Mon, 16 January 2012
The Kickstarter page for Tezuka's Barbara
Lissa's thoughts on DMP using Kickstarter at Kuriousity
Alex's response to Lissa at Manga Widget
Johanna's thoughts on the DMP using Kickstarter at Comics Worth Reading
Johanna's post about Alex De Campi's book funded through Kickstarter and changes to the creative team
DMP Books website
You can follow us on twitter, Johanna is @johannadc, Lissa is @kuriousity, Alex is @mangawidget, Ben is @benapplegate, DMP books is @digitalmanga, and I'm @edsizemore.
Manga Out Loud logo is provided by Lissa Pattillo.
In part of the concerns with this approach, it seems that the concerns are trying to live in two different worlds at once. On the one hand, it is noted, correctly, that the Kickstarter approach shifts risk from the publisher to the potential customers. But then on the other hand, there is the specter of publishers basically trying to do this with everything and in the end there is no more manga published than before. But the two concerns do not fit in the same universe. If "there is no more manga published than before" that implies that the shift in risk never happened. Because if there are is the same market with the same demand but there is a way to tap that market with less risk on the part of publishers, then what were marginal projects before become more profitable and what were beyond the margin projects before become the marginal projects. Doing things that each firm ends up having to do because the other firms are doing it, but the whole industry would be better off not doing it: that is not unique to the comics industry. That is common to competitive markets. That is how, for example, the Dust Bowl in the Great Plains happened: farmers "plowing fencepost to fencepost" without rotation because the competition of others were pushing prices down and forcing them to, ending up creating a calamity that drove millions of farms into bankruptcy. But the Kickstarter thing does not appear to be that same kind of thing, since for the titles that the publisher is confident will have a market, there is no incentive to hand Kickstarter a piece of the action. Indeed, the stronger the financial rewards of marginal projects that are launched with Kickstarter, the better positioned the publisher will be to take on traditional publications. Now, that is relative to market conditions, and it may be that the floor falls out from under the traditional manga publication model in any event ... but if so, then it is better to have some other model to turn to than for the floor to fall out from under the traditional model with no alternative.