Ian Brill wonders why used bookstores won’t buy manga (link no longer available). This is a question I’ve wondered about as well, although from the other side. I’d like to find used manga at cheap prices, but even the biggest used bookstores I’ve been to, the ones with decent graphic novel sections, don’t carry much.
Is that because there’s too much to evaluate, and stores don’t want to be stuck with the titles no one wants? I can see a store that wasn’t very selective quickly being overwhelmed with the lesser-known, not-in-demand titles from second-tier publishers. That doesn’t seem to stop them buying cruddy superhero collections, though.
Christopher Butcher talks about Tokyopop’s effort to promote OEL manga to retailers who sell independent comics (link no longer available).
Typical for Tokyopop, they shoot themselves in the foot by playing “if you like this, try that” but comparing the books they’re trying to push to other manga titles they put out. That’s silly when the point of the email is to reach out to stores that don’t heavily stock manga or Tokyopop books.
Christopher has a more important observation, pointing out how Tokyopop didn’t bother to include any artist names. If I believed that they were really trying to cross-market, I’d hope that they’d realize that indy titles sell based on who creates them. Instead, they seem to be desperately grabbing at anything to try to bump sales on under-performing books that are neither fish nor fowl.