Robot 6

Fantagraphics adds subscription option for Wandering Son

Shimura Takako’s Wandering Son has been acclaimed by critics all over the blogosphere (myself included), but any publisher is taking a risk on a 200-page hardcover book that sells for $20, and when it’s part of a 12-volume series … well, there is a lot to be said for giving loyal readers a break.

It’s hard to know whether Fantagraphics is feeling nervous or generous, but the publisher is offering a discount to readers who pay up front: A subscription to the next three volumes, vols. 4-6, for $50.38, a 20 percent discount from the list price of $62.97 — plus free domestic shipping and discounted overseas shipping.

This seems like a mutually beneficial deal: Fanta gets its money up front for volumes that will be published in December 2012, June 2013 and December 2013, respectively, and readers get a good price. This sort of pay-now-read-later arrangement is unusual for manga, and for graphic novels in general. If this works, it could set a precedent for high-end graphic novels — I don’t see anyone paying up front for the next 20 volumes of Naruto, but when you think about it, it’s not that different from traditional publishers like Digital getting pre-orders through Kickstarter.

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Comments

3 Comments

Absolutely wonderful idea, and I’m glad to see it coming from a publisher like Fantagraphics. If putting my money down now for the next three volumes helps them out a bit more, then I’m totally willing to do so. Love the series, and love this program. Really excited for what this could bring in the near-future, as well.

I have the first 2 book of “Wandering Son”. I will keep supporting it, though because, I want Fantagraphics to publish more manga, in the near future.

Brigid, thanks for taking notice and spreading word about our offer! Honestly we don’t have any strategic motives behind it — it was an off-the-cuff idea that we ran with. The series has been a great success, and since readers are so invested and loyal (as well they should be), it made sense to give it a try.

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