Digital Manga published Osamu Tezuka’s Swallowing the Earth back in 2009, and once the initial run was sold, the book went out of print. Now, they’ve set up a Kickstarter drive asking for money to reprint the book. If they raise $3,950 or more (they’re well on their way after just a day of posting), then contributors will get copies, as well as bonuses of other manga, either print or digital. Their reasoning, as posted on the site, is this:
… we’re a small company, this is an expensive book, and we can’t afford to put up the cash to reprint it. Because we love this book so much and we want Tezuka to be around in English for everyone to enjoy, we are hoping to raise funds for another printing of this important book through Kickstarter instead. All of the licensing and production work is already done, and printing and delivery should take just 30-60 days.
Congratulations to them on finding creative ways to get projects done, but my old-fashioned side says, “If you can’t raise just $4000 for a book reprint with guaranteed sales, how do you call yourself a publisher?” How close to the bone are they running things over there? Fans don’t seem to mind, though, since the highest reward level (promising, among other things, “VIP treatment at ALL future convention events we run”) has already sold out.