Anime & Manga News

Japanese Manga Publishers Dominate Secondhand Book Retailer

by dtshyk
May 13, 2009 4:13 AM | 17 Comments
Japanese top 3 manga publishers and the major printing company DNP acquired 28.9% of Bookoff Corp. stocks. The three publishers; Kodansha, Shogakukan. and Shueisha have been opposed to Bookoff because the company is the largest dealer of the secondhand books and the manga market is severely affected by their business.

Bookoff official website (English)

The investors explained the intention of the acquirement of the stocks that they will rebuild the book market system including the used books in order to maintain the growth of the industry and to protect the copyrights.

Source: Anime!Anime!

Akamatsu Ken said:
In the recession of the publication industry, a company accomplished 20% increase in the income. It's Bookoff (lol). I have received lots of well-meant letters from the fans saying "I bought all the volumes of Negima! at Bookoff. I'm supporting you!". (hallelujah!) I guess it's ordinary for them.

Source: Akamatsu's diary (March 15th)

17 Comments Recent Comments

MagicalEmi said:
I really wish Book-Off would open a store here in the SF Bay area


YES. I think they'd find quite a market in the Bay, especially SF. I was very surprised to see that they had a location in Hawaii, but not in the Bay :(

May 22, 2009 11:36 AM by MotokoAramaki

aranelcharis said:
Here's the problem with Book-Off, from a publisher's view:

1) People go into Book-Off and just read the comics they want and then go along their merry way. It's like a library in there...(hello, where are you real libraries in Japan??)

Solution:

Shrink wrap all comics (I think this should be done in America too, personally) in order to make people buy them. I can't see Book-Off wanting people to just read all their books for free anyway.


The kinokuniya bookstores in san francisco and san jose shrinkwrap everything.

I wish that regular bookstores would shrinkwrap english-language manga because I am tired of tripping over obnoxious teens camped out in the manga aisles. If you are going to sit there and read in the store (tachiyomi) instead of buying it, at least go over to a bench or something. Argh. Had to ask some girl to move twice at Borders last week because she was sitting in the aisle with all her stuff (backpack, drink, etc) spread out around her. No wonder I don't buy many US releases.

May 22, 2009 11:24 AM by MagicalEmi

I love to shop to shop at Book-off, like Emi and Shin. I'm so fortunate that I have a a store near me in NYC. That way, I can buy Japanese language manga at half the price at Kinokuniya, which I also love. And the store is also a way for being exposed to mangaka you've probably never know of.

May 14, 2009 3:41 PM by MomoHime125

Also I have to say that for newer series it's not much cheaper at book-off (around 100 yen cheaper), so I'd always buy new manga in Japan.

May 13, 2009 11:42 PM by aranelcharis

I bought all my "Itsudatte My Santa!", "Love Hina", "Ai ga Tomaranai!" and "Mahou Sensei Negima!" brand new because Ken Akamatsu is full of win. :-)

May 13, 2009 6:54 PM by Lvhina

MagicalEmi said:
I really wish Book-Off would open a store here in the SF Bay area.


agreed. :< I so want to get the unlicensed oldies.

May 13, 2009 5:03 PM by Maora

Here's the problem with Book-Off, from a publisher's view:

1) People go into Book-Off and just read the comics they want and then go along their merry way. It's like a library in there...(hello, where are you real libraries in Japan??)

Solution:

Shrink wrap all comics (I think this should be done in America too, personally) in order to make people buy them. I can't see Book-Off wanting people to just read all their books for free anyway.

Of course the main issue is they don't get money from used book stores, but I don't see how it's against the law--ethical or legal. Plus, to be honest, Japanese society tends to be dominated by disposable products. If recycle shops aren't available, most casual readers would buy the comic and then throw it away (maybe it'd get recycled). How's that eco-friendly?

May 13, 2009 4:44 PM by aranelcharis

I love Book-off also. I think it's interesting that the J-publishers have bought into it. I hope they find a way to make money out of it without changing it. I really wish Book-Off would open a store here in the SF Bay area. I make periodic pilgrimages down to LA to hit the 3 book-off stores there, along with the mom&pop used manga store, MangaMura.

Like Shinkeikaku, I get tons of out-of-print stuff there. I love series from the 70's. A lot of those titles are so way gone out of print, it's crazy. Used books introduce me to many new authors, and I also end up buying their new releases from Kinokuniya.

I don't like the idea of "DRM" for physical books. =_=;

May 13, 2009 1:23 PM by MagicalEmi

Yay for domination.

May 13, 2009 12:02 PM by iTom

Well if its stealing them $$ a solution is to buy the company xD.

I personally ain't against 2nd hand wares, since i own some myself. Ofcourse the original authors won't have profit in the resell, but its life(and recycling xD). If you think a bit harder about it, a person that buys 2nd hand goods maybe can't aford the originals or doesn't have knowlage (deep or superficial) about what he is buying. I would say some of the buyers from 2ndhand books (in this case) might end up buying the originals, or the rest of the originals because they enjoyed it, making the 2ndhand sale a way of advertise.

I won't say i wouldnt buy 2nd hand books even if i already knew the series because they are cheaper, but personally if i really like the series\author i would want to have the originals.

May 13, 2009 9:42 AM by Static

Keira said:
sekida said:
shinkeikaku said:
Trust me, I support mangaka. I own thousands of books. However, if the publishers refuse to sell me the goods I want, I won't give them my money. Why buy small, reprint bunko versions of Kaguyahime (I personally hate bunko) when I can buy a complete set from Bookoff in one fell swoop?

Bookoff provides a service that the publishers often don't in that case. So a random $3 Bookoff book turns me into a mangaka stalker for several years, purchasing all their newly published works. I doubt I'm unique in that aspect.
No. You're not. You're not giving them money. The real owner did.



It's kind of obvious you skipped out on parts of Shinkeikaku's post.

I understand that it's the art of business, monopolizing and dominating plus all that jazz. But it does get annoying when the reasons are based a little on paranoia, with no real benefit to the end user (admittedly from my side of things).

As a voracious reader, second-hand bookstores serve their purpose well. And, more often than not, are a gateway to the discovery of an author's other works, which invariably leads to a fond attachment, resulting in a eventual purchase or two.

Edit: Just to clarify things, I always buy my books from the publisher as long as they are available, regardless of where I first read them from.


oh yeah i did. Sorry shinkeikaku.

May 13, 2009 6:39 AM by sekida

sekida said:
shinkeikaku said:
Trust me, I support mangaka. I own thousands of books. However, if the publishers refuse to sell me the goods I want, I won't give them my money. Why buy small, reprint bunko versions of Kaguyahime (I personally hate bunko) when I can buy a complete set from Bookoff in one fell swoop?

Bookoff provides a service that the publishers often don't in that case. So a random $3 Bookoff book turns me into a mangaka stalker for several years, purchasing all their newly published works. I doubt I'm unique in that aspect.
No. You're not. You're not giving them money. The real owner did.



It's kind of obvious you skipped out on parts of Shinkeikaku's post.

I understand that it's the art of business, monopolizing and dominating plus all that jazz. But it does get annoying when the reasons are based a little on paranoia, with no real benefit to the end user (admittedly from my side of things).

As a voracious reader, second-hand bookstores serve their purpose well. And, more often than not, are a gateway to the discovery of an author's other works, which invariably leads to a fond attachment, resulting in a eventual purchase or two.

Edit: Just to clarify things, I always buy my books from the publisher as long as they are available, regardless of where I first read them from.

May 13, 2009 6:04 AM by Keira

sekida said:
No. You're not. You're not giving them money. The real owner did.

This is like other industry such as music (for artist), applications including mobile apps like iPhone (for programmer/developer). even second hand clothes.

The real owner? Please. You know nothing of my purchasing habits (and I see nothing indicating yours on your empty profile). I have a large amount of new books. How exactly am I supposed to buy Racish Comics from the late 80's without getting it used? Or any old manga for that matter that is LONG out of print. Some of us buy more than the newest Naruto volume or whatever. Buying those books let's me learn of a mangaka's work, who I then buy their current stuff. Without it, I would have never known and they'd be out a sale.

I'm pretty sure I've contributed more to this industry than you ever have, or will.

Edit: Oh, you edited. The game industry is not a good comparison. I buy all my games new, personally. I don't buy used games because I can still find new copies available somewhere. Please point me to new copies of my old Racish comics please. I'd really love that actually..

May 13, 2009 5:37 AM by shinkeikaku

shinkeikaku said:
Trust me, I support mangaka. I own thousands of books. However, if the publishers refuse to sell me the goods I want, I won't give them my money. Why buy small, reprint bunko versions of Kaguyahime (I personally hate bunko) when I can buy a complete set from Bookoff in one fell swoop?

Bookoff provides a service that the publishers often don't in that case. So a random $3 Bookoff book turns me into a mangaka stalker for several years, purchasing all their newly published works. I doubt I'm unique in that aspect.
No. You're not. You're not giving them money. The real owner did.

This is like other industry such as music (for artist), games & applications including mobile apps like iPhone (for programmer/developer). even second hand clothes.

Think about buying original game from you're friend because he's tired playing it.
Do you think that will help game companies from lay-offs and bankrupts that are happening nowadays?

So, buying their stuffs = supporting them (in any industry).

Sorry, I feel the same way as the poster above you.

May 13, 2009 5:31 AM by sekida

Trust me, I support mangaka. I own thousands of books. However, if the publishers refuse to sell me the goods I want, I won't give them my money. Why buy small, reprint bunko versions of Kaguyahime (I personally hate bunko) when I can buy a complete set from Bookoff in one fell swoop?

Bookoff provides a service that the publishers often don't in that case. So a random $3 Bookoff book turns me into a mangaka stalker for several years, purchasing all their newly published works. I doubt I'm unique in that aspect.

May 13, 2009 4:28 AM by shinkeikaku

but it's also true that the manga authors don't earn any money no matter how many manga are sold in Bookoff. I don't purchase secondhand manga unless it's discontinued because I wanna contribute to my favorite mangaka.

May 13, 2009 4:23 AM by dtshyk

I love Bookoff. Most of what I buy there is stuff the publishers let go out of print (surprisingly quickly sometimes). They should keep their hands off. :/

May 13, 2009 4:18 AM by shinkeikaku