Open letter to Libre Shuppan
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Sep. 13th, 2010 | 09:05 pm
I don’t know for you, but my week-end was really gloomy... That most of my favourite scanlators went down one after the other under Libre’s “Cease & Desist” letter was a heavy blow. And the reason behind it made it worse: Libre is looking to augment its market share of the English-speaking population through Animate USA: www.animate-world.com/
“Thank you for reading our books and for your continued support” they write at the bottom... sorry L-folks, the only thing I feel right now is the urge to smash a Kindle down your throat!!! ...argh, though satisfying, this was an entirely inappropriate reaction. So I stomped on it and rationalized it -- then I wrote everything down and sent it to Libre. It is not nice, but at least it is not uncivilized...
“To whom it may concern at Libre,
“I can guess at the love-hate relationship that probably exists between publishers, scanlators and mangakas. I get that scanlations are illegal, that scanlators don’t have a legal leg to stand on when it comes to publisher’s right and that they’re fiddling with things that do not belong to them. On the other hand, scanlators are the first and the strongest fans; if not for them, yaoi – as well as the publishers of yaoi and the mangaka creating yaoi – would not be where they are today.
“I read scanlations. A lot. But I also buy manga. A lot. Or more precisely: I buy tons of manga. In 3 years, I’ve bought more than 1500 manga books, 90% of it yaoi. I buy manga in English, in French and in Japanese – the later in bulks of 15~20 books.
“Every month, I spend more than US$ 200 on books. I usually choose the books I buy by reading scanlations. And when I love a manga or a mangaka’s work, I want to own it in book form. If it’s not available in English, I’ll usually get it from Japan, in Japanese. Yes Libre, I am one of your direct customer.
“As a customer, I am now incensed by the way you are trying to milk me. I understand that you want to secure a return on your investment in copyrights you bought and you certainly wish to promote mangakas’ work. But US$ 2.99 a chapter via Kindle? Force me to buy a $150 device I hate reading comics on, to be able to read a manga that will on the whole cost me US$ 15 or more?? And I’ll have to fish out another $10 if I want it in book format??? Then you even expect me to buy Japanese manga on Kindle at a higher price than a tankoubon????
“I said it already, but let me repeat to make sure it gets through: I choose which manga I buy by reading the scanlations. I DON'T buy blind. Libre decided to come down on the scanlators, and the company has every right to do so. However, has Libre realized it’s coming down on the readers and on the whole community that generates and expands the interest in yaoi and in its products? I discovered yaoi because of scanlators. If not for scanlators, my $200 a month would be spent on other books completely. Now, I feel like Libre is spitting on me and tying me down to steal my wallet.
“Therefore, I, as a reader and a buyer, am deciding that from now on, Libre will not see one of my dollar if I can help it. Not only will I stop buying Libre books, I will also cancel my subscription to ‘Be x Boy Gold Magazine’ (I’m going to get ‘Lynx’ instead *smile*); I’ll also stop buying Libre books licensed by French or English publishers. As a matter of fact, I already cancelled the following pre-ordered items:
“From Digital Manga Publishing:
KUKU Hayate’s “Love Sickness” (あやしの君の恋煩い)
KONOHARA Narise’s “Cold Light” and “Cold Fever”
KUWABARA Yuuko's “Garden Sky” (おそらでガーデン)
ZAOU Taishi’s “Mysterious Love” (恋は異なもの妙なもの)
HIGASHINO You’s “Deeply Loving a Maniac (超マニアックに愛して)
“From Asuka Editions:
MISHIMO Kazuhico’s “Lover’s Doll” (ラバーズ・ドール)
KITAKAMI Ren’s “The Path to Love” (みちづれポリシー)
TAKANAGA Hinako’s “Silent Love” (不器用なサイレント)
“Be x Boy Magazine” – the French Edition
“And I wrote to the publishers to tell them why.
“Libre, I definitely don’t commend your business acumen. Already as an English reader, I was leery after the way you handled Be Beautiful. With your latest stunt, I feel like throwing up my hands in the air and giving you up for good... which really pisses me off because great mangaka are published through the Libre imprint. But I will stop buying “Aitsu no Daihonmei” and “Sex Pistols” (“Sex Pistols”, by the way, I have both in the English and the Japanese editions) and all the other great series, just to. Not. Buy. Anything. Of. Yours.
“So long, Libre.
“Signed: Joelle, a frustrated and dissatisfied ex-customer”
And everything I wrote in that e-mail, I did. Believe me, it was HARD to click on the cancel button for “Deeply Loving a Maniac”... T____T . Also, cancelling orders from bookdepository.com is a pain.