Digital Manga Publishing to Take a Hiatus on Print Editions

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.

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Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

4 Comments

  1. Rashkae15 November, 2012

    Of all the manga fans I know, I can’t think of a single one who is not already vested in CBZ. Why anyone would even try to make a dent in that market using some other format/system boggles my mind. (Admitedly, I thought the same thing about MP3 before apple proved me wrong, but I don’t think even Amazon has a plaform that can replicate that feat.)

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder15 November, 2012

      The major platforms moved away from CBZ because it is unsophisticated. It is simply a ZIP (or RAR in the case of CBR) file full of page images. That qualifies as a digital comic about as much as a text file would meet the definition of being an ebook.

      The new formats try to add useful features like directed viewing, smarter panel layout, and more. I would think that these types of features are going to be needed in order to tempt more readers away from paper.

      I myself am waiting for the format situation to settle. I don’t want to buy comics which cannot be transferred elsewhere.

      Reply
      1. Rashkae15 November, 2012

        You’re right that’s a simple format, but a very functional one.. Combined with a touch interface (pince zoom and smooth panning,) I think it holds it’s own very well against attempts to modernize with proprietary features. The major paltforms didn’t move away from CBZ, they never adopted it, since it’s drm free and and the realm of those evil pirates.

        Reply
  2. Tyler15 November, 2012

    I think the problem is over saturation of the market as far as paper back mangas are concerned. There is just so many of them and trying to buy them all costs a fortune. Also American audiences may be moving away from them compared to the past five years.

    Reply

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