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Poll: Manga Magazine Yen Plus To End Print Edition

By April 26, 2010

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Yen Plus April 2010From the Yen Press blog: In a post titled "The Future of Yen Plus," Yen Press Publisher Kurt Hassler announced that the July 2010 issue of the monthly manga magazine would be the final issue of the print edition. But while the July issue will be the last you'll see in your mailbox or your neighborhood newsstand, Hassler emphasized that this is not the end of Yen Plus, just a change of format as it'll be moving to an online-only model. As Hassler put it:

"As the magazine industry changes and old models are eclipsed by new, so, too, must Yen Plus change, and it is with that in mind that I can announce officially that the July 2010 issue of Yen Plus will be its last in print."

"Now before you despair too much, take a deep breath and focus on those last two words: "in print." Yes, the print magazine will be no more, but Yen Plus will live on as an online manga anthology!"

"So this is just your official head's up that a new era for Yen Plus is in the works. Details about our online launch, new content, etc. are all forthcoming."

Will the new online-only version of Yen Plus be similar to VIZ Media's SigIKKI.com and ShonenSunday.com manga magazine websites, which offers installments of various manga series online for free? Or will it be something different and new?

So what does this mean for current Yen Plus subscribers? As Hassler explained it in his post:

"For those of you with subscriptions to the print version of the magazine, you will be receiving a full refund for any outstanding issues of your subscription beyond the July issue. We sincerely hope that you will opt to reinvest some of those funds back into the magazine's new incarnation!"

Meanwhile, until more details emerge, fans are wondering what this digital incarnation will look like and how it will be read. Will it be accessible via a website, or will it be a downloadable magazine to be read via eBook readers like Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble's nook or the Apple iPad? Well, that remains to be seen, but reading between the lines of Hassler's post, it sounds like the online version of Yen Plus may be a pay-to-view affair.

Of course, after hearing the news, fans began posting their reactions on the Yen Plus blog. Here' a sampling of what was said:

"I agree; this is a good decision. It makes Yen Plus a lot more accessible now, and hopefully other publishers will start following suit with online magazines."
- Jenny

"I can't say that I'm pleased with this decision. I realize that you are trying to combat scanlation sites, but what about those of us who don't read them? I do not derive any enjoyment from reading on a computer - you lose the entire tactile experience."
- RS

"(Will) People from other countries will have access?"
- Brazilian Guy

"Well, if its free, then that will be nice, but I have a feeling that the online edition won't be. And the only way I was able to get the magazine was buying it in stores because my parents don't want to purchase a subscription, so if its online and requires a fee, then I will be unable to keep reading Yen+."
- seiracchi

"I know why you're doing this, but if this online anthology isn't free then I'm most likely not going to support it. Sorry but I could read most of YenPress's titles online for free anyway (like most people), the only reason I buy in print is to support the authors and to have a PHYSICAL copy."
- Kendra

So what say you, fans? What do you think of Yen Plus' move to online publishing? If Yen Plus ends up being a pay-to-read magazine, what would you be willing to pay to keep reading Nightschool, Maximum Ride, Nabari no Ou and other series featured in Yen Plus every month?


Image credit: Hachette Publications Group, Svetlana Chmakova


April 27, 2010 at 9:22 am
(1) Lexie C. says:

I don’t believe the magazine should be free, but I wouldn’t pay more than $5 a month honestly. I’d almost rather they gave you the option of ‘a la carte’ and choosing which titles you want to download (like Net Comics does) instead of the entire magazines since I only read 6 of 11 stories within. I figure any money I save I can then put towards buying the physical trade volumes.

April 28, 2010 at 7:45 am
(2) Chargone says:

manga or novels, the content existed to give people a reason to buy paper and ink. the vast majority of what you pay for is the paper and ink. it just so happens that the publishes pay the people who contribute the content because they provide the publishers something of value: a reason for the rest of us to pay for the paper and ink.

then there’s all the people who get no joy from reading online…

online comics readers rarely work. the nearest thing i’ve found to a good arrangement for such are Megatokyo and One Manga. every specialised reader i’ve ever encountered is Crap. PDF files are a pain in the arse. if you want them not to be, you’ve got to (paying for all the things you used to pay the publisher for directly, sans economy of scale, but also shipping) which is time consuming at best.

even then, you go online only, you better plan to make most of your money off merchandising.

still, manga is a lot more valuable to individuals than simple news, at least, so this shouldn’t kill it… and such things Can be done right (witness Eric Flint’s 1632 universe. it has a magazine that is digital only and apparently does very well. of course, a large part of that may be due to the fact that it takes fan submited works and, if they meet the high standards required, makes them cannon and pays the author for them.)

wow. i’ve rambled a bit here.

but yeah, better to make the magazine free, or at least very cheap with free samples of That, and use it as advertising to get people to buy the book versions of specific series. (built in merchandise right there. ayup, books of the exact same thing that’s on the website are viable merchandise, generally speaking)

the above are thoughts. they may or may not have a point. make of it what you will.

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