Monday, March 20, 2006

Manga Sales in Australia

According to the Age, manga sales in australia is about $750,000 a year.

Now I'm assuming that would be sales through bookstores that use local distributors; Dymocks, Angus and Roberts, probably Borders and possibly Kinokuniya.

Now North America did $164 million, in relative terms if Australia had the same percentage of manga buyers, the market would be about $10 million. There is room for our market (with all things being equal) to increase 1300% (i think - i suck at maths).

But all things aren't really equal.
One - i think the local sales of manga in Australia is higher than $750,000 stated because i doubt it takes notice of the 30+ comic shops around the country. Some are probably run by grizzled old fanboys that only sell Marvel/DC and sneer at that "big eyed queer stuff", but some are probably doing quiet well selling manga. If only half the local shops (15) are selling 20 books a week at $20 each, that's another $312000 a year.*

*that also raises the point $750,000 means that only 721 books are being sold a week around the country. A top ten book sells about 2-3000 copies a week. So if the upper limits of manga buying occurs it might be possible for a manga book to hit the top ten (with yearly sales of $10 mill, that would be roughly 9000 books sold a week - which is ALL manga books not individual titles)

So manga is probably selling closer to a million a year.

Also, Viz, Dark Horse and, I think, TokyoPop has restricted a number of high selling franchise books from being sold at local comic shops, so Diamond can not distribute books to Australia - which goes against free trade, but anyway. I'm not sure about regular bookstores, I guessing you can but Dragonballz and other titles through them. In any case, these restrictions make it harder to get books into the hands of punters and probably puts a dampener on sales.

strangely it is exciting that we might be 3 years behind because it provides the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of what happened in North America and Europe with Manga and take advantage of it.
-some how-

However the other problem is that - the western companies that reprint manga are running out of 'good' manga to release. Now i dunno if that's the case - but if it is then in 3 years time at the 'peak' of manga interest locally - will people just be served up rubbish which will turn people off? Like when interest peaked for American comics in the early 90s due to Batman movies, death of superman, the speculative market connected with valiant comics and birth of Image - people got pretty rubbish comics. As a result, thousands of comic shops shutdown and publishers went out of business.

oh and Oztaku got a mention

I'm hoping the Astroboy exhibition is in july, because i might goto that.

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