Okay, after a really bad week last week, during which JManga closed up and fans everywhere ignored the impossibly complex business of licensing and publishing to point fingers at individual factors which they, with their years of experience in pointing fingers, believe is “the reason” JManga failed, I have made a decision.
In 2000, I started a fan community for Yuri. 13 years later, it’s still a fan community. It’s not an annual event, or a thriving sustainable manga market. You know that old business adage about “do a thing for 10 years and you’ll be an overnight success?” It’s not true. ^_^;
In 2012, ALC published an e-book for free, which you all insist you’ll wait ’til it comes out in print to buy. You could have bought it – as a download, which you all say you want for digital – but you didn’t. ALC assisted with the localization of about 20 more great Yuri manga. We’ve promoted materials from Seven Seas (who does not say thank you – even when they ask me for information or help – and has only *once* thought to send me a review copy and that was because I worked on the book. Great guys, go ahead and give them all your money.) Yuricon sent out letters to three anime conventions, five hotels and several Japanese companies and has received to date exactly zero positive replies. One hotel had the decency to reply to us. Not one of the conventions even so much as sent us a “thanks, but no thanks” email. I didn’t expect any of the Japanese companies to respond.
I’m stepping down as Yuricon events chair totally. I can’t run a sustainable event with the money in my pocket alone. I kept hoping one book, or one event would be successful enough to fund the next. I’m also giving up, for the moment, hope of publishing anything new. I can’t afford print, you don’t want digital, the JP companies won’t talk to me and all the many differences between JP publishers and US fans are so huge and insurmountable. I don’t have the energy or clout or money to bridge the gap.
On the front end, this will make no difference to you. I’ll still be blogging and promoting good Yuri, collecting and disseminating news and research here on Okazu and on Yuricon. I’m available for writing, lecturing and editing. But on the back end, I’m stopping trying to accomplish anything. 13 years is enough. I’m tired. 13 years is a long time to fail at something. ^_^;
This is not to say I’m giving up loving Yuri. I‘m merely giving up trying to create a sustainable Yuri market here in the the US.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a review.
Extra credit question: How many sales do you think a JManga ‘Best Seller’ made?
Postscript: More well-wishes (and less “you suck” comments) that I imagined came in after this post. Thank you all. I want to reassure you that I am fine. Not suicidally depressed or anything at all. ^_^ It is one of my magic powers to adapt to change faster than most people can even envision change. For those of you interested in business management, in the last three years I have attempted to “pivot” this business several times. The market just wasn’t there to make anything sustainable.
The answer to the extra credit question is about 300 or so. That means a best seller was taking in roughly $1500. That about covered the cost of producing the thing. When there’s not enough profit and seed money is gone..that’s it for the company. Once again, it’s not Dawinian failure, neither was CPM or Tokyopop. (You know how crazy people sound when they blame hurricanes on gays and the like? Fans sound exactly the same when they blame business’ failure on random things.) No company fails because they want to screw fans. It’s just business. ^_^
So again, thanks for all your kind words. I’m fine. I’m still here and that means there’s always another opportunity ahead. (^_^)v