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Artist Highlights Abuses in the Manga Industry

Artist Highlights Abuses in the Manga Industry

Manga artist Mayu Shinjo tweeted about the abuses in the manga industry. Like animators, manga artists also suffer from issues involving royalties and threats from giant publishers like Shogakukan.

Artist Highlights Abuses in the Manga Industry

Who is Mayu Shinjo? She is an erotic manga artist who has been in the industry since 1994. She used to write for Shogakukan but left the company to become a freelancer due to worsening working conditions.

Cover of a manga by Mayu Shinjo

In her tweet, the artist exposes the harsh reality many manga artists face, describing the act of writing for a publisher as “suffocating”:

“I wrote this a while ago but couldn’t post it… It’s about what I consider to be the biggest problem in the manga industry. I think we need to raise awareness about the current situation and make changes at an individual level… With what has happened recently, I’m fed up with the unchanging system imposed by large corporations. Please read this. The era of manga artists being exploited by publishers has already begun,” said Shinjo.

Artist Highlights Abuses in the Manga Industry

The artist raised the issue of royalties for printed manga, mentioning that artists have received a standard of 10% over the years. This low rate was justified by the need to involve various parties such as editors, typographers, printers, retail intermediaries, retailers, and warehouse management companies to deliver manga to readers.

Shinjo notes that even with digital manga publications, royalties are often only 15%, rarely reaching 20%. This is despite most intermediary companies being out of the picture and the publisher having much less responsibility in the process than with printed manga.

Shinjo also mentions some personal experiences she had to endure. After leaving Shogakukan and refusing the demands to give up the rights to her works, Shinjo tried to negotiate directly with her e-book distributor to have her manga published and offered at a higher price.

However, when Shogakukan found out, the publisher tried to threaten the distributor, pressuring them not to accept the deal. Digital book distributors relied on publishers, putting them in a difficult position.

But this has changed. With publishers increasingly relying on digital book distributors to host their titles, publishers continue to receive the highest percentage of royalties. Shinjo mentions that more and more authors are raising complaints about the low rates they receive, but the publishers are not listening.

via Automaton

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