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Old 07-06-2011, 01:52 AM   #1
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Default Why is it VIZ Media doesn't reprint many volumes of manga?

I'm sure many of us who buy manga from VIZ Media have noticed at times many volumes (And artbooks like the One Piece Color Walk 1.) of many series start becoming harder to find, and months and even a year go by, and by the looks of things, the volume is out of print while the series itself either is still being published, or VIZ Media hasn't listed the series itself out of print.

Many consumers at times unfortunately get frustrated when they end up with out of print inflation where sometimes you're paying close to $80 for like a $10 volume. It would be great if at the least a print-on-demand service would be started like Tokyopop did (Months before they announced they were closing down.).

So I'm wondering, why does this keep happening?
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why is it VIZ Media doesn't reprint many volumes of manga?

Is it possible that they are having trouble obtaining the manga itself or their having technical issues? I myself don't read the manga, but am interested in why this would happen to such a well known business.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why is it VIZ Media doesn't reprint many volumes of manga?

Most of it's actually just simple demand and sales. Though the larger push is towards the digital market in the long term which kinda negates the issue, if something was really selling at a level that was profitable enough to support, baring outside circumstances that sometimes arise, we'd make more if there was enough demand for a title, and a proven sales record to back it up.

We don't really make 'single' prints of a book, as in a handful, for some folks that would like 'em. They're made in much larger runs to make it profitable enough to maintain a price you can afford to pay, as well as a large enough profit for us to be worth using resources for doing it over something else, like say putting out a brand new series. And there's only so much space on store shelves, mind you, so there's a limited amount of books we can really have in active print/distribution all at once. And if something only sold marginally well over time to just now be running low in supply after having been on the market for around 6 years? That's a pretty discouraging case against there being enough of a market for a reprint.

As I said, though we've no official plans to release digital titles we haven't announced we will, it's easy enough for us to make anything we HAVE printed digital, so it's not something I imagine will be a long term problem for people in the future as we all progressively transition into being cyborgs.
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gives you a lot more free space than normal to work with if that helps, but mainly, it's easier than me getting a thousand emails I have to download and upload with a file again to reply
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why is it VIZ Media doesn't reprint many volumes of manga?

Still, with 'single' printing, or basically print-on-demand (Which Tokyopop did for a few months before they shut down.), it's really where you order online (So no limited shelf space really.), and just one copy is made for that person. Many people still want physical copies of things. Isn't a print-on-demand service really profitable (Especially with the popular series that end up having a few volumes starting to become hard to find.)?

It's just ridiculous at times where midway through collecting, you end up having to deal with stuff like this. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Sha.../9781421519173
Volume 3 of the Shakugan no Shana manga, the prices even for used are as cheap as $45. It's also ridiculous on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...imenewsnetw-20

Luckily with YuYu Hakusho Volume 3 (Ironic volume 3 of that is also hard to find.), it's not so bad.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...imenewsnetw-20
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/yuyu...kusho%2bvolume
Same goes for the Pretty Face series where volumes 3-5 are becoming hard to find, but there isn't much of a bad out of print inflation price to deal with.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why is it VIZ Media doesn't reprint many volumes of manga?

Maybe I can put this in layman's terms. First, we're talking basic economics here, Supply and Demand. When things are in low supply, they become more expensive to compensate which will decrease the demand for the product to match the remaining supply. That's what you're seeing. Only those who "Absolutely have to have" that "rare" product will be willing to shove out the necessary funds to purchase it.

Second, when you factor in a company's limited resources(money, supplies, equipment, workers, etc.), or possibly even their complete lack of resources(especially in our current economic situation) it's not in a company's best interests to produce stuff that isn't in high demand. Selling stuff that few want won't get them the profit they need. I'll leave what a lack of profit for Viz means up to your imagination.

Third, setting up something like an on-demand service is a gamble that would still consume resources, and if it isn't popular enough to have, it'll either just weigh Viz down or it won't be any cheaper than anywhere else on the net. That said, who knows, maybe they'd be willing to take the risk.

Regardless, as you can see, it's not quite as simple as them warming up the printing presses and popping out a couple manga for you that'll be at a low price. In an economy like this, companies will have to focus more on taking less gambles with their money and selling what's in high demand in order to make a good profit and stay afloat.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why is it VIZ Media doesn't reprint many volumes of manga?

Print on demand isn't nearly as profitable as large offset print runs. The production costs of each book are quite high, and then you have to think about fulfilling orders. Also, copying a strategy implemented by a publisher in the months before they went under doesn't seem like a good idea.
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why is it VIZ Media doesn't reprint many volumes of manga?

Though with Tokyopop, one main reason they went under was they were picking up everything in sight, and Stu Levy who is in charge of the company later started to make the company about him. Many speculate he just got tired with his company.

VIZ Media however is more careful about what's picked up, and has made much better decisions than Tokyopop did. Tokyopop was showing signs they had problems years ago, VIZ Media didn't.

Still I understand. Though wouldn't another print run for manga many people are paying $200 for like Shakugan no Shana Volume 3 be profitable still?

After all, even the anime which is out of print, the now out of print box sets from FUNimation Entertainment are going for hundreds of dollars all over the place. It's becoming hard to find (Luckily not Sailor Moon hard to find. Those things go for around $1,000.).
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why is it VIZ Media doesn't reprint many volumes of manga?

There are a handful of people willing to pay $50+ per manga for anything, which is actually less than we would have to price it to sustain a print on demand service with that very handful. And that's assuming they'd all buy 100% of the books being printed on demand, which they would not, because we couldn't pick and choose which books to make on demand, it'd have to be the entire catalog not currently in print.

So, if we started a print on demand service, it now costs $60+ per manga, and now people are angry at Viz for selling over priced manga. Your solution, while good in intent, results in higher priced manga and people becoming angry about it, all of which would now be directed at us . The only non digital solution I could see here would be a mass preorder of out of print titles that would only charge users if a certain number were reached, at which point another print run would be made and shipped. It'd be a normal large print run, only all copies would necessarily need to be sold upfront at the scale of the large print run (~many a book). Considering all out of print titles are largely out of print because the market for them wasn't large enough to sustain, this would be a user backed initiative, similar to Operation Rainfall for games like Xenoblade on the Wii.
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*Alot of people have been asking to help me with various things on the site, many of which involve sharing files between me and other members. Since I get asked almost every day, to do this or collaborate with me personally, use
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gives you a lot more free space than normal to work with if that helps, but mainly, it's easier than me getting a thousand emails I have to download and upload with a file again to reply
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why is it VIZ Media doesn't reprint many volumes of manga?

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Originally Posted by SRhyse View Post
There are a handful of people willing to pay $50+ per manga for anything, which is actually less than we would have to price it to sustain a print on demand service with that very handful. And that's assuming they'd all buy 100% of the books being printed on demand, which they would not, because we couldn't pick and choose which books to make on demand, it'd have to be the entire catalog not currently in print.

So, if we started a print on demand service, it now costs $60+ per manga, and now people are angry at Viz for selling over priced manga. Your solution, while good in intent, results in higher priced manga and people becoming angry about it, all of which would now be directed at us . The only non digital solution I could see here would be a mass preorder of out of print titles that would only charge users if a certain number were reached, at which point another print run would be made and shipped. It'd be a normal large print run, only all copies would necessarily need to be sold upfront at the scale of the large print run (~many a book). Considering all out of print titles are largely out of print because the market for them wasn't large enough to sustain, this would be a user backed initiative, similar to Operation Rainfall for games like Xenoblade on the Wii.
That personally I would see as a good safe option. If the number isn't reached, it won't cause possible financial problems. It could definitely help with many titles lots of people are searching for-usually when they're late to the party-, but the volume is out of print, so you have those higher prices.
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