Manga books are those glorious semi-cartoon images, with stories created for both children and adults, and they are often the work of solopreneurs! The market is immense! The growth chart for sales of manga books is waaaay off the charts.
Don’t believe me? Just take a peek at Amazon and search for “manga”. When I did it just now, I got over 130,000 results in books alone, not even counting Kindle editions.
That’s a lot of titles.
That means that a lot of people are interested in this kind of book.
And take a look at the list along the left hand side in Amazon. There are manga books for teens, in science fiction, in romance, in novels — in fact, just about any genre you could imagine.
So how do you find these hundreds of thousands of readers?
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If these images bear a striking resemblance to “anime” it is because they are essentially the same style of art. “Anime” is the animated movie version, and “manga” is the printed version. The book version is really the one that solopreneurs excel at; the movie version often requires a team of pros.
If you are looking for an established publisher, again look in the left hand column of the Amazon search. That is where you will find the most active manga printers.
The advantage to using an established publisher is that the marketing will be a lot easier, like placement in Amazon and Kindle. Be warned that standard publishers do charge a steep percentage, some as high as 90-95% of the book’s sale price, so read the proposed agreement carefully.
There is always the option of printing the books yourself. Soft cover books are remarkably easy to print for Amazon distribution, even full color ones.
While print versions are indeed popular, don’t overlook the potential of Kindle editions. The Kindle people have even created special software that will make it so much easier for you to upload your book once you’ve created it.
Volumes have been written about the pros and cons of using an established publisher vs publishing it yourself, so I won’t cover it again here. Just be forewarned that the choice of publication venue is likely to be your most difficult decision as a solopreneur.
This really is a business that you can start part time, then let it grow. Do your drafts on your lunch hour, and have friends look over your initial storyboards. The goal is to create a blockbuster first book, then follow that up with slews more.
One very successful writer I know puts a teaser into every book she publishes, something that will draw visitors to her website to get a freebie. The catch is that, in order to get the freebie, the visitor gives her the email address to send it to. That email list becomes her Number One means of promoting all future books. I think she’s got over 20,000 names on that list right now, and she has only published four titles!
The bottom line on this is that this is a wide open market. If you’ve got artistic talent and storytelling talent, I can’t imagine what you would be waiting for.