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NEWS: ALC Publishing Founder: No Plans to Publish Anything New


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BlaqNumbr9



Joined: 28 Mar 2005
Posts: 155
Location: Bowing before the Master...
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:18 pm Reply with quote
I'm very sorry to hear about this.
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simona.com



Joined: 20 Apr 2007
Posts: 204
Location: Tokyo
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:30 pm Reply with quote
it was great to work with Erica on Hanjuku Joshi and Gokujo Drops #2 and #3. it's such a shame. I really hope she comes back to publishing eventually. though we still have Okazu, thankfully!
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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Location: IL
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:50 pm Reply with quote
Not all that surprising. I just can't see digital manga being able to supplant printed manga. But then again, I can't see printed yuri manga ever doing well enough to be financially viable here either.
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
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Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:00 pm Reply with quote
As someone who enjoys reading her tweets and also her blog now and then, I have sympathy for her not being able to find financial success.

As a self-proclaimed physical media luddite, though, I can only hope that the rights to Yuru Yuri will go to someone who can afford print because I have no interest in digital.
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VORTIA
Otaku ExtraordinaireOtaku Extraordinaire


Joined: 26 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:04 pm Reply with quote
Agreed. I'd buy Yuru Yuri in a heartbeat in print. Digitally, it's just not very desirable for me...
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:42 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
Not all that surprising. I just can't see digital manga being able to supplant printed manga.


Not if it's being done the way Jmanga did it: a confusing system that made you buy points with which to buy manga -- and the points come in blocks, so you can't just purchase enough to cover the manga you want to read and you always end up with 216 extra points that you can't do anything with; no ability to download content, which scared off anybody with sense; no way to organize your library and separate the stuff you haven't read from what you have; limited support for portable devices; and a catalogue of titles with limited appeal to the general manga-reading audience. Really, to look at Jmanga's failure and conclude that there's no market for digital manga is shortsighted. Someone starts selling the stuff in CBR files that will work in any of the common digital comic apps, and digital will take off.
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Levitz9



Joined: 06 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:02 pm Reply with quote
I'm sad to see this happen. I've always respected Friedman for her passion towards the yuri genre, and I was quite surprised (and pleased) to see her credited as a special consultant in the U.S. release of Simoun.

I hope ALC can pick itself up from all of this.
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Polycell



Joined: 16 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:06 pm Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
Megiddo wrote:
Not all that surprising. I just can't see digital manga being able to supplant printed manga.


Not if it's being done the way Jmanga did it: a confusing system that made you buy points with which to buy manga -- and the points come in blocks, so you can't just purchase enough to cover the manga you want to read and you always end up with 216 extra points that you can't do anything with; no ability to download content, which scared off anybody with sense; no way to organize your library and separate the stuff you haven't read from what you have; limited support for portable devices; and a catalogue of titles with limited appeal to the general manga-reading audience. Really, to look at Jmanga's failure and conclude that there's no market for digital manga is shortsighted. Someone starts selling the stuff in CBR files that will work in any of the common digital comic apps, and digital will take off.
The indirection was definitely pointless as they first implemented it, as was requiring an active subscription to purchase manga, but they later fixed both(removing the requirement, allowing you to purchase points as needed(though I never tried that out) and granting bonus points for subscribing); about the only change left to make to that model would be to openly price things in USD and directly hit your card without any blathering about points if you didn't have any(ie, making them strictly a way to give out bonus points).

JManga's real failure was its inability to overcome its terrible first impression; had it launched with the business model it had at the end, it may well have survived. The biggest tweaks I can think of would be to have had JManga7 be part of the main site and making the purchase of individual manga chapters not completely pointless.
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Ryu Shoji



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:13 pm Reply with quote
Digital manga could work, just not with JManga's model. Download to own should be the most obvious thing, as well as iOS and Android support from the getgo.

I do hope that the rights to Yuru Yuri get transferred to another company who might release it physically.
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 3213
Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:24 pm Reply with quote
NB. ALC also republished Tokyo Love, aka Rica ‘tte Kanji!?, in ebook form, as a DRM-free epub, either with or without the additional 18+ chapters from Yuri Monogotari nos. 1 and 2, and as a Kindle book (in the "library" edition without the additional 18+ content).

So for people rehashing their JManga "DRM!" "online only" arguments from the JManga closure, its not as if ALC did not try DRM-free digital downloads at a $6 price point.

Polycell wrote:
... about the only change left to make to that model would be to openly price things in USD and directly hit your card without any blathering about points if you didn't have any(ie, making them strictly a way to give out bonus points).

Yes, if chapters had been available at a third of the equivalent volume price for a 1wk rental, with credit toward a later volume "purchase", that could have been a bridge between the JManga7 model of "all you can eat" for recently released chapters, and the JManga indefinite term lease of access.

I think the reason points work better in Japan is that at one point for one yen, the points "price" looks exactly like a price in yen. For dollars, its missing the decimal point. Any reboot would make more sense working in dollars and cents and having the account "loaded" with dollars in, eg, $5 and $10 increments to keep the transaction costs down.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1695
Location: North Brunswick, New Jersey
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:35 pm Reply with quote
Polycell wrote:
JManga's real failure was its inability to overcome its terrible first impression; had it launched with the business model it had at the end, it may well have survived. The biggest tweaks I can think of would be to have had JManga7 be part of the main site and making the purchase of individual manga chapters not completely pointless.


Maybe not, because Erica revealed via the comments on this blog post that JManga's absolute best sellers only did around "a couple hundred". Would a better first impression have helped? Yeah, sure, but I doubt it would have increased sales enough in the end.

It's unfortunate to hear that she's giving up the fight (for the moment, at least), but I can only guess that it's tough to try to sell a niche genre to an already niche market.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9295
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:30 pm Reply with quote
Ryu Shoji wrote:
Digital manga could work, just not with JManga's model. Download to own should be the most obvious thing, as well as iOS and Android support from the getgo.

I do hope that the rights to Yuru Yuri get transferred to another company who might release it physically.


All-you-can-read on a monthly subscription works too, but that goes with needing a massive library of new material. Having to buy individual pieces one at a time makes you more conscious of your spending when things aren't $0.99 like iTunes songs or take a good amount of time investment like e-books.
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The Mad Manga Massacre



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:58 pm Reply with quote
Question: What will become of ALC Publishing now?
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agila61



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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Location: NE Ohio
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:45 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
All-you-can-read on a monthly subscription works too, but that goes with needing a massive library of new material.

We know there is some "massive library" of new chapters per week where the subscription plan is as successful as Crunchyroll in anime. There is some small trickle that is obviously not going to launch.

A real world effort to get a monthly subscription service going would be starting somewhere in the murky in-between.

Quote:
Having to buy individual pieces one at a time makes you more conscious of your spending when things aren't $0.99 like iTunes songs or take a good amount of time investment like e-books.

Yes. Now suppose it was one week rental by chapters at the equivalent of $3/volume to non subscribers, $2 for subscribers. For my Morita-san wa Mukuchi, with 4 chapters per volume, that would be $0.75 per chapter for non-subscribers, $0.50 per chapter for subscribers.

Of course, for such a hypothetical online manga access reboot, they'd also have to get the app support working well from quite close to the outset. And also have to have some tentpole titles that are not already covered by Viz's Shonen Jump Weekly or by YenPlus.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13706
PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:10 pm Reply with quote
The Mad Manga Massacre wrote:
Question: What will become of ALC Publishing now?


  • "This is not to say I’m giving up loving Yuri. I‘m merely giving up trying to create a sustainable Yuri market here in the the US."

Gone.
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