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Hey, Answerman! - Omnibus In Absentia


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Echo_City



Joined: 03 Apr 2011
Posts: 1236

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:44 pm Reply with quote
Would someone kindly explain this pun (from the article) to me?
Quote:
And I can't blame a small publisher like Little, Brown and Company for reading the tea leaves the same way and letting it be. They are, after all, a little brown company.

(I am sorry for that pun.)
The only thing I see in this is something that ANN wouldn't publish... Question Question
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geishageek
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Joined: 28 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:21 pm Reply with quote
That video from The Click was priceless. It is as funny today as it was when you recorded it.
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Spastic Minnow
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Joined: 02 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:47 pm Reply with quote
And before anyone asks... I'm the guy who asked about the audiobooks and it was a brainfart moment when I wrote "visual novels" and VN's in that question instead of "light novels"- I was thinking about the illustrations being a visual aspect of the books and wrote the wrong word down. While I did send an edited follow up that changed this, Brian missed it- but to his credit understood what I was asking anyway.

But part of me still doesn't get it. I just do not see how it couldn't be made affordable. Even if CD audiobooks are falling the way of... CD's, download sites still do some business putting out their stuff. And a company paying some anime voice actor to narrate a book, not having to worry about large casts and having to fit the translation to lips flaps and such, seems like it would be economical as well.
And there is a subset of audiobooks that do slightly better than others- youth targeted audiobooks. Light Novel audiobooks might be targeted at a slightly older audience than the ones for pre-teens but it's still an audience that is more likely to buy audiobooks, keep them and re-listen to them.

Well, if any industry people are reading-- give it try, see what happens.
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Animerican14



Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 915
Location: Saint Louis, MO

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:05 pm Reply with quote
Dude... I could've sworn that I've followed "The Click" since its inception, and I had NO IDEA that you had any videos related to it, nevermind a youtube channel that you were a part of called "happyhourshorts". That video was great, as well as the "Nothing Gonna Break Brian's Stride" video I saw afterward. Laughing I am SO subscribing to that channel, now, even if it doesn't look like there'll anymore videos.
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Redd the Sock



Joined: 20 Aug 2007
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:47 pm Reply with quote
There are a lot of challenges to a good audiobook. The legth alone is pretty prohibitive. The shortest Harry Potter comes in at 7 full CDs (8 hours or so), so even a light novel like Haruhi could (my best guess) take 3 or 4 hours to read aloud (not including retakes). That's a lot of time to pay a single voice actor when you realize that he/she is talking the entire length of a 12 epidose season. And yes, you need a voice actor for this. I've heard several through monotone performances and bad accents that are just unlistenable. A good performance (barring graphic audio's full cast efforts) involves properly performing the work they're reading so that action sounds exciting, scary scenes are sccary, and character voices are distinctive.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea, but I think there's a lot of work behind it that might not be merrited by the sales.


And I'd like to know what's up with those omnibi myself. I don't mind delays, but it's been a long time for what are essentialy reprints. Chalk it up to CLAMP being insane.
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Spastic Minnow
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:39 pm Reply with quote
Redd the Sock wrote:
There are a lot of challenges to a good audiobook. The legth alone is pretty prohibitive. The shortest Harry Potter comes in at 7 full CDs (8 hours or so), so even a light novel like Haruhi could (my best guess) take 3 or 4 hours to read aloud (not including retakes). That's a lot of time to pay a single voice actor when you realize that he/she is talking the entire length of a 12 epidose season.

From wiki (cited source no longer available):
Narrators are usually paid on a finished recorded hour basis, meaning if it took 20 hours to produce a 5 hour book, the narrator is paid for 5 hours, thus providing an incentive not to make mistakes.

Quote:

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea, but I think there's a lot of work behind it that might not be merited by the sales.


The thing is it's all just speculation. I guess companies have considered it and abandoned it. Maybe they figure it would cut into the already small Light novel industry instead of supplementing it, maybe Japanese companies are the problem, asking for separate licensing fees that cut into any profit. Don't know.

I'm thinking the best approach might be to try an exclusive audiobook. produce something only as an audiobook without a print version, see if it can make money on its own without cutting into book sales.
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Anymouse



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 685

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:45 pm Reply with quote
Echo_City wrote:
Would someone kindly explain this pun (from the article) to me?
Quote:
And I can't blame a small publisher like Little, Brown and Company for reading the tea leaves the same way and letting it be. They are, after all, a little brown company.

(I am sorry for that pun.)
The only thing I see in this is something that ANN wouldn't publish... Question Question


I think it is a joke about little brown things being excrement. I have though the same to myself whenever I see
Little, Brown: 2002
on a works cited page.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1386
Location: Sunny California

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:58 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Audiobooks are simply not a format that has weathered the transition to digital media well.


Amazon bought Audible for $300 million. I Also, a lot of libraries are starting to pioneer books for digital downloads. I'm not sure how fast the library downloading has caught on, but it seems like Audible is doing well.
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jennye



Joined: 20 Nov 2009
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:58 pm Reply with quote
My library system has been developing its digital download collection for the last few years and it's really taking off, though I don't know what percentage of our "checkouts" are for e-audio as opposed to pdf type formats. We've also got little checkoutable single-title mp3 players, and they've caught on like crazy. I know traditional CD audiobooks are very expensive to purchase (from $60 to well over $100 for just one title), so I imagine they're not cheap to make, either.

I've only read a very, very few light novels, but I love the idea of drama CDs for popular titles. I always get a little jealous of Japanese readers when favorite manga-ka talk about such projects in their sidebars. Stories I'm missing! The audience may be a lot smaller than for your Grishams and the like, but I still think they'd check out / sell. I just don't know if anybody this side of the pond would be willing to shell out the money to make them.

I do have one Big-O drama CD (it came with the soundtrack for the first series). It sounds fun. But it'd probably be a lot cooler if I could understand Japanese. Hee.

And just as a comment on one of the library manga-purchasing policies mentioned, our system buys a little of everything: kids', teen, and adult titles, including "M"ature-rated ones. We just try to make sure they're shelved in the appropriate department. Razz
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 13305

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:59 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, Dark Horse is pretty awful at making deadlines, but at least they'll be done with the second editions of Oh! My Goddess by next year. Although I guess in their defense on CLAMP, the creators have so many manga titles under their belt that it's probably tough keeping track of reference materials. My question is whatever happened to the RG Veda re-release?
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Optitron



Joined: 10 Jun 2011
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:10 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
So, those eternally-delayed omnibuseses. You're right, none of the reasoning behind their slow crawl to the marketplace really makes any sense when under scrutiny - there's no point in stockpiling them, there's really no financial sense in staggering their releases the way they do, et cetera. So what's going on?

I don't know if it has anything to do with the delays, but I remember reading an article that said that Dark Horse's translation department was down to a skeleton crew of less than ten people. Of course, even if that was the problem, you'd think they'd be able to more accurately predict how it would impact their release schedule.
Quote:
Those Dark Horse omnibus collections are great; the translations are leaps better than they ever were before, and they look and feel wonderful.

Hrm... I really, really hate to sound like the trekkie pointing out the coffee cup in a shot of an alien planet, but there is something I have to say to this. I too have been enjoying the Dark Horse CLAMP reprints, and not because I've needed them, mind you. I bought all of them when Tokyopop released them. My reason for collecting these omnibuses was acquiring the color pages and art prints previously unavailable in earlier english volumes and finally being able to read Card Captor Sakura without Sakura sounding like a valley girl during early volumes of the series...
And that's where the problem arose. While reading through the second CCS omnibus, I noticed a name that shouldn't have been there. Specifically, when Sakura bumps into Shaoran after people start disappearing during the Test of Courage in the cave, he says, and I quote, "Sakura, calm down!". The problem is that he shouldn't have said her name. This may sound like a small quibble, but I argue that it isn't. During another incident later in the same volume Shaoran calls out her name after she seemingly falls to her death, only to be pulled up a moment later by Cerberus (I never understood why he thought she was in danger anyway, since she has a card that allows her to fly). Sakura mentions that it was the first time that Shaoran called her by name and says that it made her feel happy. She then asks if she can call him by his first name, which he agrees to. In the end, the scene goes down as an important milestone in Sakura and Shaoran's relationship (in Japan, people only refer to one another by first name if they are very close friends). This stupid screw-up takes away from the impact of this moment.
And it is a stupid screw-up. I have the regular and deluxe Japanese volumes, and I checked both to see if her name was in that text bubble, and it was not. Unless the mistake was in the original Nakayoshi printing, the name was added unnecessarily and without any thought about the effect it would have on the rest of the book.
This was really disappointing to me, and left me feeling less excited about the remaining omnibus releases. At the very least, as I read them, I'll always be wondering if they added in something else for no apparent reason.

edit: I should add that the volumes do look very nice and my only (very, very minor) complaint about the presentation is that the chapter pages are still black and white, but the color versions are printed in what would be the space between the individual volumes. I assume it must be some kind of production issue, but I wish they could have put the color pages in front of the chapters where they belong.
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Gasero



Joined: 24 Jul 2009
Posts: 553
Location: MI, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:28 pm Reply with quote
I completely agree the the Demon King Daimeo comment.

I wanted so hard to like that show because of its premise, but I couldn't even get past the first episode because of the fan service.
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Redd the Sock



Joined: 20 Aug 2007
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:07 pm Reply with quote
Spastic Minnow wrote:


The thing is it's all just speculation. I guess companies have considered it and abandoned it. Maybe they figure it would cut into the already small Light novel industry instead of supplementing it, maybe Japanese companies are the problem, asking for separate licensing fees that cut into any profit. Don't know.

I'm thinking the best approach might be to try an exclusive audiobook. produce something only as an audiobook without a print version, see if it can make money on its own without cutting into book sales.


Hard to say. I don't know what the demand for audiobooks is. I do know they've never been the largest or most updated section of the bookstore, and while audible has a presence, it isn't a dominering one. The probelm is light novels certainly aren't in large demend. We're pretty much getting Haruhi because it's Haruhi, and little if anything else right now. If you can't sell these things for 6 or 7 dollars printed, you probably aren't going to sell them at a higher cost for audio.
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Asterisk-CGY



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 305

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:14 am Reply with quote
Demon King Daimao was an awesome watch for me. But still flopped for its weaknesess.

For the radio dramas, I would say doing a drama script translation, essentially subbing the dramas, might work. Full dubbing doesn't work since we reuse the same VA's for all anime projects while they get to pick from newcomers to create something that's small and collectible. They just have the manpower to put out additions like this.

And hey, if a full video response doesn't work, you can always just do an animation to your audio response instead and get around the whole using a camera thing.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 12363

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:50 am Reply with quote
Spastic Minnow wrote:
Light Novel audiobooks might be targeted at a slightly older audience than the ones for pre-teens but it's still an audience that is more likely to buy audiobooks, keep them and re-listen to them.


Buy?! We don't buy sound; we just download them! Except in iTunes and physical discs. Laughing

Besides, the NA industry has already tried music CDs - and that flopped. People don't buy CDs anymore. Digital downloads maybe, but only squares pay for those. Razz

As for radio dramas......

Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind we've gone too far


Last edited by enurtsol on Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:59 am; edited 1 time in total
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