View Single Post
Old 2011-12-05, 17:01   Link #413
Join Date: Apr 2003
[Support Authors] How to do the most good

Manga artists and writers work long hours to provide you with the series you enjoy reading. Because of the serial nature of manga, they have to produce output pretty much every week, while also juggling compilation of completed volumes, future planning, promo art, etc. Ever read on ANN about authors getting sick or taking breaks? This is why.

What you can do to support them:
Buying the Japanese compiled volumes (tankobon) is the best way for you to support their efforts and (hopefully) keep them serializing the comic. While buying a translated copy is better than merely pirating, it's merely a feel-good placebo. Foreign licenses happen months or over a year+ after those chapters were penned. Not only is the royalty they receive that far down the chain a pittance, but it's so long after the fact, it doesn't help keep your favorite manga author employed. The sales are also a drop in the bucket compared to the home market in Japan.
(e.g. Naruto in the US sells 50k per volume, in Japan it's close to 1mil)

Information you should have:
Manga title in Japanese is a good place to copy/paste the official name from. is a good place to then paste that name and find the ISBN# for your title near the bottom of the page. (Amazon refers to it as ISBN-10)

The only major book chain I'm aware of in the US now is Kinokuniya. There are undoubtedly other smaller ones you could probably order from as well. Anyone living in Europe or elsewhere that knows of Japanese bookstores local to you feel free to post and I can add them to this thread. They can order pretty much any manga or light novel title you can get an ISBN# for, even ones they normally don't stock in the store or online. They usually arrive in around 2 weeks. You can either pick them up in person if you happen to live near one of their locations, or they can ship them to you cheaply via Fedex or such. Base shipping is $8, but only $1 more per manga afaik. Shipping is free on orders over $100.

Honto is my go-to site for importing manga and light novels.
Here is a guide for registering an account and getting your address setup if your Japanese is weak:
There is no markup on MSRP, they often have coupons or 3x-10x point sales for rewards, and their packaging is impeccable. I use SAL Small Parcel for shipping: It's not insured like EMS, but it's WAY cheaper, and I've never lost an order. Delivery takes around 14-21 days via SAL. EMS less than a week, but then you're probably paying more than just going with Kino.

Yesasia is also a decent place for manga or light novels as long as you order enough for their free shipping costs, because the "free shipping" is built into the price already. They took a bit longer when I ordered from them: About 3 weeks, since they send it from HK to LA, then ship it domestically. Honto is better pricing though IMHO. Their catalog search is also terrible. I recommend using Google to search their site. And be aware that they often format the titles in romaji and very oddly. IE: Log Horizon ログ・ホライゾン is like roguhoraizon blahblah blah blah. So you sometimes have to try multiple searches to find stuff.

Why ordering this way is great:
-- You don't pay for expensive SAL shipping. Only local shipping costs.
-- Exchange rate has rebounded to ~100:1 so after-shipping costs for volumes are only $6.75-$8.25 each (MSRP 440-600yen)
-- Directly support your author and keep them serialized. Get them the best royalty.
-- No worries about editing changes or censorship.

There is a growing selection of eBooks available for Japanese manga as well, but I believe some of them are region-locked, so you may have to use a VPN to purchase them. Places for eBooks include HMV, Honto, Nico Seiga, Amazon Japan, etc.

Personal disclosure:
My entire manga collection is original Japanese volumes that I all got for less than the English counterparts. I keep the scanlations archived, but it's also a good learning experience if you are studying Japanese

Last edited by JediNight; 2013-11-27 at 16:54. Reason: Updated 11-2013
JediNight is offline   Reply With Quote