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[Publisher] Tokyopop

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Galactic Overlord

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Has anyone had any experience with Tokyopop? They are open to submissions from American writers, so I'd like to know more about them.
 

Aconite

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Do you have their website addy handy?
 

Aconite

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Obviously, the Web gods hate me today. I'm only getting about half their index page displayed, and the Search function doesn't return any results for submission guidelines. I'll try again later, if nobody gets there first.
 

KimJo

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Tokyopop is a pretty well-known publisher of Manga and seems to be moving into publishing novels as well. The link to their submission guidelines is under "About Us" in the index at the top of their home page. According to the fiction guidelines, they're considering proposals for novel trilogies. They're also looking for Manga writers and artists. The new Childrens Writers and Illustrators Market lists them as also publishing young adult novels and chapter books. I can't find anything about those on the website, though. They also have a Rising Stars of Manga competition, which offers publication of the winning entry and apparently they offer projects to some of the non-winners.
 

MadScientistMatt

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Their manga translations and anime videos are pretty widely distributed. They do, however, have somewhat of a bad reputation in some sections of the anime / manga fan world, though. Not for ripping off authors, but for censoring their translations (I've seen one episode where a subtitle read, "Don't joke with me!" while I recognized that a more appropriate translation would have used a different four letter word for "joke,") and sometimes just doing really stupid things with their DVD's to make anime feel more like an American cartoon than a Japanese one. The way they are not always true to thier source material has earned them the nickname of Tokyochop to anime fans.

At any rate, they're not a vanity publisher. I've seen a lot of their books at local bookstores and their DVD's at the local Blockbuster. I can't say how they treat their authors, but they have real national distribution and marketing muscle.
 

jfreedan

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The way that they word their page, it seems as if they are only interested in "established authors"-- fiction writers who have already been published before.

Also, they have a submission agreement form you must sign...and it is very similar to the kind you have to sign for Dark Horse, DC and Marvel. I am weary of it because of the horror stories I have heard about those comic publishers. Some people have accused them of rejecting proposals but using the ideas anyway. I personally wouldnt know if that is true or not, but it is strange that they require these forms when no other kind of writing publisher makes you agree to these demands.

I've sent in quite a few query letters to publishers before, and I cant recall any of them making me include a form that said I cant sue them if they reject my proposal but publish a similar story from someone else.

Here is the link to the submissions page of Tokyopop

http://www.tokyopop.com/aboutus/submissions.php
 

jfreedan

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erinbee said:
They're quite reputable, and pretty selective as far as I know.

I'm not saying they arent reputable. I'm saying the clause you have to sign makes me nervous :p
 

Aconite

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jfreedan said:
I'm not saying they arent reputable. I'm saying the clause you have to sign makes me nervous :p
Yep. Perfectly reputable, legitimate publishers can have crappy contracts.
 

zeprosnepsid

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I buy a good amount of Tokyopop manga and they are very popular and well known.

I've also had discussions with people that work there. As for novels, so far I believe they have mostly published novelizations of anime and manga. And while they've started this new division to create original work, I'm not sure they have put any of it out yet.

They have about 70-100 people working there but they're not entirely organized. They open positions (and interview for them) and then decide to close them unsure of their future direction. I have high hopes for this new initiative for original work but am wary they will not go through with it. I haven't looked into it in several months though.

The people that work there are pretty cool though. A little competitive but well meaning. But for most comic organizations, you did need to have some real experience to be considered. Also, going to a comic or anime convention they are at is one of the best ways to get noticed. They get a lot of submissions and I'm not entirely convinced they're reading them all (like Marvel when they opened submissions for a short period of time). But they may be more put together now than a year ago when they were starting this program up.
 

Snappy

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Wow! That's depressing.
 

triceretops

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I know that they commission writers by contacting agents. That's what happened to me anyway. I was given kind of a writing test and had to submit a sample. Little did I know how flowery, almost purple and poetic they wanted in the style. I flunked. I was looked at to write guy on guy fiction for Japanese women, who just buy up cartloads of the stuff. Very picky as far as voice and style, as I said before.

Definitely read their books and stories before subbing anything.

Tri
 

entropic island

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No. Yen Press is still in business and it's contracts are WAY more mangaka-friendly than Tokyopop's. Hopefully they'll jump on this opportunity and license the few good manga Tokyopop is dropping.

Just my opinion on the matter.
 

CaoPaux

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Just for the sake of closure: URL now directs to their Facebook, which is still going strong.
 

Bicyclefish

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To those who may have missed the news in September, Tokyopop may be returning to publishing manga. Or not. It's a little unclear

Tokyopop plans to return to manga publishing :
The company has stated on its official Twitter feed that "the ultimate goal is to start publishing manga again" and that they are hoping to release new manga "very soon." The plans entail continuing their digital releases and resuming print copies, but there are "a lot of obstacles" in their way. [...] GeekChicDaily posted an open letter by Tokyopop founder Stu Levy in which he stated that he promised that he is "continuing to explore any and all opportunities to relaunch the manga publishing operations of TOKYOPOP's business."

Like a zombie it will dig itself back up again: Is TOKYOPOP returning?:
Former manga publisher TOKYOPOP and the pop culture e-newsletter GeekChicDaily announced today that they’re teaming up to launch a new email newsletter, called TOKYOPOP, that will focus on “the hottest Asian pop culture news and trends.” [...] Prior to the announcement, TOKYOPOP’s Facebook page became active again, which led to many folks thinking some of their favorite manga might be returning. As fans began asking questions and getting excited about the possibility of the company publishing again, the following appeared on their Facebook page yesterday: [...] "unfortunately we are not re-launching the manga – those properties have reverted to their owners and are amazingly difficult to get back. We’re launching an all new editorial TOKYOPOP newsletter about all things otaku and Asian pop-culture, powered by our friends at GeekChicDaily."

Which makes it sound like they won’t be publishing manga again … unless you read this passage from Levy’s letter: [...] “I know that you’re all eager to have the same access to your favorite manga titles that we could previously provide and I promise that I am continuing to explore any and all opportunities to relaunch the manga publishing operations of TOKYOPOP’s business, as it was the original heart and soul of the company.” Or saw that they’ve launched a separate Twitter account, TOKYOPOPmanga, or saw some of the responses on their Facebook page that seem to indicate they’re planning to publish manga again.

Tokyopop's Return to Manga Publishing Raises Mixed Responses:
There’s been a mixed reaction in manga fandom to this news. Over at Tokyopop’s Facebook page, there’s been posts of encouragement. However, reaction has been negative at other Internet sites; many of these posts question the company’s motives and expressing feelings of distrust.

[...] I fall on the side of questioning why Tokyopop is trying to restart its North American publishing after shutting it down just a few months ago. There’s also no guarantee that Levy won’t flip-flop on this decision again in the next few months. I do wish Tokyopop a lot of luck if the company is successful in returning to manga publishing in North America. However, I have my doubts it will work out in the long run.
 

CaoPaux

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Came back online Dec '12. First year's production looks to be reprints and tie-in merchandise.
 

CaoPaux

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Is making another go at it (commentary at Comics Alliance).
 
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