Digital Manga, publisher of mostly yaoi and some “how to draw” books these days, has announced that their publications will be available to read online at emanga.com. They’re calling it a “manga rental site”, which means you pay for points which you then spend to read the books. Online only, using a Flash viewer. Brigid evaluates the interface, calling the reader “a little fussy”.
Even more creatively, the rentals are time-limited. At current rates and settings, it’s $4 to read a yaoi volume for 72 hours. At Barnes & Noble, reading is free… but more bookstores are cutting back on manga titles, especially yaoi, since it’s sensitive material and often age-restricted.
I’m not sure who the audience for this is — teens who can use a credit card online (to buy the points — although that function is not yet available) but aren’t allowed to order from Amazon? Those who can’t visit a library for some reason? This seems like an effort where the benefits to the publisher are clear, but the pluses for the customer are hard to determine.