You may be aware that manga varies in price from country to country for the consumer, but have you ever wondered how much it costs to produce manga? The exact answer may be challenging to find. It may vary from country to country and from title to title and hard copy to digital.
How much does it cost to make manga? For individual artists, the average cost to make 100 physical copies of a manga volume is 90,000¥ or $821.28.
These prices depend on serval factors:
- Are you the mangaka (manga artist) or are you hiring one?
- Are you self-binding?
- Are you using software or paper?
- How many hard copies are you going to produce?
- Is your manga in color?
Let’s look at some case examples of individual mangakas and their experience in printing manga themselves. The actual cost varies case by case.
|Case||The Cost of Printing|
|Case 1: Made for manga circle or group distribution |
Black and white cover
Body black and white pages
|30,000¥ ($273.76) |
|Case 2: Made for Comiket Japan |
Body black and white pages
| 90,000¥ ($821.28)|
|Case 3: Made for sale online |
Black and white pages
|Case 4: Made for bookstore sales|
Black and white pages
Bound by a professional designer
|1.3 million¥ ($11,862.94)|
Table of Contents
How Much does it Cost to Publish a Digital Manga?
How much does it cost to make and publish digital manga? It cost no more than 40,000 yen or $365.01.
This number is significantly lower or higher depending on the digital tool you use. Drawing tablets can range from $250.00 – $2,000 + Clip studio or one of the many digital art platforms.
As far as publishing your manga many use Amazon Kindle. The content published is straightforward if you ask a representative to do the legwork. Still, it can be free, assuming the artist goes through the entire process themselves. Being able to cut costs of the paper and printing required for publishing is an incredible advantage and can reach a wider audience as it will be available worldwide.
According to the Ebook Business Survey Report 2020 released by Impress Research Institute, the size of the digital market in 2019 increased by 22.9% from the previous year and is expected to continue to grow. The e-book user demographic is people under 30, resulting in the most popular digital book genre being a manga.
How Much Does a Manga Page Cost?
If you’re planning to hire a manga artist to produce your manga for you you might want to know how much a manga artist would charge to produce one page at a time.
How much does a manga page cost? A manga page costs anywhere from $100 – $250 depending on the artist is hired.
Depending on the quality of the artist this number could hit upwards of $300 – $500.
How Much Does it Cost for Manga Magazines to Produce Manga?
How much does it cost manga publishers to make manga? The cost to publish 10,000 volumes of manga for a manga publisher is 1,320,000 yen or $12045.44.
Let’s look at the factors that contribute to this total number.
In the case of an average B6-sized manga – such as the well-known “Shonen Jump” manga titles, these comics have 128 pages and generally have a cover, band, slip, and a tokuten (a free item included inside) like a postcard.
The text is black and white, the surface is PP (Polypropylene plastic) processed in 4 colors (the back of the cover is white), the band is in 2 colors, the slip is in 1 color, and the tokuten postcard is one color. The submission format is in digital data, which then needs the printing shop.
Here is the estimated cost of a manga with these kinds of specifications per 10,000 copies:
Plate making fee: 39,000 yen
Printing plate fee: 60,000 yen
Printing fee: 159,000 yen
Paper fee: 610,624 yen
Binding fee: 275,000 yen
Processing fee: 60,000 yen
Sales management fee: 120,362 yen
Discount adjustment fee: 3,986 yen
Total: 1,320,000 yen ($12045.44)
In this case, the cost of printing a single manga volume comes to 132.00 yen.
With this data, it’s possible to work out the cost of 3,000, 5,000, 8,000, and 20,000 copies
The result for the manufacturing cost per manga with the same specifications are as follows:
- 3,000 copies: 200 yen
- 5,000 copies: 160 yen
- 8,000 copies: 142 yen
- 10,000 copies: 132 yen
- 20,000 copies: 119 yen
The higher the number of copies ordered, the lower the printing price per manga. The plate-making fee and printing plate fee do not change no matter how many copies are requested. It will be easier to produce cheaply (depending on the quality of paper selected).
Manga Staff Salary
Here are the starting monthly salaries for manga staff:
・ Shueisha: 262,300 yen monthly (new graduate, 22 years old)
・ Kodansha: 258,260 yen monthly (22 years old, 4-year university graduate)
・ Shogakukan: 260,300 yen montly
Each company offers around 260,000 yen monthly, which is the highest starting salary in the industry.
In the case of small and medium-sized publishers, it seems that the current rate is about 210,000 to 240,000 yen for the starting salary of university graduates, although, again, it varies depending on the company.
In Japan, it is often said that the average annual salary of publishing company employees is relatively high. However, there are about 3,000 publishing companies in Japan, including small publishers with one to a small number of employees, so there is a pretty big difference in salary depending on the company.
Staff at large publishing companies that handle publishing a large number of well-known titles can expect an annual income of more than 10 million yen once they have gained experience. So, those at small and medium-sized publishers can earn an annual income in the range of 3-4 million yen. With an average income being 4 million to 4.5 million yen
The cost of the staff plus the printing costs the price of 600 yen for manga doesn’t seem expensive. But these costs increase factoring in paying people for localization.
With many people who enjoy manga having this kind of collector mentality, publishers in Japan sweeten the deal by adding purchase bonuses called tokuten which can range from illustrated cards to DVDs. This choice does raise the production price somewhat but, but it doesn’t seem to hurt much.
I prefer the look and the feel of printed manga, but due to the space confines that come with living in a tiny Tokyo apartment, I have recently turned to digital media, buying the longer-running manga series on the Kindle.
Now its time to hear from you:
Did I miss anything?
Do you plan to make your manga yourself by hand or go through a publishing company?
Whatever your answers are, let’s hear them in the comments below.