First and foremost: excuse me for my bad English, I'm working on it >_<
I want to start a project that let Japanese publishers and scanlators work harmoniously, so that manga can thrive even more! Users will pay a small amount that will be shared between the copyright owner, the scangroup and my site, sustaining the economic of the manga industry. If you like this kind of reality, please give me your support, it is the only way to accomplish it!
- Do you really think publishers will even talk to you? lol
No, I don't xD That's why the scangroup & the community's support is super important to make this real. I'm confident that with my plan and the might of the community, we will overwhelm even the ivory towers of big publishers such as Kodansha! I will also institute a company and hire a professional translator before going to them.
- You aren't the first one trying to do it, why should you succeed where others failed?
Because I learn from the errors of others. I've researched and studied the previous attempts, namely: JManga, MangaHelper and MangaReborn. There's also the Digital Manga Guild, but it's business model is awful, expect for the crowdfunding part. I know also a new guy, Rakuten Manga, but again, I don't think any scangroup sane of mind will chain themselves to it.
JManga: they got right the company thing and had people already deep in the business, but even if they got 36 publishers right from the start, they failed nonetheless. Why that? I think the first error was the price too high, next the inability to legitimately download what you bought + limited accessibility (online reader and android app only) and last but not least, they haven't keep the initial promises.
MangaHelper: awful execution. They lose on both fronts: publishers & community. Publishers repel them because they were "pirates", while they backstabbed the community and lose the majority of its support.
MangaReborn: another poor execution. From what I know, they haven't sought the community's favor and the business model regarding translator isn't clear at all.
And there is also a common error for them all: they tried to distort scanlation. From what I know, all of the above consider the figure of "translator" and not "scangroup", plus they were seen more like a bunch of freelancer to hire instead of important collaborators. That's the main difference.
I'm here exactly because I fully understand the importance of community and that's why I want to tailor made the project around it.
- Why should they give precious licenses to a bunch of pirates?
First: I will require only non-exclusive licenses for digital distribution, so that others companies can distribute the manga too; they will have nothing to lose.
Second and most important: because this "bunch of pirates" had demonstrated in all this years that they can keep up with Japan's releases more efficiently than the legal counterpart. Peek a manga you like and find the last volume available on Viz, then find the last one released in Japan. More often than not, Viz will be behind by a lot! You should also consider censures... *grr*
Many groups produce high quality translations too and work hard to convey what the author meant. You know why? Because they are passionate in what they do! Passion is the best engine ever, but it is easily spoiled too. That's why if we want a sustainable system, we must provide the correct environment to let passion thrive. The only way I see is total freedom and I will wrestle hard with publishers to let them recognize it!
- What's about users? Why would they buy it when they can just download for free?
There's a lot of users who follow scanlation not because it is free, but because they are passionate too and want to stay up to date. This people will more gladly use a legal service to help mangaka and the industry keep running. If we can help scangroups too, it's even better! I know because I'm one of them.
I'm also inspired by Steam for the business model. I want to make the service widely accessible and better than the free counterparts, with a better reader and flow. I want also to engage users, with something like achievements, events, etc... The overall experience will be better, so I think that many users will prefer to use it.
I will battle piracy in a subtle way: rendering it useless! I know it will not be erased, but I think there will be a big change
5 PiracyFighting Lessons From Steam for All Content Creators
- What's about Quality Assurance?
Yes, I'm a perfectionist and love quality over quantity. There will be a system of QA. My company will have a team of professional translators for each language and before the scangroups can join the platform, they will have to do a test. If I'll have enough resources, the QA team will also revision at least the first 3 chaps and if they are all good, then the scangroups can freely publish. If there will not be enough resources, than this process will be applied for the big hits or when there is more than one scangroups who want to translate the same manga.
However the most important sentinel will be the user himself. Users will have the ability to report bad translations (eg: some phrases isn't clear or there are typos) and if a scangroup accumulate a bunch of them, the QA team will check and eventually suspend it.
- This is impossible. What happens when you fail?
You are right, chances are grim and it will probably fails. However I'm trying to limit the damage as much as possible and I think I've done a good job, because the only one who will lose something will be me. Exactly, me and me alone. I will never ask for moneys (except on kickstarter, of course) nor signs on contracts, the only thing I want from the community is its genuine supports! If the project start, then it will surely be a success, you can rest assured by then.
I will invest my own money and all myself on this project; I will also resign from my job to work on it full-time after I get enough supports. All of this can sound crazy, but it is a proof I'm fully committed to make it real.
- Ok, but publishers aren't interested in the international market
This isn't true anymore. In the last few years they have been more and more interested in the global market, we have a bunch of proofs, such as the simul-pub on ChruncyRoll and the institution of Kodansha USA Publishing. Time changes everything and this is the best moment to try a project like this!
- They will never do a deal with pirates!
That's why a middleman like my company is required. I have clean records and trying right now to plant my roots in the community. This will make me the perfect bridge for this kind of deal, because the two partners will have to communicate only with me. I will be the guarantor for both of them and hence harmony will arise.
- What languages will be available?
Only English initially, but then all the ones that have a community big enough to sustain it. I wish to bring in Italian, France, Spanish, German and Russian.
- What kind of manga will you publish?
I will try to acquire licenses for any manga which scangroups are interested in. There's no point in licensing something nobody want to work on and vice versa xD
- This aim only to manga?
Yes, but only initially. When this start and I'll have enough resources, I'll move for manhwa and manha too.
- Who are you?
I'm a 26 and a fullstack web developer other than a manga lover. I will work hard to gain your trust, just give me sometime!
- How does it work?
The flow is like this:
- The publisher upload an HQ version of last manga's chap
- If you are translating it, you will be notified
- Download the chap and do your magic
- Publish it on the platform
- An user buy it and your group will receive a share
- Will you expose us to publishers?
Absolutely not! I will not expose scangroups to anyone. I usually don't talk of which scangroup accepted even with the others scangroups. The only thing publishers will know is the number: how many of you are backing me. If they want a proof, I will send them a 3 scans sample for each group, and each one of them will choose which page to send, so it can also be totally unrelated to their past works. This will come in hand if they want to assert the quality too.
If the proof will not suffice, then the deal just fails.
- Hey, are you trying to dismember my group?
Hell no! This project focus on scangroups, you will have your personal page with all your releases, who are the members, etc... After the launch, a mini-blog will be implemented to let you post directly there and interact with your fanbase more easily. Users will always know who translated which chapter ^^
- Sorry, but I don't like to work with others
No problem! The system is devised with each scangroup working on its own. A Manga can be translated by many groups and I don't mean a joint This can seems like a waste of resources, but I don't think so. Each group's translation is unique, maybe you catch an hint that someone else overlooked, so it's uncommon two translations will be the same. I also think a little bit of competition is good and will help the overall quality to raise ^^
- For me this is just an hobby, I don't want to be "hired" nor obligations!
Yes, I know it very well. This is the biggest difference with all the previous failed projects: scangroups will have total freedom and can continue to do this as an hobby. You will decide what manga to translate, what program to use, when you'll do it, etc... Joining the project will be free and you will not have deadlines, nor minimum sales.
There's no big difference from what you are used to, except now it will be legal and you can choose only the manga in the catalog, but I will work very hard to give you all the manga you want to work on
Even if you grow tired for some reasons, you just stop publishing new chaps and that's it. You will still continue to earn from your past works even when inactive
- I don't think is ethical to take money for an hobby... / I'm scared money will ruin my group...
I totally respect this! That's why, if you don't want to accept money, you can devolve your share directly to the mangaka. Please note, the mangaka and not the publisher. It will be something like a donation and he/she will be notified of your generosity ^^
- Ok, we could be interested, what we have to do?
Not much! Just contact me privately or say your support in this topic ^^ I will ask you to give me some direct contact, possibly an e-mail (it haven't to be your personal, just one you check regularly). I will update you when there's some big news on the project and when the time will come, I'll ask you to give me a list of manga you already translated or would like to and possibly the 3 samples ^^
Last edited by iazeru at 12:58 am, Jun 8 2016