In recent months, Los Angeles-based manga publisher TokyoPop has taken some flack from fans about their recent decision to change to a different paper stock for their books in an attempt to cut costs in a tough economic environment for publishing.
Well, these comments from fans have been heard loud and clear. Marco Pavia, Associate Publisher of TokyoPop recently contacted me to share some news:
"Among other things, you had asked about our paper, and I mentioned we’ve been exploring our paper options since we made the change in March. When we did switch a few months ago to the current paper, we were still investigating other paper options to improve its quality with our main printer."
"To cut a long story short, our printer has now found a mill in the U.S. that will produce the equivalent of our 50-lb paper -- that is, paper that is nearly identical in quality to what we used before we made the switch this past March. Books that will go on sale in October will have this new paper as well as all our reprints from now on."
TokyoPop also recently announced that they're taking a new approach to fan outreach with a series of webinars they're calling "TokyoPop Insider." The first of two webcasts will be held on Thursday, August 6, 2009.
TokyoPop editors were noticeably absent from the panels programming at both Anime Expo and San Diego Comic-Con this year (although they did have a booth at Comic-Con). At both events, I ran into several fans who asked, "Where's TokyoPop?"
For better or worse, industry panels at these major comics and anime conventions have been the primary way that publishers have been making their big licensing acquisition announcements. While these panels are often fun and interesting events, they are only accessible to fans who have the time and money to attend these conventions. With TokyoPop Insider, TP is giving fans around the world an opportunity to attend a virtual panel from their home or office, to see what's new and coming soon and ask questions to the TokyoPop editorial staff.
The first program, entitled "From Domo to Yaoi and Almost Everything In Between" will be held on Thursday, August 6, 2009 from 1:00 - 2:00 pm Pacific Standard Time, and attendance is limited to the first 1,000 fans who log into the webinar. Sign in for the event begins at 12:50 pm on Thursday. Fans interested in attending this online event are encouraged to check their computers' settings at iLinc prior to the start of the webinar.
I'll be checking into the TokyoPop Insider event to see what's new. How about you?
Image credit: © TOKYOPOP, © Deb Aoki