Another Last Desperate Gasp From Print Publishing

San Diego Comic-con: ‘Yen Plus’ Manga Mag Goes Digital for $2.99 a Month

Yen Press online seems both a positive step toward paid online access to content and a direct and nonpunitive challenge to the rise in scanlations. Access is offered on a nonterritorial basis—fans can log in from anywhere. There is no downloading and the site will offer access to two months of Yen Plus, the current issue and previous month, after which back issue content is removed. “Yes, we want to encourage you to buy our print editions,” Hassler said from the podium.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

So basically they are charging people to read monthly e-advertisements for the printed editions?

That’s what the net effect turns out to be!

When Sony introduced the Libre — the forerunner of the Sony Reader — in Japan, it was tied to a scheme very much like this: with books and magazines that could be rented. Everyone here in America laughed at that idea.

Now that an eBook marketplace has been established with many books costing $9.99, I wonder how many people would balk at “renting” a book for $1.00 (although some say it should be far less than that!) for thirty days? There are some books that are just “readers,” not “keepers” — as any public library user will attest.

Plus, we’ve already seen the overwhelming popularity of eBooks published independently that are priced below that $9.99 point.

But this scheme, above, is different than renting an eBook. Because an eBook can still be purchased — while this manga scheme is all about not purchasing the e-edition.

As usual, print publishing resists the future.

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