Manga is a Japanese word that essentially means comic. While the word comic in the West can mean single-strip comics that appear in newspapers, most manga is akin to what Westerners would call comic books.
If you want to publish manga, you’re most likely familiar with the style already. Perhaps you’ve created your own manga or you’re attempting to bring a little-known manga to a wider audience. Either way, self-publishing manga is an excellent option if you have no luck with major manga publishing companies. Take a look at this guide to printing manga.
1. Understand the Manga Landscape
First, you’ll need to determine the type of manga you want to produce. There are five main categories of manga:
Intended for children, with stories centered on moral lessons and adventures.
Targeted to adolescent boys between 9 and 18 years old. Usually comedy- and action-oriented, these stories can often be classified as coming-of-age tales.
Intended for adolescent girls between 9 and 18. Generally focuses on relational themes and interpersonal conflict.
Primarily aimed at young men 18 years and older. Expect violence, profanity, sexual content and plenty of action.
For young women over 18. Stories focus on romance and relational themes and may include sexual content and profanity.
When creating stories, think of the manga that inspired you. What will you do to differentiate yourself? How will you build upon the themes that other manga have explored without repeating or parroting pre-existing stories?
2. Research the Manga Publishing Market
To partner with a manga printer rather than self-printing manga, you must understand the manga publishing market.
Each publisher caters to different audiences. For example, Dark Horse Comics doesn’t have requirements for style or genre, while Hakusensha Inc. focuses on Shojo manga.
Publishers have preferred submission processes, too. Some accept submissions from published authors only, while others have restrictions based on the country the author lives in. You’ll also need to be familiar with publishing contracts.
3. Prepare Your Manga Draft
Before pitching your manga to publishers, create a complete draft that’s ready for print. Your plot, dialog, artwork and page layout must all be refined and polished.
4. Reach Out to Manga Publishers
Follow the submission guidelines for the company you’re looking to get published by and submit your draft. This is the hardest part for some authors, as there’s little to do but wait for a response.
5. Consider Online Self-Publishing Manga Platforms
If you don’t want to roll the dice on getting published through a major manga publisher, you have the option of self-publishing. Well-known online manga publishing platforms include:
- POP Comics
- Graphite Comics
- Comic Fury
You can also publish on less specific platforms, such as Amazon Kindle.
6. Print Your Self-Published Manga
There’s no substitute for physical books.
If you want to offer high-quality printings of your manga, partner with Print Bind Ship. Along with print-on-demand services, we offer warehousing and inventory management should you prefer to print in large batches. We’ll print your manga for audiences that expect to read it from right to left, just like traditional manga.
7. Market Your Manga
Once your manga is ready to sell, it’s time to advertise. Start by creating a website and social media page for your manga so readers can get to know you and your characters. Post content and interact with potential fans. You can also frequent online forums to let readers know about your new manga.
Take out social media ads or use email and direct mail marketing to reach new customers. Print Bind Ship’s Mail Genius will let you tailor direct mail pieces with custom notecards and other flourishes. We can even simulate handwritten notes.
How to Print Self-Published Manga
Print Bind Ship is ready to print when you are. Just send us your files, and let us take care of the rest. We offer fast, worldwide shipping and can get orders out the door and on their way to customers within 24 hours. We’ll even handle returns so you don’t have to.
Our printing is on par with the books you would get from a major publisher. As such, you can expect your titles to last.
Exceptional Customer Service
Both you and your customers can expect prompt, courteous customer service around the clock.
By handling all aspects of printing, storing and shipping in-house, we keep costs down for our customers so you can put more money where it counts.
All-in-One Shipping and Tracking
Print Bind Ship takes care of packaging and shipping your books to your readers. Both you and the customer will receive a tracking number so you can see where a particular shipment is at any time.
Craft Your Manga and Partner with Print Bind Ship
Creating a manga from the ground up takes patience and dedication. When you put in so much hard work, you deserve printed copies that live up to your expectations.
Self-publishing manga requires partnering with an experienced printer, and Print Bind Ship can deliver the goods. Our Mail Genius service can also bring in new customers and help you create loyal readers.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can get copies of your manga into the hands of eager readers.
For traditional black and white manga, printers generally use 50- or 60-pound uncoated paper.
Take four sheets at a time and fold them in half lengthwise together. Sew or staple down the crease. Each of the resulting segments is known as a signature.
Align your signatures, clamp them together, and use scrapbook glue to cover the spine. Apply more glue to secure the cover, which will typically be made of thicker gloss paper.
If you’re hoping to sell many copies of your original manga, it’s better to partner with a printer. That way, you won’t have to handle the complex logistical details, such as printing, packaging, shipping and returns.