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My idea of how to solve the 6.6% drop of manga sales

March 17, 2010

I just read on Anime News Network that the sales of manga volumes and magazines dropped by 6.6% in 2009. This is the largest yearly loss in manga history.

So, I thought a bit and I came up with an idea how to solve this problem.

All the manga publishers should unite and build up an online store which sells Japanese mangas worldwide.

To keep the shipping costs down they can collect your orders until – let’s say – month’s end and then ship it all together. They should offer magazine or volume subscriptions where you automatically get the latest manga.

The payment would be made every month for the full price or made for a whole year in advance with about 10% discount. To keep the payment procedure as simply as possible, they’d offer paying via Credit Card or PayPal.

If you got a subscription running, you don’t have to pay extra for the delivery of other mangas you order ‘cause it will be shipped together with your subscribed magazine/ volume.

For their Japanese customers they’d offer a service where they get the manga right at the release date. Like when they come from school totally stressed, they find their favourite magazine or the latest volume of their most favourite series right in the mailbox.

I have to admit that this doesn’t really solve the problem because the Japanese Research Institute for Publications said that the otakus have been keeping their savings and go to manga cafés instead.

So my other suggestion is that the publishers open up an own manga café chain. This would round up their portfolio. Even I thought about opening up a manga café in my hometown. But I realized that you need lots and lots of money to buy all the volumes and that’s the point where the publishers have the advantage. They are the source of these volumes so they can get them for the price the production costs.

And again I have to admit that this idea neither solves the problem. So, what is my solution I wrote about in the headline?

It’s simply: Innovation and quality. Searching for new manga artists and support them. Stop using worn out clichés. Stepping beside the mainstream and creating new standards. Lowering the number of running series and the magazine price, too. Just focus on quality not on quantity. An other possibility is to revive old series and publish them again (like Ahita no Joe or Astro Boy) so that the people who grew up with these series pay for them again (it’s cheaper for the publisher than start releasing a new series and hope for a hype).


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