How to Survive as a Small Yaoi Publisher Part 2

A conversation with Simon Jones of Icarus Publishing.

So, last time we talked about the difference between manga and porn, what it means to be a successful publisher of erotic comics and what challenges face those who choose to publish this material. This time we’ll talk about working with Japanese publishers and bring the focus more specifically on what English-language yaoi publishers need to do to succeed in today’s market.

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How to Survive as a Small Yaoi Publisher

A conversation with Simon Jones of Icarus Publishing.

Recently, there’s been some discussion about how some small yaoi publishers have been struggling despite offering quality yaoi titles to their readers. With DramaQueen in particular, it saddens me to hear of their difficulties — I’ve enjoyed their work, found their enthusiasm infectious and have great affection for company president Tran Nguyen, despite having only met her a couple of times — she’s just that cool.

So, the question for me is “How can a small yaoi publisher survive, even flourish, in today’s competitive bookselling marketplace?”

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Why Most Manga Books Are Small and Black-and-White

I was asked why I was choosing to publish the first Yaoi 911™ book in color — an unusual choice for a manga book. In responding to that, I also commented on reasons why the vast majority of manga books here in the U.S. are not published in color, despite our culture’s current embrace of full-color comics. And I gave some reasons why these books are consistently published in a small “digest-size” format (typically around 5″ x 7.5″) as well.

I thought that readers might find these topics interesting, thus I decided to put my response into its own post. So, if you’re curious about why manga is printed the way it is here or why I’m bucking this tradition by creating full color yaoi, read on!

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How to Keep a Steady Stream of Hot Yaoi Coming Your Way

Did you know that all the books in bookstores are returnable? That’s right — every book you see there can and will be returned for 100% money-back if they don’t sell. So, while being in the bookstore biz certainly isn’t easy, especially for independent retailers, stocking the books themselves is risk-free… for the bookseller.

So who bears the risk? And what the heck does this have to do with hot yaoi?

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How to Find the Perfect Yaoi Artist for Your Graphic Novel

On creator forums, the most common request I see coming from writers is “How do I find an artist to work with me on my graphic novel?” This request is usually followed by a tale of woe about how impossible it seems to be to find such an artist.

Well, I’m here to tell you that with a little perseverance, you can find great artists who will breathe life into your scripts and in this golden age of the internet, it’s actually easier to connect with fellow creators than ever before. You just need to approach it the right way:

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Why Yaoi 911™?

It started as an in-joke between me and fellow filmmaker (and best friend) Bill S. I was going over various title possibilities for this upcoming Yaoi story collection and had been well convinced of the necessity of coming up with a title that would immediately grab the attention of its intended audience. You see, I had been reading on a (now defunct) creator forum called The Engine the sad tale of an indie comic called “Elk’s Run” — a very well-reviewed David Lynchian/Twin Peaks-type story that nobody was buying because they thought it was about hunting or taxidermy or some such. (I’ve since heard that things have improved for the creators now that the secret of their storyline is out…)

Well, I was determined to not make the same mistake.

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