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Why Manga Publishing Is Dying (And How It Could Get Better)

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Post #539128 - Reply to (#539127) by iamsoocool

11:52 am, Jan 26 2012
Posts: 22

The problem with manga is that the market for READING material is small since many of today's youth think that reading sucks (who wants to read?). Thus, the market is essentially the non-casual dedicated manga fan. Unfortunately, such a customer is driven to find things out such as scanlations being readily available. As a consequence, the customer has higher anticipation and thrill of reading for the arrival of each manga chapter rather than the arrival of the official trade volume.

The print and video media industries have chosen to fight the scanlators by lobbying for new laws in the USA and they will be getting them. The ACTA Treaty will be signed in Tokyo soon by the EU representatives and after that it will have a discussion period followed by a ratification vote. The preliminary ratification confidence vote by the EU Parliament in nov 2011 had ACTA passing. Perhaps this will get manga fans back to buying official items since ACTA redefines sharing as counterfeiting and gives a hefty criminal record to downloaders and sharers of digital versions.

Despite punishing the customers, the manga companies should set up some easy subscription method with the aforementioned example of as one example.

Post #539129 - Reply to (#539106) by catandmouse
user avatar

12:18 pm, Jan 26 2012
Posts: 131

I hate having this problem. I used to buy a lot of books but after comparing translations...
Now, I only buy the ones I really, really want to keep. For example, I bought a copy of Sugar Milk because I wanted to hold it with my own hands, but if I feel like re-reading it then I'll use the one on my laptop.

Love is so bad.
Post #539130
user avatar

4:53 pm, Jan 26 2012
Posts: 89

A really well-made article. I hope manga artists will check it out.

We deliver perfection and don't brag about it.
Post #539131
Piss Ant

5:12 pm, Jan 26 2012
Posts: 171

And this comes as a surprise? Of course mangakas hate scanlators. Manga is dying and scanlators are partially to blame. Maybe if MF and sites like that would pay publishing companies to host their works they wouldn't be in the shit hole their in today. Sure, the economy is in a slump, but Shounen Jump published a page begging people not to scan their manga, proving that's it's having a significant effect on them.
I don't really care either way, but I'd prefer to have some manga so I'll keep supporting scanlators. I just hate it when they wont admit what they're doing it pirating. Yea, they give a lot of credit to the original artist and such, but people don't really take credit for bootlegged movies saying it's their movie either lol. You don't have to make a profit (in some cases, however, they do) to be considered an internet pirate. You're mixing up pirating with plagiarism or something. Won't matter if SOPA and PIPA(?) get passed anyways.

-No longer do I quote great scholars, the famous, etc. Kids feigning wisdom ruined it.
--I wont type a post like a college report. If you don't read it just for that reason, you don't have to post why your hoity-toity ass refused to. I swear, so many people on this site are so full of themselves. A lot seem to think they always have an "intelligent and/or logical" point or show signs of a superiority complex. They never admit they're wrong. Maybe partially, but excuses abound! :\
-Stop mailing me about my comments. I don't read them.
Post #539132 - Reply to (#539118) by SAimNE
user avatar

6:07 pm, Jan 26 2012
Posts: 37

I also agree that there should be cooperation between scanlators and mangakas (if it's online, leave publishers aside XD). A pay site (not crazy expensive) in all languages as they become available by scanlators. Pay if you want to read the chapter as soon as it comes out and free after a week being up, because they would make manoey out of ads.
You are all talking about publishing in the US, but (besides MU) everywhere I go that is manga related you have people from all over the world reading the scanlations in English, because to be honest, it's the only possible way. If I wanted to buy manga here I would have to go to the capital of my country, where I would find very few titles translated into Spanish by Spaniards, most of the words I would have to look up because I don't know many of the slang they use.
Honestly, internet is the only option for many people out there. If I ordered them online I would have to pay 3 times the money it really costs, not to mention... how could I possibly know that this or that title exist if I hadn't read it before?
If all they want to make more money from us consumers, they should do it smartly and offer realistic, fast options.

Post #539133

7:06 pm, Jan 26 2012
Posts: 1 11-comic-sales-totaled-271.71-billion-yen-in-japan

Post #539134 - Reply to (#539126) by Quantum Mechanic
user avatar
The H Emperor

8:53 am, Jan 27 2012
Posts: 501

Very simple example:
I make a cookie, I decide who to give it to, not you. If you want to decide make your own cookie. So who are you to tell me to make an internet cookie instead of a real cookie?
You don't like people to tell you how to adapt when you don't want to, so why should they?

I don't get how people can't understand that you don't do something to others that you wouldn't want them to do to you...that's how black and white it is^^

You probably don't follow the japanese news but even if you go to animenewsnetwork, you can read how different authors have tried to work with people or just plainly hates people using their titles for pirating cuz that's what scanlation has become. The first group got people like love hina's and black jack's authors, the second got black lagoon's and berserk's authors.

Now coming to license, I'm quite sure that licensing is done when the titles is made and released in the original country. The only license other countries buys is a time period where they are allowed to translate, release and earn money on the title. If the publishers don't like it they can get their license back or stop the license, something Kodansha did when they opened up in usa or when they got tired of Tokyopops shitty work.

Now about mangafox, you won't find naruto, bleach or one piece on mangafox as I remember but I may be wrong. They were "told" to take them off. They are an illegal firm in China...China being the country where lots of copies are made and sold.

Scanlation has become such a big problem that the japanese were one of the first to discuss about ACTA with usa and south korea. Because they can see on the net that stuff is happening to their products, stuff they don't like cuz it affects their economy.^^

PS: I dunno with you, I don't feel any nagging guilt reading scanlations cuz "I'm a poor student and need my 200 titles" and "they could just license it in my country" and "It's normal, right?" wink

Sayori x3
Post #539135 - Reply to (#539133) by Black_noir
user avatar

7:22 pm, Jan 27 2012
Posts: 166

Was going to say something similar. You hit the nail exactly.

Yeah, manga is dying over HERE. People need to realize that it's mostly North America dying in sales.

Over in Japan, it's still one of the biggest markets, and they earn a LOT of money off it.

Japan outsourcing their manga to the rest of the world is just to see if they can earn some extra cash out of it.

What people over here need to realize is that Japan is a different society altogether.

Sure, over here, everybody knows about ripping, and piracy, and etc etc etc. Tons of methods to get stuff for free and whatnot.

Japan? Most of the people there don't even know you can pirate games or use Share to download raws or stuff. Explains why video rental stores still run perfectly fine and people still favour libraries over everything else.

And hell, I'd prefer their society stay that way. It keeps it running stable, not experiencing a lot of the issues we have here now.

Yes, Japan does have its feed of people who throw out stuff illegally for others. It doesn't make a huge dent in a company's profit margin though. And it's not like the police over there are letting it slide entirely, either. Programs like Share just make it difficult for them to track down.

There are video and book stores practically in reach around any block or corner, as long as you're not living in some extremely rural area. The average manga only costs like $8 CAD/USD. It's like a meal or two to them, or a couple hours worth of their paycheck. Really affordable and easy to purchase.

Japan's standard of living is just good enough for most citizens there to afford "wasting" (note quotes) money on manga and anime DVD's and stuff. Over here, everybody keeps having second thoughts about paying for just about ANYTHING really, thinking that it could be a waste.

Founder of Kirei Cake. We're always looking for new members regardless of experience, so if you're interested, seek us out @!
Sayori x3
Post #539136 - Reply to (#539135) by Sayori x3
user avatar

7:37 pm, Jan 27 2012
Posts: 166

I also want to mention that if we're talking about manga publishing over here as an account of, say, American publishers, yes, it is affecting THEIR business. By a lot too.

But do realize that ultimately, American publishers license manga from Japanese publishers specifically because it is a business possibility for them.

And as common economics go, there will be losses, and it is entirely up to the American publishers how they will figure out how to avoid them, or just drop out of the market entirely.

Nothing ever runs perfectly fine for a company. If it did, they would be monopolizing whatever it is they're selling, hands down, no questions asked.

On a consumer-level, yes, if American publishers die, and consumers have for the longest time relied upon these American publishers, they will lose a major source of their reading (if they actually buy the manga).

But as we all know, on a consumer-level, there's a huge 10:1 ratio of those who just read it somewhere for free, compared to those who actually buy the manga. And 10:1 is probably a very conservative ratio.

Ultimately, consumers who actually WANT to buy the manga have no way to avoid a situation like this. It's reality. They will just have to wait it out and see how it turns out in the long run.

Founder of Kirei Cake. We're always looking for new members regardless of experience, so if you're interested, seek us out @!
Post #539137 - Reply to (#539119) by maine12329

10:48 pm, Jan 27 2012
Posts: 389

Well it would be legal plus some good scanlator groups might be hired to keep up with demand and on top of it free manga for all. So basically nothing realy changes except the ad revenue will go to the actual publishers than some middleman and its 100% legal.

Post #539138

12:11 am, Jan 28 2012
Posts: 83

It is cheaper for me to ship a raw volume of manga from Japan than to buy the translated version in North America. Since I can read both Japanese and English and many English translations leave much to be desired, the choice for me is simple: I pay less for a higher quality product.

Post #539139 - Reply to (#539134) by T1
user avatar

1:22 am, Jan 28 2012
Posts: 64

I don't see what the problem is with some mangakas, do they not want for their work to go international?

If they don't, too bad, but they're not getting it. Global is the future and we sure aren't stopping it because of them. Don't want your stuff to go on the internet? You don't want your stuff to be read by anyone, period.

They want a bigger slice of money (which I believe is the true reason behind this)? They're going to have to play ball, that means they HAVE to adapt to what the consumers demand (price, format, etc), down in Japan and out in the rest of the world (US primarily). Else, they don't have grounds to complain.

Don't like what people are doing to your work? Either keep it to yourself or work for an alternative where everybody wins.

ミレニアム・マ スター18
Sayori x3
Post #539140 - Reply to (#539139) by Milleniummaster18
user avatar

1:57 am, Jan 28 2012
Posts: 166

A lot of mangakas precisely do not want their work to go international. They know that their works, or derivations of them, will be on the Internet. It's not rocket science to figure this much out. And for one thing, they're not exactly the ones asking for people to take them off, either. Most of the time it's the companies publishing them that want them off, because it hurts THEIR profit. Not the mangaka's.

As far as the mangaka's concerned, he/she gets paid his/her set paycheck for each chapter they do. That's about it. It's not a stock market to them. They don't get paid more because people like it more, or get paid less because less people like it. If the company wants them to work harder to push out more chapters (due to high popularity in Japan, note, JAPAN), they will do so.

Popularity internationally barely affects any of a Japanese publisher's plans. And mangakas do have a little bit of space to request a larger paycheck, but it's usually very difficult, since many other competing mangakas would be willing to work for less.

You're right. They don't have the grounds to complain. Moreso, even if they did, it wouldn't matter, because Japanese publishers only give them a set pay for each chapter. Demand matters not unless they're moving from, say, monthlies to weeklies. But that's extremely rare, and most mangakas can't even keep up at that pace.

You're being a bit ignorant by telling them to just drop it and suck it up. You don't realize how hard mangakas work just to maintain a solid paycheck. And the earthquakes happening randomly the last little while aren't making life easier for them, either.

Founder of Kirei Cake. We're always looking for new members regardless of experience, so if you're interested, seek us out @!
Sayori x3
Post #539141 - Reply to (#539130) by Ascension
user avatar

1:58 am, Jan 28 2012
Posts: 166

Chances are, they can't actually read English. And chances are, they probably wouldn't ever even see this article over in Japan.

Founder of Kirei Cake. We're always looking for new members regardless of experience, so if you're interested, seek us out @!
Post #539142 - Reply to (#539135) by Sayori x3

4:53 am, Jan 28 2012
Posts: 133

May I add my few cents into this? The average price of a weekly magazine like SJ in Japan is around 480-500 Yen, which is around $6.50 USD. The monthly magazines are even cheaper than that, around 300 Yen or more, which averages to about $3-$5 USD per magazine. I'm sure you people can get an idea of how much more the publishing companies are charging.

Further more, buying those magazines will actually benefit those readers in Japan as they are given a chance to vote for their most loved manga and keep it in the magazine, something that those reading illegally would not get a chance to do. Think of it like the American Idol, you know that it'll cost money to vote for your favorite contestant, yet millions of people still do it because they know that their vote counts. IMO, I feel that that is one of the key reasons why magazine like SJ are still flourishing in Japan.

Simply translating a manga volume few months (or even years) after its Japanese counterpart has been released is no longer enough anymore. Not with the internet around.

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