It’s refreshing to see a publisher aware of the value of sampling. This Publishers Weekly article talks about how Central Park Media has
revamped its manga program, hired a new director of sales, restored suspended series and outlined plans to use technology to market its manga. [...] Next year CPM will publish 40-50 manga titles and utilize tech-heavy promotion. Over the years, CPM has developed ways of integrating the marketing and promotion of manga and anime. The company’s Web site (www.centralparkmedia.com) features animated visual collages of its manga titles that act like movie trailers, the same method the house uses to introduce an anime series to new viewers. The manga trailers can be downloaded onto Apple’s video iPod or Sony’s PSP. Readers can also access portions of their favorite books either on the company’s Web site or through Bit Torrent shareware. The first 57 pages of Duck Prince are available to readers, as is the complete first volume of the comic manhwa series Couple. While many companies are skeptical of “giving away”, CPM heartily embraces it. “Share the wealth,” O’Donnell says. “The more exposure, the more likely people are to buy it.”
I like the idea of preview chapters, although I’m not impressed by anime-like manga animations. (If I wanted to watch cartoons, I’d do it. I read manga because I like reading, running through the story at my own pace.) I’ve always been leery of companies who resist the free preview — what have they got to hide? Thankfully, it’s become more and more common from manga publishers, although that may be a reaction to how much material is already available online as scanlations.
It’s a shame that I’m not more interested in any of CPM’s titles, because I’d like to support the company.