What Manga Publishers Are Doing During the Pandemic
During the pandemic quarantine, book publishing is mostly continuing and comic book publishing has mostly ceased. Which lead to me wondering what the manga publishers are doing.
They have very little dependence on the comic market stores, so that shutdown doesn’t matter to them. But many bookstores are also closed, reducing the ability to reach customers, and manga series are serialized, making it important to keep readers hooked. The publishers, in general, are slowing down their release schedule and converting more to digital.
Kodansha announced the following:
Kodansha USA Publishing, which includes both the Kodansha Comics and Vertical publishing imprints, has made the decision to shift on sale dates for many of its spring and summer 2020 print titles to later in the year, following careful consideration of the global health crisis and related book retail and distribution disruptions.
They are still actively selling backlist titles, and they are releasing everything digitally as originally scheduled, including books that previously would have had a simultaneous print and digital release date. You can see what is coming out when on their new releases page.
Yen Press has announced:
April Yen Press titles will be released as scheduled and original titles also will be published as planned…. However, manga and light novel titles originally solicited with an on-sale date between May and August will be redistributed throughout September, reducing new releases in the coming months. This decision is a response to the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic on key Yen Press partners, in particular distributors and retailers, as well as fans and readers of Yen Press books.
They don’t seem to have yet updated their new releases page, but they seem to still be working out the exact schedule. That’s understandable, as things can change day by day.
Viz has not changed its release schedule, as far as I know.
Seven Seas has no announcement posted at their web site (and their news page hasn’t been updated since February), and their new release page is still really full. ICv2 has reported that their April titles are coming out through book distribution but May will be delayed, with more information to come.