We, the manga and comic reading fans of the world hereby state our manifesto to comic/manga publishers and distributors:
When we pay for a book, we are not paying for the right to read it. We are paying for the right to read it as many times and anywhere we want. Therefore, if we buy the hard copy of your book, we should get access to the digital version for free. We have already paid you for the right to read it anywhere and as many times as we want, there is absolutely no reason to consider the digital content a separate copy in that case.
We understand that the current technology causes gerrymandering for various operating systems, however, it is not sensible or possible for us to buy new hardware just to read your books, nor is it sensible for you to have to have multiple versions of one work. Make your reading technology browser-based, so it is accessible regardless of OS.
We desire simultaneous release of digital and print, not, as you suspect, to cannibalize your profits, but to maximize them. The faster an issue comes out and in the most formats as possible, the more people who can and will be convinced to buy.
We desire the utter destruction of region-locking. It makes no sense, encourages piracy and causes frustration and bitterness among fans world-wide (including Japan.) This is a relic of an older world that needs to be set aside without second thought or accommodation.
We understand pricing is complicated and the digital distribution platforms (iPad, Kindle, atc.) enforce set pricing to some extent, but do not price a digital copy the same as a hard copy. You don’t have the same overhead and we know it. We *do* support the artists, production team, editors, etc, so just give us a reasonable price so everyone gets a fair wage for their work.
This is the Manga Readers’ Manifesto, dated September 9, 2011.