At the recent “State of the Manga Industry” panel at NYCC, representatives from manga publishers from Del Rey, Viz. and Tokyopop talked about the health of manga sales and fielded questions and concerns. As a whole, they agreed that the industry was “strong and healthy”, with titles shaking out into one of three categories; the “definitely will sell” or A list titles, the “probably will sell”or B list titles, and the “must compete to sell” or C list titles, which is where the majority of titles fall. The big issue is of course with the last category; how to get these books into the right hands. Promoting awareness of titles was mentioned as a problem for all publishers.
Why? Even if most of the sales of titles come from brick and mortar retail, getting the word out about titles shouldn’t be such an issue in the internet age. If manga publishers would make better use of their online resources, C list titles would have a better chance. Here are some things I think they should consider.