Contrary to popular belief, being a mangaka is tough. Not only do you have to satisfy fans and critics, but you have to meet tough deadlines, frequent all-nighters, high amounts of stress, and make sure that your artwork remains consistent.
A mangaka’s success is reflected in the sales of his manga, but when it comes to the used-manga market, mangaka often don’t make that much. And that is the reason why Hiroya Oku, the mangaka behind works such as Gantz and yuri manga, Hen: Strange Love, isn’t such a big fan of buying used manga.
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In a recent tweet, the famous mangaka went off against buying used manga. He said that:
“This might shatter some kids’ illusions, but no manga creators can keep producing comics if people are just going to read through them at the store without buying them, or buy them from Yahoo! Auctions or used book stores. Creators just can’t do it. But there are so many adults who get their manga that way, even though they know the situation. If you want to support a manga creator, please buy your manga new, at list price, as often as you can.”
According to Rocket News 24, the reason for Oku talking against buying used manga is the way mangaka are paid for their works.
“While the original artist and writer receive royalties for each new volume sold, there’s no such income stream when a used copy is purchased. Likewise, royalties are paid for manga rentals, but not when customers make use of a manga cafe.”
While many mangaka, such as One Piece’s Eiichiro Oda, Full Metal Alchemist’s Hiromu Arakawa, and Fairy Tail’s Hiro Mashima get plenty of income with the royalties alone, many mangaka whose works aren’t as popular are feeling enormous financial constraints. In other words, if your works aren’t popular, you ain’t getting much money.
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Because of Oku’s tweet, many have started talking about not buying used manga, with some offering suggestions such as the possibility of installing a system under which a percentage of the sale price at a used store or online auction would be paid to the creator. However, that poses another problem: Who would be willing to pay for the royalties? The buyer or the seller? There’s also the fact that authors getting royalties could affect the demand for new books.
In the end, this problem won’t be solved easily, and as Rocket News pointed out, “Oku probably takes some pleasure in the fact that Japanese companies are slowly coming around to the idea of digital manga publishing, which takes resales off the table. With physical-form manga still the dominant way fans read their favorite series, though, the issue of used sales falling outside the realm of royalties is likely to continue to rub Oku the wrong way for some time.”
Source: Rocket news 24