SUPER HXEROS Creator Ryōma Kitada Shares Detailed Breakdown of His Earnings

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Royalties from physical, e-book sales account for over 60% of income

As a guide for people who want to make a living through art, SUPER HXEROS creator Ryōma Kitada shared a detailed breakdown of his earnings as an artist on his Twitter and pixiv FANBOX accounts on Friday. The guide lays out which forms of income are "time-efficient" and/or "stable" for an artist.

The first graphic details forms of income related to drawing manga. This list includes manuscript commission payment, book royalties, manga awards, and other miscellaneous tasks. Kitada identified royalties as the most time-efficient and stable form of income. For physical books, creators get paid 10% the price of the books at the start of each print run, while with e-books artists get paid a 15% cut of sales each month. Kitada noted that he currently earns more from physical book royalties, but because e-book sales continue after a series has finished serialization, they can have a long tail.

Artists also earn royalties from merchandise, although this tends to be sporadic, and different companies have a stake in the royalties. When an anime is out, the merchandise tends to be based on the anime art rather than the manga art, which means that it's not a particularly reliable form of income for the original artist.

The other main form of income for serializing manga artists is the manuscript commission fees paid by the magazine publisher. Kitada wrote that he has heard that the typical rate for a black-and-white manga manuscript from a new artist tends to be around 7,000 yen (US$66), although in his case it was a little higher. He also noted that color pages tend to be less time-efficient, because they pay around 1.5 times more than black-and-white pages but take over twice as long to draw.

The second graphic describes illustration work, which he sorts into two types: character designs and one-off illustrations. Designing the characters for a light novel can be hard work in the beginning, but if the series continues it gets easier to draw the characters, and the income is stable. Unlike manga, light novels don't pay royalties to the illustrator, but they will receive a separate income if their character designs get adapted into a manga or anime. Kitada has not personally been involved in much video game character design work, but he has heard that with popular game series, artists can be put on a special contract and earn a regular income this way.

As for one-off illustrations, these are often drawn for posters, advertisements, and other promotional purposes. Kitada remarked that for him it's easier to draw another artist's characters for a promotion than to design an original character, which is why he deems the former more time-effective.

The third graphic addresses doujin activities. Artists can sell their own art independently at doujinshi events such as Comiket (relatively reliable for a popular artist) or through mail order (sporadic sales but a reliable form of passive income over time). They can also sign up for patron services such as pixiv FANBOX, Fantia, and Patreon, or an art commission service like Skeb, which provide a means for fans to directly finance an artist's activities. These services allow artists to set their own terms with regards to the content they produce for the fans.

The final graphic is a pie chart showing the proportion of income earned from each activity. 38% comes from physical book royalties, 25% comes from e-book royalties, 20% comes from black-and-white manuscript commission fees, and 17% comes from other activities. Note that the graphic deliberately omits any income related to anime work, instead focusing on his base income as a manga artist drawing a monthly serialization.

Kitada launched the SUPER HXEROS (Dokyū Hentai HxEros) manga in Shueisha's Jump SQ. magazine in April 2017. Seven Seas Entertainment has licensed the manga and will release the first volume in February 2021. A television anime premiered on July 3.

Disclosure: The author of this article has donated to Kitada's pixiv FANBOX account.

Source: Ryōma Kitada's Twitter account

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