Time for another "Go Farther" – looking at things we want to see in the geekonomy and general fannish and cool stuff.
I've mentioned this several times in the podcast and in the daily posts, but it bears repeating: I think companies with manga and comic properties need to seriously consider releasing older titles and issues online or on print-on-demand.
a lot of properties out there that would interest people for reasons of
history, curiosity, research, retro interests, etc. The problem isgauging interests of people to see if it's worth dropping the cash to do a hard-copy publication.
My solution? Twofold.
First manga and comic companies should consider releasing things online (perhaps in the case of manga even untranslated). For older properties the online
availability, even free, isn't going to have a big impact on any
potential lost profit as audience interest is possibly limited. Theonline availability is a great driver of site traffic, and it builds good will with people.
a further move to print-on-demand. Sure print on demand is pricier in
general than mass-prints, but again in the case of older properties
that may have specialized interests, people are probably ready to pay a
few more bucks. You can combine it with the freeonline releases – post issues and then make them available for publication.
Finally, these efforts gage
interest. It may well be worth launching a reprint of a series if one
gets a lot of interests and print-on-demand requests. A new series can
be reissued, perhaps with extra content not seenonline (in fact a print-on-demand copy can include extra content anyway).
I see this as an idea where everyone from fans to publishers wins. Keep it in mind as you go hunting for fannish jobs and geeky business ideas – if you work in comics, manga, publishing, please, take this idea and ram it into a business meeting.
– Steven Savage