Hentai, Marketing Questions, and a Lost Josei: Some Manga News Links

Here’s a weird mash-up of two things I enjoy: The Straight Dope discusses manga and anime. Unfortunately, it’s in response to the question, “What’s the deal with Japanese tentacle porn?”, which is something I do not enjoy. Gotta love the phrasing, though: “Why are there so many rapist octopuses living in the Land of the Rising Sun?” The article itself is a balanced explanation of the history and reasons behind hentai, or porn manga.

Sweet Cream and Strawberries cover

Daniella Orihuela-Gruber ponders manga marketing, specifically questioning how effective it is in reaching casual fans who may not know to seek out information online. Her favorite idea is in-book advertising, a good idea, but I don’t know how costly/feasible that is. She’s also stumbling against a conundrum: the lower-selling titles need marketing the most, but results are better advertising the well-known books.

Bless Chris Mautner for following up on a missing manga title from 2006 (!): Sweet Cream and Red Strawberries. He publishes some translated pages from the josei manga by Kiriko Nananan about four single women in Tokyo, based on a preview copy:

The images are taken from a photocopied version of the book sent to me by CPM way back when they initially planned on publishing it. As far as I know, it’s one of the only versions — perhaps the only version — of the book in English to date.

I’d still like to see it, and I second his request for someone to pick it up for English release.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the link Johanna. As for the cost of doing in-book ads…every single manga publisher is already doing it. It would just be a matter of coming up with new ads (also something they do anyway) with a different focus than before.

    Other marketing techniques that were suggested by my readers might cost quite a bit more and may have already been found to be ineffective.

  2. With the in-book ads, there’s all kinds of questions I have that I’m not sure where to even start investigating. Like if a publisher licenses Title X from Pub Y, does Pub Y want only their titles advertised in book X? Who’s determining the likelihood of cross-promotion? (For example, Tokyopop used to call some titles shojo and list them in such books when they clearly weren’t.)

    Like you, I miss the listings of all of a publisher’s titles. I didn’t use them at the time, but now, they’re wonderful time capsules of who was putting out what when.

  3. I don’t really know the specifics, but I think the Japanese publishers might not be told which ads go in which books…Or might not have much of a say in it. I know that they do have a say in which art from the manga gets used in promotional material, but beyond that I couldn’t tell you for sure.

    Viz’s Shojo Beat still does a little bit of that, listing SB titles that are out that month, with their cover art and everything. That’s why I focused on in-book ads because those little lists always made me go, OH! I wonder if they have the new volume of this! And reminded readers of new shoujo manga they were putting out.

  4. [...] copies sent out, but it never happened, perhaps due to difficulty in building the audience. (Some sample pages were later published by a journalist.) Harlequin Violet: Blind [...]

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