Earlier this evening, I got promotional e-mail from Digital Manga Publishing that advertised a new concept called the Digital Manga Guild, a site that uses crowd-sourcing to bring un-translated manga to readers. Not only that, but participants in the program are required to apply before they can work on manga and get paid for sales of any work that they do. Here’s an excerpt from the site:
Welcome to the Digital Manga Guild presented by Digital Manga, Inc. — an online open platform where dedicated manga fans can gather to work, talk, and to also be part of a manga revolution. Digital Manga is looking for a few good people to help build an online community of manga localizers to assist in bringing out thousands of untranslated titles to fans everywhere.
With the changing tide of the economy and the high cost and slow pace of producing print editions of your favorite manga, Digital Manga, Inc. has moved forward into this new digital venture to localize and produce manga online! Digital Manga has made agreements with six major Japanese publishers to provide content to our online platform, planned for a 2011 launch. Hundreds of untranslated titles will need to be adapted to the rest of the speaking world. That is where you, the fans step in.
We are in search of groups and individuals to help us with the process, NOW! This entails the need for translators to translate manga from Japanese to English, as well as other languages; editors/rewriters to clean up the translations for a smooth read; and letterers to retouch and typeset text. Once a title is completed, it will be digitally distributed through our platform for purchase. With your help in this process, we can supply more manga faster, to feed everyone’s manga addiction!
Registered groups or individuals chosen to work on projects will be assigned some of their favorite, unreleased titles. By becoming a member, you will be offering services to Digital Manga, Inc, and will be eligible to join our revenue share program. Members who work on specific titles will receive a revenue percentage from all future sales of that book. This means you get to share in our profits. However, no party — Digital Manga, Inc., the Japanese publishers, or you (the localizers) — will get paid until a sales transaction is made. That means, we are all in this together!
Join today to become one of the pioneers in revolutionizing the way we make manga. Pre-registration is open, and Digital Manga, Inc. will contact members to provide further details.
Woah, woah, woah! I have to admit I have SO MANY QUESTIONS right now. For one, will anyone be allowed to join? I sent in an application for an editorial/rewrite position, so it’s up to DMP who gets to work on manga and get paid. How much people get paid is another question I have, as well as how much are these manga going to cost? Is this that new Crunchyroll manga platform thingy we’ve been hearing about? How is DMP getting the licenses to distribute these manga? Who chooses what manga gets worked on? Will fans be able to request titles? Is this a way for scanlators to go legit, and, if so, are they still allowed to do scanlations on the side?
You can sign up as an editor/rewriter, translator (for many different languages, so if you know Chinese or Spanish or some other language, put that down!) or a letterer/touch-up artist, either as an individual or a group. I’ve already signed up myself, so if my application is approved (how long does that take, I wonder? I should update the personal site I gave as a reference to my work this weekend!) I will do my best to share any details I can give in the future.
What do you think, readers? This clearly has the potential to be a big development for the manga industry digital presence and I am super-excited to see what comes of it.