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Tokyo-Pop

Dear Author

TokyoPop reduces output by 50%

Tokyopop announced that it is spinning out the multimedia arm into a new company, Tokyopop Media LLC. TokyoPop Inc retains control of the publishing arm and will reduce the output to 200-225 titles per year to “allow for less cannibalization at retail.” With the change, 39 positions with Tokyopop are eliminated.

Is this a sign that manga is declining in popularity after years of record output? Or is it a sign of a weaker economy overall? I did read an article the other day that suggested teens were struggling to find employment this summer and that might contribute to softer manga sales.

Source:ICv2.

Dear Author

Yaoi/Manga Publishing Issues: Iris Print and Tokyo Pop

I received two publisher alerts and want to share them with the community. One relates to a Yaoi publisher closing shop and the second is Tokyo Pop’s Manga Pilot draconian contract.

Iris Print:

Iris Print is a Yaoi publisher who apparently closed up shop and failed to tell its authors. Giapet.Net first reported this on May 17:

Something I didn’t mention in my Yaoi Press report was that Yamila Abraham, when asked about publishing yaoi novels as well as comics, said that it tends not to work very well, and pointed to Iris Print as an example- saying that the company has actually closed up shop.

Emails to the owner of Iris Print have seemingly gone unanswered. From an Iris Print author:

Well isn’t that swell? Iris Print closes up shop and doesn’t bother to tell the creators they have under contract. Nice. So what about our books? What about our titles? :/ I don’t know what to say about this, except that I’m truly disappointed. I’m beyond pissed; I wonder though, where is Amazon getting their re-stock if Iris is out of business? What about all those people who paid pre-orders for Queer Magic? It would’ve been nice to know if she was filing for bankruptcy.

Another author hasn’t had her first quarter 2008 sales report even though she’s written 3 times now.

I can’t get through to my publisher. I haven’t heard anything about my first quarter 2008 sales, so I’ve written 3 times now. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not even a “I got your email, am working on it, please be patient.’ Not even bounce messages, so I can only assume my email is getting through and being ignored, or that something very awful has happened to my publisher. I can’t express how frustrating that is. Seriously, any response is better than silence. Even “eff off and die, you annoying author b***h’ would be an improvement. “Nuff said for now, but there may be more on this topic if things don’t improve. -Rebecca Day

Doesn’t sound good. A non responsive publisher is not a good sign.

Toyko Pop

Tokyo Pop has a Manga Pilot Program wherein an aspiring author or an established author can create a 24-to-36 “pilot” of a manga to convince Tokyo Pop that it is worth continuing into a full fledged manga. The contract for the program has the comic world up in arms over this. Some of the terms are draconian and some of them seem very standard to me (i.e., the indemnification clause). What is unusual is that you sign over your rights to the Manga Pilot for a flat fee (no royalties) and only get your rights back if TP rejects you.