Publishers Offer Tips to Retailers on Choosing and Selling Manga
Posted by Brigid Alverson on October 10, 2023 @ 1:21 pm CT
The four panelists were Leyla Aker, Director, Publisher Services at Penguin Random House, who oversees the Square Enix line; Ben Applegate, Director, Publishing Services at Penguin Random House, who oversees Kodansha Comics; Kevin Hamric, Vice President-Publishing for VIZ Media; and Mark De Vera, Sales and Marketing Director at Yen Press.
Book Channel Sales Down from Last Year”). “This is going to be our third best year since BookScan started tracking them,” Hamric said. That applies not only to blockbuster shonen titles such as Chainsaw Man and Jujutsu Kaisen, but also to categories such as romance/fantasy and science fiction, both of which are growing.
That growth is in part due to the increased popularity of anime, and Aker recommended that retailers keep an eye on upcoming anime releases and talk to the publishers’ sales teams about what they see coming up. The panelists pointed out that VIZ and PRHPS have newsletters that can help retailers stay abreast of new titles, and Applegate also recommended the website My Anime List, which lists upcoming anime by season. “You can actually go on there and see which of the new anime have a lot of followers and people who are highly anticipating the next season,” he said, as a way to gauge enthusiasm. And having someone on staff who is passionate about anime and manga, and follows the trends, is also helpful, the panelists agreed.
He also said that manga readers tend to be more loyal their retailers than book purchasers overall, and that direct market shoppers may be more open to different manga. “There are the titles that people want that day because they saw the anime on Crunchyroll,” he said, “and if there are eight volumes out, they want to buy all eight volumes. And if you don't have them, they're gonna walk out the door and buy them somewhere else. But there's a lot of other books out there in the manga category that are not like that. And I think that there are manga readers who come into stores and particularly I think if they're coming into a local a local comic shop, or an indie bookstore, they are very willing to be hand-sold.”
While manga sales may be inching downward, both De Vera and Hamric expressed confidence that they would continue to be strong in the future. “A lot of people who watch it are, of course, manga and anime fans, but a lot of the other people who watch aren't,” De Vera said, “and this is only the first of these highly successful adaptations. I predict that we're going to see more of those, and I think that is what can cause a more mainstream awareness of manga.”
VIZ to Publish Horror Manga & Comics Anthology”]. Is it still manga? Stuff that is coming from Korea or China—is it correct to call it manga? Maybe not, but I think that that casual term is going to be used to refer to comics from Asia and any comics created under the influence of that style.”
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