This is a quick piece of off-the-cuff market research for Monday. This is completely rhetorical. No company I know is doing or considering doing this, I’m making these numbers up and they are based on nothing at all. I just want to be clear – this is simply a thought exercise.
If a company offered a flat fee for a full manga series that, if they hit a certain number of purchasers, they would *guarantee* publication of the full series and, it was series you liked – would you buy in?
If yes, here’s three scenarios. Which one would you be most likely to commit to, which one least?
5 volumes at 200 pages per volume – $50.
4 volumes at 300 pages per volume – $60
3 volumes at 450 pages per volume – $75
(Yes, I know these are not the same page counts. There’s a point to that. But all the models have the same exact value per page. These are not the same deal – it’s not the same series. One series is 1000 pages long, split into 5, one series is 1200 pages long, split into 4 volumes. The third series is 1350 pages long, split into 3 volumes. You can’t get the 1350pp series in 5 volumes. You can’t get the 1000pp series in one.)
Where do you draw the line on “this is too much for me to commit”?
What price point seems most sensible to you?
What would entice you to make the commitment (i.e., is getting the entire series enough, or would extras makes the difference?)
What model would you propose to head off the dreaded “sales dropped off, we can’t finish the series” problem?
Feel free to ramble your thoughts in the comments field. I’m really interested in hearing them. :-)
Here’s a few conditions of this thought exercise, to limit the variables:
1) You can’t make this question about savings. It would cost *exactly* the same as a single volume at a time – you’re simply funding them at once. The subscription you buy ensures that all of them will be printed because the company definitely has the money now.
2) You can’t ask about bulk release. No manga company can front the cost to release a 26 volume series in hopes that enough people *might* buy it. That’s an insanely stupid risk that is almost guaranteed to fail and guaranteed to cause the company to shut down. Maybe the three-volume series could come out at once – but only if you don’t mind waiting for all three to be put together….that’s going to take longer than one at a time.
3) The company won’t go out of business. Sheesh. Not until after this series is complete.
4) You’ll get all of the volumes. They will be delivered to you by a scantily clad person of the gender you are interested in who will scatter flowers upon you as you sign. :-)
If these other things are absolutely critical to you, then the thought exercise will fail. Manga companies cannot fund bulk releases of whole series at discounts for fans who *might* buy.
What we’re testing here is one thing – would you be willing to front the money for an entire series in order to make sure it’s all printed. Nothing else.
Second note: These responses are a great example of why consumers are the WORST possible place to go for information. LOL Basically, you want a company to front all the money for a series, print it all at once, somehow make all the stores carry it all until you feel like buying it – and you want it cheaper than it cost to print. With extras! lol