Tokyopop Sells Print on Demand Books

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Tokyopop now has available at their online store a number of print-on-demand volumes, following up on their plans from August 2009. They’re priced at $15.99, a significant increase over the typical $10 or $11 price point, but the company has been experimenting with cover prices for a while now. The rule seems to be, the more specialized the audience, the higher price they’re expected to pay. (Previously, yaoi was the most expensive Tokyopop release.)

I couldn’t find a comprehensive list of titles at Tokyopop’s site (but then, I can rarely find much of anything at their website), but if you use Google to search for print on demand at their shop, you can find a bunch of them. They include works like Gorgeous Carat volumes 1-4, a yaoi series previously available in standard format but now out of print.

I also noted that they’re using the process to fill gaps. Kat and Mouse, for example, a short-volume series published at $5.99, is still available conventionally — if you’re buying books 1, 2, or 4. Book 3, on the other hand, is only print-on-demand at $9.99. So it appears that economically, if you want a book at a discount, buy it when it’s offered, because afterwards, you’re going to pay a premium to have a book generated just for you.

I found out about this through the news that Gyakushu! volume 3 was in print this way. That was one of Tokyopop’s OEL manga series that never finished in print. I started hoping to see some of the other uncompleted series, like Steady Beat, but then I realized that those books would have to be written and drawn first. I think there’s some number of completed OEL work that was never printed — and I suspect this list of what Tokyopop previously serialized online is a good hint — but I doubt the publisher is going to commission anything new for this program.

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