The leading US republisher of manga comics surprised me with some news last night. They announced on their blog that they’re going to pause their printing schedule for 6 to 7 months:
Today we would like to announce that effective January 1st 2013, the print editions for our DMP, June Manga, DokiDoki and 801Media imprints will be placed on a temporary hiatus. Please be advised that none of our licenses are cancelled, simply postponed. We will be resuming the distribution of our print editions in June, 2013. This hiatus will allow us to coordinate our production schedule for 2013 and temporarily shift our focus to our digital publications.
They have not given a specific reason, but I think I can guess why. DMP has been publishing digital manga for some years now. They’ve been doing it so long that they actually predate the comics-friendly fixed layout formats which Amazon, Apple, and B&N have developed for their platforms. It would not surprise me to learn that DMP is planning to update their processes to include making higher quality ebooks in the newer formats.
In other news, they have also announced that they are cutting back on reprinting out of print titles. “As we continue our transition to a more digitally driven business, Digital Manga, Inc. will only perform limited printing of all of our future yaoi titles and cease from restocking printed versions of the titles that have already been released.”
I checked, and a fair number of the titles which are going to be delayed next year aren’t available in the Kindle or other ebookstores – not yet, anyway. Hopefully the hiatus will enable DMP to start releasing them in digital form.