Digital Manga Starts Overlapping Kickstarters

Alabaster Kickstarter

Digital Manga continues to ride the Kickstarter wagon. Although their effort to reprint the Finder series is currently struggling, they announced a new Kickstarter, making two they currently have in progress with more to come.

Finder (not the excellent SF graphic novel series) is a title by Ayano Yamane that Digital Manga calls “undeniably one of the best yaoi manga series in BL existence!” I’ve never heard of or read it, so I can’t speak to that. What I can say is that

  • they want $45,000;
  • they’re effectively charging $15 a book (when many of them are $12 or so on Amazon;
  • they titled the effort “Finder Vol. 1-6 Restock” when they list seven books as offerings, confusing the casual reader;
  • with 13 days to go, they’re less than 60% funded, with over $25,000 pledged

Finder (yaoi)

Kicktraq has them expected to only get 85% of goal, based on current patterns, but they also predicted that the Tezuka Ludwig B wouldn’t succeed, and that managed to pull together success at the last minute. The Finder books are due out in April.

Digital Manga promises that if their Finder effort succeeds, “we’ll immediately start working on the next yaoi kickstarter.”

Alabaster Kickstarter

The new Kickstarter is for another Tezuka project, Alabaster. It’s a two-volume series about a vengeful guy with invisible skin described as “darker than Tezuka’s usual fare… a thriller suspense revenge story that touches on the dark side of humanity and the extent one would go to get even.” This one will ship in September, if they get the $29,200 they’re looking for by the end of the month. (Phrased that way, it starts looking like publishing as extortion. “You want this series, hunh? Better pay up!”)

They’re a good 40% of the way there in the first week, so the forecast for this one looks much more promising. That’s in spite of them asking $36 for the two books in print, $6 more than the expected cover retail price. It’s another $4 if you also want the digital companion “filled with data on Japanese culture, history, and Tezuka-style references.” That’s a new twist, paying extra for the endnotes.

They’re also launching “Kickstarter collectibles” to encourage fans to pledge for all their campaigns going forward. It’s a “collector’s edition” laser-printed wooden coin. That’s deviously smart, and it’s available at pledges of $72 and up. If this makes it to $39,000, they’ll also reprint Swallowing the Earth with better paper.

Digital Manga, on the Alabaster Kickstarter page, acknowledge that they’re running multiple efforts at once:

As you may know, we at DMI have another Kickstarter campaign running along with Alabaster. We’re aware that it may seem like a lot of work to fulfill everyone’s expectations and publish the series out in time. There are separate teams in the office working on different campaigns but we are in close communication with each other to monitor each other’s progress. Since this is a publishing house, the production team is used to working on various projects at once while maintaining quality control, checking and rechecking each other’s work.

I’m glad that they remember they’re a publisher. Sometimes it seems like they aren’t sure.


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