Kodansha Comics teams with Random House to debut new manga app for iTunes at NYCC
For years fans have complained that manga publishers have done little to break into digital. Now Kodansha joins Viz Media, DMP and Yen Press in launching apps this year. It will be free to download, with most volumes priced for sale at $4.99. The Kodansha Comics iPad app will launch with 34 books covering four series: Arisa by Natsumi Ando; Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima; Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei by Kôji Kumeta; and Until the Full Moon by Sanami Matoh. Additional series will be added to the app in time.
In a special launch promotion designed to celebrate the appearance at New York Comic-Con of Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima, all fifteen volumes of Fairy Tail will be available at the special price of $2.99 each for a limited time.
Servicing this app is a natural extension of Random House Publisher Services distribution agreement with Kodansha USA Publishing, which covers sales and distribution, and also editorial, production and marketing.
Kodansha Comics launched its first title, Akira volume 1, in 2009 in partnership with Random House. In 2010, the company hired Random House Publisher Services to coordinate, sell, market and distribute its U.S. publishing program, and the first books debuted in 2011. Kodansha Comics has published many New York Times Graphic Novel bestsellers in recent months, with Naoko Takeuchi's classic Sailor Moon currently holding the number one spot for manga for three weeks in a row.
Established in New York in 2008, Kodansha USA Publishing (KUP) is a subsidiary of Kodansha, Japan's largest publisher. KUP's first works under the Kodansha Comics imprint were Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira and Masamune Shirow's The Ghost in the Shell. In 2011, KUP is expanding their catalog to include such titles as Negima by Ken Akamatsu, Shugo Chara! by PEACH-PIT, and Bloody Monday by Ryou Ryumon and K?ji Megumi. Kodansha Comics is distributed by Random House Publisher Services.
Written or Contributed by: Jeremy Shane