Viz Standardizes Shonen Jump, Shojo Beat Prices at $9.99

Thanks to a reader comment in my post on Tokyopop’s varying pricing, I was made aware that Viz appears to be standardizing on higher prices later this year. Previously, Shonen Jump titles were $7.99, while Shojo Beat books were $8.99. (A discrepancy that caused some conversation back in 2006. In that post, Christopher Butcher predicted this price rise, three years early.)

I checked out some series I follow on Amazon. The only Shonen Jump book I buy regularly is Hikaru no Go. Book 16, due in August, is still listed at the usual $7.95. Book 17, due November 3, is $9.99.

The same is true of Naruto and Eyeshield, just to check a couple.
Naruto Book 45, July 7, $7.95 — Book 46, October 6, $9.99.
Eyeshield 21 Book 27, August 4, $7.99 — Book 28, October 6, $9.99.

I read a lot more Shojo Beat titles, and the same is true of them. Here are just some samples:
High School Debut Book 11, September 1, $8.99 — Book 12, November 3, $9.99
Sand Chronicles Book 6, September 1, $8.99 — Book 7, January 5, 2010, $9.99
And the beloved Nana Book 18, September 1, $8.99 — Book 19, November 3, $9.99

(Wow, September 1 is going to be a great day for shojo manga. Must be targeting back-to-school shoppers.)

Overall, this isn’t particularly surprising. Publication prices are going up all over, and many people think manga’s all $10 or more anyway.

Update: Viz’s response is as follows: “VIZ Media made the decision to stay consistent with the pricing in the marketplace for this industry, which in some cases might be a slight increase from previous years.”

That makes sense to me. Will this change your buying habits at all?

Similar Posts: Shojo Beat Ending § Viz’s Top Sellers: Naruto § Manga Pricing by Sex § Viz Anthologies Cover Video Games, Include Girls § Shonen Jump Relaunches With Biggest Hitters

38 Comments

  1. I think where it will affect me most is in my willingness to pick up a series that already has more than one or two volumes out. The price hike doesn’t seem that great for a single volume, but it adds up fast if you have to buy a bunch of them at once to catch up to the current volume. I’m clicking “Yes, I will buy fewer Viz titles” because of this factor, though it won’t affect series I’m already current on.

  2. Ed Sizemore

    I can understand them raising prices, but to increase the Shonen Jump books $2 in one step seems a little extreme that a 25% price increase. They should have done that as a two phase process.

  3. Ed, doing it all in one go may prevent this kind of concerned nattering happening twice.

    Melinda, that’s a good point. I rarely start a series other than at the beginning because there are so many I’m following that I’m not really looking for more. But that could be a danger.

    Due to the economy, sales are down, so they need to raise prices … but due to the economy, it’s a terrible time to do that, since people don’t have extra money.

  4. Then again, with Del Rey and Tokyopop both charging 10.99 for their titles, and many other books at other higher price points, they’ll still be one of the cheaper priced publishers out there. I don’t really see fans stopping buying them- I mean comics have always gone up in price, and people have kept buying them at more or less the same levels, with shifts in sales mostly changing for nonprice reasons [new storyline, new artist, new writer etc]

    There’s a lot of SB and SJ series that aren’t the biggest sellers out there, so it makes sense to put up the prices. VIZ puts out so much stuff, this is probably not a bad idea, and they can always reintroduce lower prices when things settle down a bit, or on select series.
    It looks like Naruto’s going to 9.99 though.

  5. [...] Media has raised prices on its Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat [...]

  6. Honestly, I think it’s high time Viz did this, considering the demise of Shojo Beat. While I always liked the fact that their titles were cheaper, that’s not the reason I followed them, either.

    As far as shopping goes, I’ll probably just look for better bargains on the Viz titles I follow, like waiting around for a sale or to use a coupon, as opposed to rushing out to the store and buying it the minute it hits the shelves.

    I’ve also bought a lot more used manga lately, including some Viz titles. With the economy the way it is, lots of folks are offloading whole series, so I’ve been taking advantage of purchasing series I’ve enjoyed from the library.

  7. I’m doing a lot more comparison and coupon shopping myself. I wish I could find a used manga place around here.

  8. This will seriously affect my buying of Viz titles. I could follow as many as I did because of the lower prices and subscribing to Shojo Beat. With Shojo Beat gone, I have to buy the titles to keep following my favorites, but the price increase means I’m going to have to drop even some of those! My husband will be thrill though. :-/

  9. [...] Source [...]

  10. [...] for years so it’s hard to begrudge them. At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson did an informal survey and concluded that people are going to buy the books anyway. More reactions at Anime Vice and [...]

  11. [...] up links to Tokyopop responses, which are, as expected, noting that times are tough. Although competitors have also raised prices, the obviously cheap paper and lower quality books makes Tokyopop’s $1 increase seem worse. [...]

  12. [...] everyone else is raising prices, Deux Press is slashing theirs: Everything released through April is [...]

  13. [...] all the comics inflation that’s been happening recently, the price point of the Longbox might be the most [...]

  14. Juan Carlos

    I think that people have to stop buying the manga so that companies drop their prices. $10 is very expensive when in Japan they cost less than $5!! At least, they should add more pages to each volume and sell it at a competitive price.

  15. If we stop buying manga, prices won’t drop — instead, they’ll just stop publishing the books (as Tokyopop did with much of their line and Viz did with Shojo Beat magazine). The economics are very different between the two countries. In Japan, for instance, there’s a lot of mass transit, so there’s more time for reading disposable anthology manga magazines. Here, there isn’t, and magazine sales are poor.

  16. [...] that this series will be released at the new price point of $9.99, that’s $50 a month to follow a goofy comedy series. Viz says there’s a large audience [...]

  17. I am not going to buy any $10 volumes until they put the price back. So is my brother. I blame Obama for a lousy job.

    One of the reasons shonen jump is doing so good is low prices. They are going to disappear if they don’t put it back. I went to a manga store and IMPORTED manga with better paper was four dollars cheaper. They need to make it cheaper, not more expensive. In this economy, manga is not a thriving enterprise.

    This will tick off alot of people. XD

    This will make more people read online, something they don’t want.

  18. If you can read Japanese, then you have more choices at different prices, yes. But most people don’t have that option. I suspect that the prices will never be “put back”. When I took a poll, many people were going to keep buying anyway, so they don’t have to. The publishers don’t necessarily have the option to make manga cheaper; if anything, they will publish fewer titles instead.

  19. Ed Sizemore

    Jared,

    Sorry to hear that you and your brother have given up reading manga. The prices aren’t going to go down. The Japanese edition can be cheaper, because they don’t have to pay licensing fees, translator’s salary, a letterer, and an editor to oversee all this.

    You’re only other option is to learn Japanese. Then you will get the books cheaper, and have access to more titles than you could read in one lifetime.

  20. I never said we would stop reading manga, just shonen jump ones.

  21. Eh… I’ve never been interested in the series that drag-on forever and ever – Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, etc. So, the price change doesn’t effect me much. However, if I have to drop a few titles in the future so be it. Manga an Anime are clearly luxuries. Also, a lot of people complain/worry about situations like these, yet continue to download scans or (incorrectly) fan-subbed episodes for free. Come on people, put two and two together.

    Anyway, I’ve access to them at my local library too. I think many people forget that aspect. If you can’t afford Anime/Manga head to your library and see if they’ve any there. Sometimes they sell them when they’ve a used book-sale as well.

  22. Think about all of Canadians, i already have to pay 9.50 for one volume, now i’ll have to pay 11.80 almost 12.00 for just one volume, i only buy manga i like to support the authors so this sudden increase is gonna make me wanna buy even less,
    they should make box set for every title then i’d be more willing to buy them to complete my series
    i hope they make a set for one piece at least

  23. This is ridiculous, they already are having problems because of how expensive they already are. Shonen Jump is going to die.

  24. I don’t think it’ll die. However, I do see them cutting back on quite a few series; the ones that are lesser known and bring in fewer sales. The manga market is oversaturated already. I don’t even pick up series unless they’re finished. Why take the risk? Anime boxsets have more frequent sales and are overall a better deal in my opinion. Companies like Viz and Tokyopop need to focus on actually licensing some popular manga titles which can be translated with ease because they’re finshed in their home residences.

    Many fans love the following titles, but I do know of quite a few people who are put off by the lengths of Naruto, Bleach, Dragonball, One Piece, etc. They’re all hovering around 30 – 40+ volumes right now which equals $330 to $440 in the pocket department. I’m single and very frugal with my income, so I’m happy to be not having problems with my expenses. Families, however, are looking to cut back more and more.

    If they haven’t already, sooner or later, they’ll start to eye their children’s purchases or wants. Manga/Anime aren’t particularly educational, so I bet they’ll be some of the first products to go. 100% written novels like Harry Potter or Twilight are in a safer zone. They don’t carry the stigma that American comics, Japanese manga an anime sometimes do because of the fanservicey or artwork factors. I.E. the inclusion of artwork is considered childish.

    Children and younger, jobless teenagers don’t hold all of the interest. However, they do make up an important part of it. Everytime I go to Barnes&Noble or another bookstore I often see this set asking their parents for money in order to read these types of graphic novels.

  25. Devon...A.K.A One Piece lover

    OMG…No….WAY…..Naruto vol.46 came out already and its not 9.99…As far as one piece….I love it! But One Piece is having 5 volumes a month come out…..Im 14 and this WILL be very hard! Now i have One Piece vols.1-22…and Naruto vols..1-31…I already have 50$ saved up but thats for one month….If the price of manga go up i will be very sad…:( I still will read One Piece b/c thats my number.1 Fav manga EVER!!!!!!! ^_^. But i will have to cut short on bying Naruto. DBZ..etc..I wanted to get into reborn, Hunter X Hunter, Slam Dunk….But with the price of 9.99…i will have to wait until SJ hopefully cuts the price back to 7.95.

  26. Devon, remember that the volumes that have already been published will still be 7.95 till they go into new printings, and maybe their price won’t change even then.

  27. Devon...A.K.A One Piece lover

    Oh….thats cool…YAY! n_n… !

  28. The important thing to remember is to buy what you truly love. If you frequently have misgivings about a certain series maybe it’s time for you to let it go and move on to something better. Be a smart shopper!

  29. Great advice! It can be hard to break habits, but there’s so much good stuff out there now that it’s even more important to buy what you enjoy.

  30. Devon...A.K.A One Piece lover

    Thanks for that advice! I now have alot of money saved up to buy One Piece in 2010….i was thinking of buying some more Naruto but if i do….i wont have enough for One Piece….And now…I’ll buy what I truly love and thats One Piece! ^_^

  31. Even though prices are expensive there are way to save money. Right Stuf for example offers their manga’s at cheaper prices than almost any store. Example a $8.99 book there will be 6.74 . Then if you buy the Got Anime member pass you get 10% off that 6.74 brining your total to $6.07. Then they have sales on certain items and publishers each week. The only bad thing about this is that you have to buy $50.00+ to get free shipping but another excellent thing is that there is no TAX.
    Another good company is http://www.boonebridgebooks.com. They offer free shipping on $25.00 and more. Their prices are also very very good. They also have the newest titles and are very friendly.

  32. I’m telling you though the popularity is going to go down. Now there’s other titles for the same price. I started buying shonen jump because it was cheaper.

  33. I am very disappointed as many as other people are. My favorite title just had came out recently like say what, May, and soon as this happen. I am still willing to buy it. But now I can not buy any other books that I would desire to buy. But as this rate of this price, I, barely think not a few people will spend their money on something that is increasingly high. As another news I got a while ago before typing this message. That SHOJOBEAT has discontinued their magazines. Even more disappointed for me and the fan of it. So I just wanted to post this up for the fun of it (((:

  34. Devon...A.K.A One Piece lover

    oh yeah…Now all the new stuff will cost 9.99…iM reading the recent Shonen jump MAG now and near the end it shows ALL The SJ Titles that will cost 9.99..=[

    ALOT of my friends said that they’ll just buy the ones that cost 7.95……SJ………..if your reading this…….PLEASE CUT THE PRICE BACK….you will get more money this way because people wont really buy as much SJ like they used too..

    LoL..iM asking for too much.

  35. Yea. I freaked out when I saw that the latest Bleach was 9.99. I wasn’t as shocked as I would have been because I had already seen other manga prices increase as well. I’ll continue to buy Bleach of course, but seeing as it’s the only manga I buy anyway, the price increase won’t affect me as much. I feel for all the people who have multipple series though. I’m really sorry.

  36. [...] book that lists at $9.99 — say, for example, Viz manga — is rarely discounted. And it’s unusual to find them at any kind of used discount, [...]

  37. Yes well I think that the people who currently read their graphic novels will buy less mainly because for most people, the cheaper manga was the better choice, I know there are some people out there who will disagree with me here but $2 makes a difference… the money that got you 3 SJ manga before now can only get you 2 and some change back…. Who really cares if the other manga producers are selling for over $10 in North America cause statistics show that SJ makes even more money per year then TokyoPop… They need to change this back to the way it was cause even now at my local B&N I see that nobody is buying the newer SJ books that are $10 and are buying other brands instead, the lady i asked who worked there said that some people are protesting it… So I expect to see it go back in a month or two

  38. I just noticed recently that manga prices have increased, i work in a book store and buy manga regularly. i am somewhat disappointed. Actually… very disappointed. Even tho it was raised by only 2 dollars . . . It’s still annoying. It wont stop me from buying manga, cause im a manga addict, Lol. But I still wanna let Viz know that many people are not too happy about this. And that people were very fond of shoujo books being at 7.99 and 8.99. now that they’re 9.99 and up is . . . ridiculous.

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