Rocket Bomber - article - manga - rankings analysis - Breakout: Yen Press


Breakout: Yen Press

filed under , 17 August 2010, 02:31 by

Our ‘winner’ this week is is mizzelle, who asks

How is Yen doing? Is it just one or two big selling titles?

(note, I take requests: follow me @ ProfessorBlind on twitter and start lobbing questions in the general direction of my head)

##

First, a bit of background on Yen:

Yen Press has Kurt Hassler. The man knows manga, knows bookstores, and knows what can/will sell, and what might sell with the proper push behind it. The very existence of Yen was a kick in the ass to a market segment that sorely needed it, but even before any Yen Press books hit stores, Yen bought up ICEKunion (and picked up editorial director Ju-Youn Lee, now a senior editor at Yen) and along with ICE got a backlist that goes back 5 years.

Yen is part of Hachette’s sci-fi Orbit imprint (shadowing both Del Rey manga and [Macmillan] Tor’s arrangement with Seven Seas) but that’s just corporate org charts; it runs day-to-day as its own shop.

The corporate connection isn’t to be immediately discounted, though. Hachette got behind Yen and actually published an anthology magazine for three years, from Aug. 2008 to July 2010. Yen Plus is now a “digital magazine” (fancy website with a subscription model) but Hachette gets full credit for even trying to compete with Shonen Jump on a one-on-one basis, and for putting out the content besides.

The old-school-publisher connection is also of note because through Hachette, Yen had access to a stable of teen-friendly properties for ready adaptation — and some of these books (Maximum Ride) are currently their bestsellers. Yen, to their credit, also reached out to at least one proven OEL manga-ka, Svetlana Chmakova, and her Nightschool series is also an early success for the imprint. OEL is great place to start, actually.

Yen OEL

6. ↑9 (15) : Maximum Ride 3 – Yen Press, Aug 2010 [351.2] ::
7. ↑1 (8) : Maximum Ride 1 – Yen Press, Jan 2009 [333.0] ::
12. ↔0 (12) : Maximum Ride 2 – Yen Press, Oct 2009 [307.3] ::
132. ↓-29 (103) : Cirque du Freak 6 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [82.2] ::
162. ↑5 (167) : Cirque du Freak 1 – Yen Press, Jun 2009 [66.3] ::
289. ↑19 (308) : The Clique 1 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [32.2] ::
408. ↓-6 (402) : Nightschool 4 – Yen Press, Oct 2010 [18.9] ::
538. ↑12 (550) : Nightschool 3 – Yen Press, Apr 2010 [10.3] ::
897. ↑ (last ranked 27 Jun 10) : Nightschool 2 – Yen Press, Oct 2009 [1.7] ::
1407. ↓-19 (1388) : Nightschool 1 – Yen Press, Apr 2009 [0.1] ::

for comparison, here’s the HC/Tokyopop list:

33. ↓-1 (32) : Warriors Ravenpaw’s Path 3 – HC/Tokyopop, Aug 2010 [176.0] ::
37. ↓-8 (29) : Warriors vols 1-3 box set – HC/Tokyopop, Oct 2009 [170.5] ::
39. ↓-6 (33) : Warriors 4 – HC/Tokyopop, Jul 2008 [166.8] ::
58. ↓-8 (50) : Warriors Ravenpaw’s Path 2 – HC/Tokyopop, Mar 2010 [143.5] ::
76. ↓-6 (70) : Warriors Ravenpaw’s Path 1 – HC/Tokyopop, Nov 2009 [123.0] ::
87. ↑7 (94) : Vampire Kisses 3 – HC/Tokyopop, Sep 2009 [110.4] ::
93. ↓-2 (91) : Seekers 1 – HC/Tokyopop, Feb 2010 [103.6] ::
120. ↓-11 (109) : Warriors Tigerstar & Sasha 3 – HC/Tokyopop, Jun 2009 [88.0] ::
139. ↓-17 (122) : Vampire Kisses 1 – HC/Tokyopop, Sep 2007 [76.6] ::
144. ↓-19 (125) : Vampire Kisses 2 – HC/Tokyopop, Sep 2008 [73.3] ::
154. ↑9 (163) : Warriors 2 – HC/Tokyopop, Dec 2007 [68.1] ::
155. ↓-10 (145) : Warriors Tigerstar & Sasha 2 – HC/Tokyopop, Dec 2008 [67.6] ::
161. ↑4 (165) : Warriors 1 – HC/Tokyopop, Apr 2007 [66.7] ::
196. ↓-16 (180) : Warriors 3 – HC/Tokyopop, Apr 2008 [55.5] ::
209. ↓-38 (171) : Warriors Tigerstar & Sasha 1 – HC/Tokyopop, Sep 2008 [52.0] ::
479. ↓-71 (408) : Avalon High: Coronation 3 – HC/Tokyopop, Sep 2009 [13.9] ::
581. ↓-16 (565) : Avalon High: Coronation 2 – HC/Tokyopop, Jun 2008 [8.1] ::
668. ↑170 (838) : Avalon High: Coronation 1 – HC/Tokyopop, Jul 2007 [4.8] ::

My contempt for Warriors-Cat-Manga is blatant, and not only poorly hidden but oft-stated. However, I’m a Level 14 Bookseller, alignment Neutral Greedy, with the special feat Dissembling About Any Book and so I can often manage to subvert my personal feelings while building on what I know of the book [since I’ve read & reviewed it] & I can sell you Warriors. You might even thank me for it.

In this context, however, we can see that Yen’s Maximum Ride clearly beats Warriors, and Cirque du Freak and Nightschool seem to be ready analogues for HC/T’Pops next two bestsellers, Vampire Kisses and Avalon High.

If anything, I just wish Nightschool was selling better. Any sales are good, and Nightschool isn’t failing by any stretch — but it deserves better.

##

Another thread to consider is of course the legacy of ICEKunion and Yen’s considerable manhwa listings:

Yen Manhwa

107. ↓-36 (71) : Angel Diary 12 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [95.1] ::
211. ↓-34 (177) : Jack Frost 3 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [51.7] ::
319. ↑36 (355) : Pig Bride 5 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [27.1] ::
674. ↑new (0) : Legend 4 – Yen Press, Dec 2008 [4.8] ::
688. ↑new (0) : Legend 1 – Yen Press, Nov 2006 [4.5] ::
689. ↑new (0) : Legend 3 – Yen Press, Aug 2008 [4.5] ::
699. ↑new (0) : Freak 3 – Yen Press, Jun 2008 [4.4] ::
797. ↑new (0) : Angel Diary 7 – Yen Press, Oct 2008 [2.8] ::
823. ↑new (0) : Angel Diary 2 – Yen Press, Jan 2006 [2.5] ::
857. ↑ (last ranked 18 Jul 10) : Very Very Sweet 3 – Yen Press, Mar 2009 [2.2] ::
930. ↑new (0) : Angel Diary 1 – Yen Press, Oct 2005 [1.5] ::
1152. ↓-26 (1126) : Goong 6 – Yen Press, Sep 2009 [0.2] ::
1190. ↓-25 (1165) : Laon 1 – Yen Press, Jan 2010 [0.2] ::
1228. ↑171 (1399) : Pig Bride 4 – Yen Press, Apr 2010 [0.2] ::
1237. ↑new (0) : One Thousand & One Nights 6 – Yen Press, Dec 2008 [0.2] ::
1259. ↑new (0) : Very Very Sweet 2 – Yen Press, Nov 2008 [0.1] ::
1262. ↓-26 (1236) : Laon 2 – Yen Press, May 2010 [0.1] ::
1296. ↑79 (1375) : Jack Frost 1 – Yen Press, May 2009 [0.1] ::
1305. ↑new (0) : Very Very Sweet 1 – Yen Press, Jul 2008 [0.1] ::
1369. ↑new (0) : Goong 9 – Yen Press, Aug 2010 [0.1] ::

At first blush, you might think it’s not doing too well, but note some of those volume numbers: 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 — I’m sure Kurt would prefer to have a breakout manhwa title (…and maybe he has one, in Angel Diary) but this is a solid backlist, and the inclusion of manhwa says a lot about Yen as a brand, and as a purveyor of comics.

“Manga” is more than just Cool Japan. Manga is more than ‘manga’ for that matter. It’s about stories, and comics, no matter what the provenance. Yen’s commitment to global manga (both OEL and Manhwa and maybe manhua one of these days?) echoes Tokyopop’s efforts on this front and eventually may beat T’Pop at it’s own marketing game.

##

And of course, Yen licenses manga:

26. ↓-1 (25) : Black Butler 2 – Yen Press, May 2010 [198.4] ::
32. ↑10 (42) : Black Butler 1 – Yen Press, Jan 2010 [178.4] ::
35. ↔0 (35) : Soul Eater 1 – Yen Press, Oct 2009 [175.4] ::
47. ↓-13 (34) : Pandora Hearts 1 – Yen Press, Dec 2009 [157.9] ::
48. ↑155 (203) : Sundome 7 – Yen Press, Aug 2010 [156.2] ::
53. ↓-1 (52) : Yotsuba&! 8 – Yen Press, Apr 2010 [149.8] ::
60. ↓-2 (58) : Spice & Wolf (manga) 2 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [141.8] ::
61. ↓-10 (51) : Soul Eater 3 – Yen Press, Jun 2010 [141.5] ::
69. ↓-6 (63) : Spice & Wolf (manga) 1 – Yen Press, Apr 2010 [131.5] ::
84. ↓-3 (81) : Yotsuba&! 7 – Yen Press, Dec 2009 [112.6] ::
94. ↓-5 (89) : Soul Eater 2 – Yen Press, Feb 2010 [102.1] ::
98. ↓-15 (83) : Pandora Hearts 2 – Yen Press, May 2010 [98.5] ::
102. ↓-16 (86) : Haruhi Suzumiya Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 1 – Yen Press, Oct 2008 [97.5] ::
121. ↓-29 (92) : RomeoxJuliet – Yen Press, Nov 2008 [87.7] ::
143. ↓-38 (105) : Haruhi Suzumiya Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 6 – Yen Press, Jun 2010 [73.6] ::
205. ↓-37 (168) : Darker Than Black – Yen Press, Jun 2010 [53.0] ::
224. ↑53 (277) : Yotsuba&! 1 – Yen Press, Jun 2005 [45.7] ::
244. ↓-98 (146) : Nabari no Ou 4 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [39.4] ::
254. ↓-33 (221) : Azumanga Daioh Omnibus – Yen Press, Nov 2007 [37.4] ::
272. ↑1121 (1393) : Higurashi When They Cry 8 – Yen Press, Aug 2010 [35.4] ::
298. ↑126 (424) : Yotsuba&! 9 – Yen Press, Dec 2010 [31.4] ::
314. ↓-23 (291) : Kobato 1 – Yen Press, May 2010 [27.6] ::
323. ↑43 (366) : My Girlfriend’s a Geek 1 – Yen Press, May 2010 [27.0] ::
328. ↑75 (403) : Haruhi Suzumiya Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 7 – Yen Press, Oct 2010 [26.4] ::
332. ↑40 (372) : Higurashi When They Cry 7 – Yen Press, Jun 2010 [26.3] ::
343. ↑125 (468) : Higurashi When They Cry 1 – Yen Press, Nov 2008 [24.8] ::
389. ↓-6 (383) : Haruhi Suzumiya Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 5 – Yen Press, Mar 2010 [20.5] ::
401. ↓-65 (336) : Yotsuba&! 6 – Yen Press, Sep 2009 [19.4] ::
410. ↓-281 (129) : Spice & Wolf (novel) 2 – Yen Press, Jun 2010 [18.6] ::
416. ↓-7 (409) : Dragon Girl 1 – Yen Press, Feb 2011 [18.4] ::
417. ↑188 (605) : Yotsuba&! 3 – Yen Press, Oct 2005 [18.2] ::
418. ↓-6 (412) : Bunny Drop 2 – Yen Press, Sep 2010 [18.2] ::
429. ↑30 (459) : Yotsuba&! 5 – Yen Press, Oct 2007 [17.4] ::
451. ↑127 (578) : Yotsuba&! 2 – Yen Press, Jul 2005 [15.5] ::
476. ↑289 (765) : Haruhi Suzumiya Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 2 – Yen Press, Mar 2009 [14.2] ::
489. ↓-78 (411) : Nabari no Ou 2 – Yen Press, Oct 2009 [12.8] ::
496. ↓-39 (457) : Nabari no Ou 3 – Yen Press, Mar 2010 [12.3] ::
512. ↓-142 (370) : Spice & Wolf (novel) 1 – Yen Press, Dec 2009 [11.4] ::
523. ↑34 (557) : Kobato 2 – Yen Press, May 2010 [11.1] ::
530. ↓-159 (371) : Ugly Duckling’s Love Revolution 1 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [10.7] ::
539. ↑new (0) : Sumomomo Momomo 5 – Yen Press, Aug 2010 [10.3] ::
541. ↑90 (631) : Book Girl & The Suicidal Mime (novel) – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [10.2] ::
545. ↓-104 (441) : Spice & Wolf (manga) 3 – Yen Press, Nov 2010 [9.7] ::
554. ↑new (0) : Sarasah 5 – Yen Press, Aug 2010 [9.1] ::
569. ↑28 (597) : Haruhi Suzumiya Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 3 – Yen Press, Jun 2009 [8.5] ::
708. ↓-148 (560) : Higurashi When They Cry 2 – Yen Press, Feb 2009 [4.2] ::
740. ↑new (0) : Black God 10 – Yen Press, Aug 2010 [3.6] ::
794. ↑new (0) : Hissing 5 – Yen Press, Nov 2008 [2.9] ::
816. ↑ (last ranked 27 Jun 10) : Sunshine Sketch 1 – Yen Press, Jun 2008 [2.6] ::
837. ↓-251 (586) : Nabari no Ou 1 – Yen Press, May 2009 [2.3] ::
847. ↑new (0) : Hissing 6 – Yen Press, Mar 2009 [2.3] ::
854. ↓-183 (671) : Sundome 1 – Yen Press, Jan 2008 [2.2] ::
935. ↑177 (1112) : Haruhi Suzumiya Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 4 – Yen Press, Oct 2009 [1.5] ::
942. ↑28 (970) : Black Butler 3 – Yen Press, Oct 2010 [1.4] ::
1015. ↑new (0) : Cat Paradise 3 – Yen Press, Jan 2010 [0.9] ::
1024. ↑new (0) : Black God 1 – Yen Press, Oct 2007 [0.9] ::
1058. ↓-126 (932) : Yotsuba&! 4 – Yen Press, Jun 2007 [0.7] ::
1142. ↓-29 (1113) : Higurashi When They Cry 6 – Yen Press, Feb 2010 [0.3] ::
1183. ↑109 (1292) : Bunny Drop 1 – Yen Press, Mar 2010 [0.2] ::
1261. ↓-29 (1232) : Hissing 2 – Yen Press, Sep 2006 [0.1] ::
1269. ↓-22 (1247) : Hero Tales 1 – Yen Press, Oct 2009 [0.1] ::
1286. ↓-583 (703) : Spiral 12 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [0.1] ::
1289. ↑new (0) : Black God 2 – Yen Press, Feb 2008 [0.1] ::
1301. ↓-299 (1002) : Crimson Shell 1 – Yen Press, Nov 2009 [0.1] ::
1379. ↓-716 (663) : Raiders 3 – Yen Press, Jul 2010 [0.1] ::
1400. ↓-212 (1188) : Higurashi When They Cry 4 – Yen Press, Sep 2009 [0.1] ::

I love that Black Butler, Soul Eater, Yotsubato (a license rescue, as many of us know), Spice & Wolf, Sundome, and the upcoming release of RomeoxJuliet are all performing so well.

##

I can break out individual titles as well, but I think these lists are both indicative and representative of the whole.



Comment

  1. The rankings are from the most recently posted charts, of course, week ending 15 August

    Comment by Matt Blind — 17 August 2010, 02:44 #

  2. I think Hissing, Cat Paradise, and Sarasah are manhwa, but you put them under the manga category.

    So far, I have only bought Kobato from Yen, but it looks like I might invest in some other Yen series’ soon. You’re right about their appreciation of manhwa and OEL, but why would they license stuff that typically doesn’t sell well (ie. non-manga)? Where T-pop cancelled all manhwa except INVU (maybe some others?), Yen is still going with these giant manhwa books on the shelves (where Viz fears to tread).

    Comment by Oliver — 18 August 2010, 23:11 #

  3. Yen Plus only published for two years; August 2008 through July 2010 is exactly twenty-four months and twenty-four issues. I would have loved for it to have lasted another year, though… (Yeah, technically it lives on in the digital edition, but it’s just not the same.)

    Comment by Garrett Albright — 19 August 2010, 00:00 #

  4. You listed Cirque Du Freak as OEL, but it actually isn’t. It is based on an American property, but it ran in Shonen Sunday(as simply “Darren Shan”) before Yen Press licensed it.

    @Oliver: Cat Paradise is manga.

    Comment by bahamut — 19 August 2010, 01:12 #

  5. @Oliver:

    I received similar corrections re: Hissing and Sarasah (and others) from Deb Aoki via twitter; I’ve adjusted my database but have to post a correction above.

    @bahamut

    Though I used the term ‘oel’ above, I actually code Cirque du Freak as ‘Global’ in my database, along with a wide variety of stuff from all over — see this post

    Though I will research the artist/artists/artistic team that produces Cirque du Freak and re-evaluate its classification.

    Comment by Matt Blind — 19 August 2010, 08:45 #

Commenting is closed for this article.



menu

home

Bookselling Resources

about the site
about the charts
contact

Manga Moveable Feasts!
Thanksgiving 2012
Emma, March 2010
MMF [incomplete] Archives


subscribe

RSS Feed Twitter Feed

categories

5by8
anime
bookselling
business
comics
commentary
field reports
finding the narrative
found
general fandom
learning Japanese
linking to other people's stuff
Links and Thoughts
manga
Manga Moveable Feast
metablogging
music documentaries
publishing
rankings
rankings analysis
RBGSX
recipes
recommendations
retail
reviews
rewind
site news
snark
twitter
urban studies


-- not that anyone is paying me to place ads, but in lieu of paid advertising, here are some recommended links.--

support our friends


Top banner artwork by Lissa Pattillo. http://lissapattillo.com/

note: this comic is not about beer

note: this comic is not about Elvis

In my head, I sound like Yahtzee (quite a feat, given my inherited U.S.-flat-midwestern-accent.)

where I start my browsing day...

...and one source I trust for reviews, reports, and opinion on manga specifically. [disclaimer: I'm a contributor there]

attribution

- Powered by Textpattern.
- Afterglow template ported by Stuart.



All articles as posted to RocketBomber.com are non-commercial CC licensed: just link back, and also allow others to use the same data.