titles because none of them were sure-fire best-sellers.
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reanimator





PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:26 am Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:
reanimator wrote:
Being a regular J-Manga subscriber, I'm really shocked by the announcement. I have purchased 41 volumes of various manga for an average of 500 points or $5 each. Pulling the plug like that is not fair, especially I've spent average of $5 for each volume. $5 is about the price for a print manga in Japan. I don't mind DRM, but people spent way too much for each manga volume in digital format. Download would be nice. If not, transfer to other e-book sellers like Amazon is also a great option.

I don't want to speculate too much about the business side like other fans, but J-Manga should state why they're pulling the plug. Is it because western fans are too cheap? Is it because some of them trying to pirate? Or is J-Manga has been losing money since the beginning? Whatever the reason, they should make a valid statement.

Dear ANN, please set up an interview with that J-Manga translator.

I'm sure your ~$200 and the other $200s from the ~500 hardcore jmanga supporters paid for all of 2 months of operating expenses for them.
I don't know why people are asking "why" they shutdown, it should be obvious considering the empirical evidence: They weren't making any money.


You're right. Honestly I had no idea it would cost that much to run the business.

I think people are asking "why" question because people weren't prepared for sudden closure notice when the site was releasing new titles pretty regularly along with possible e-book app.
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Peebs



Joined: 07 Dec 2005
Posts: 380
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:11 am Reply with quote
Polycell wrote:
Peebs wrote:
I want to know what happened, though. They're not saying how the refund is being computed. Are they saying that a point is worth a dollar? It better because that's what my subscription was paying which probably (it better) means that I'll get an Amazon gift card for about $160.
Actually, they do list that information on their site:
JManga.com Retail/Viewing Service Termination and Refund Notice wrote:
2.) Refunds

All JManga Members will be issued Amazon Gift Cards for use on Amazon.com as a substitute for the amount of unused JManga Paid Points
(*1) possessed at March 13th 2013 at 11:59pm.

Details:
Points Applicable for Refund: Unused JManga Paid Points (*1) possessed at March 13th 2013 at 11:59pm

Refund Distribution: Amazon Gift Cards will be emailed to applicable users at the email address registered with their JManga account.
*Regarding email address changes, please see "Receiving your Amazon Gift Card" below.

Amazon Gift Card Distribution Schedule: March 21st 2013 to March 25th 2013 (US Pacific Time)

Refund Amount: Please refer to the Paid Points displayed on "My Page" (Note: Points are not displayed on the mobile website). Refunds will be rounded up to the nearest dollar amount.

(*1) "JManga Paid Points" refers to points actually purchased by users, NOT including "Bonus Points" acquired through Point Back and/or Gift Code promotions or "Bonus Points" allotted to Monthly Point Plan users.

Details:
Points Applicable for Refund: Unused JManga Paid Points (*1) possessed at March 13th 2013 at 11:59pm

Refund Distribution: Amazon Gift Cards will be emailed to applicable users at the email address registered with their JManga account.
*Regarding email address changes, please see "Receiving your Amazon Gift Card" below.

Amazon Gift Card Distribution Schedule: March 21st 2013 to March 25th 2013 (US Pacific Time)
Refund Amount: Please refer to the Paid Points displayed on "My Page" (Note: Points are not displayed on the mobile website). Refunds will be rounded up to the nearest dollar amount.

(*1) "JManga Paid Points" refers to points actually purchased by users, NOT including "Bonus Points" acquired through Point Back and/or Gift Code promotions or "Bonus Points" allotted to Monthly Point Plan users.
In other words, if you have, say, 102 points remaining, you'll get a $2 gift card.


I'm sorry. I fail to see where they're computing the points. All they're saying is, "look at your My Page and you'll see how much you're getting back." I have 20,950 point with 4,007 being bonus points so those don't count. Points I actually paid for are 16,943. So am I getting $16 or $169? They're not being clear and once those gift certificates are sent out, we can't complain. I paid a dollar per point. I should get a dollar per point back. Knowing how the universe works, though, I will probably get $16 in the mail.
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pirkit



Joined: 28 Dec 2012
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:09 am Reply with quote
I thought one point equalled 1 cent. Peebs if you had 16,943 points it seems that you would get $170 back because of the rounding up.
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