In terms of publication method, there is not a huge difference between professionally produced manga and manga produced by an amateur. This being said, professional manga artists need to work together with their editors. This is because they must create a manga that also meets the goals of the editorial department and the magazine’s audience.
In this post, you will learn:
- What you need to have to publish your manga.
- The two ways to publish a manga in Japan.
- The complete process for submitting to three top manga magazines.
- The prodcution flow for those publishing independtly.
Table of Contents
- 1 What You Need to Publish a Manga in Japan
- 2 Different ways to Publish your Manga in Japan
- 3 How to Submit your Manga to Shonen Jump Magazine
- 4 How to Submit your Manga in-person to Shonan Jump
- 5 How to Submit your Manga Online to Shonan Jump
- 6 Demographics for Shonan Jump
- 7 How to Submit your Manga to Hana to Yume
- 8 How to Submit Your Manga to KADOKAWA Ciel
- 9 How to Self Publish Your Manga in Japan
What You Need to Publish a Manga in Japan
What do you need to publish your manga? All you need is your manuscript. This can be hand-drawn or digitally drawn and store in an envelope marked 原稿 (manuscript).
What is a manga manuscript? It’s your manga finished on A4 or Kent paper Which is popular for most manga artists.
It looks like this:
Following this, you need to decide whether you will publish it yourself or take it to a publishing company for judging.
Publishing your own manga can be costly to print yourself and market to an audience. However, if you take your manuscript to a publisher, you run the risk of losing control of the rights to your work.
Ken Akamatsu, a popular manga artist, canceled his manga Negima because of Japan’s recently passed “neighboring copyright” law. It gives people who “helped” not create partial rights to creative work; this Means editors, researchers, printers, and publishing houses can now be part owners of your manga.
Different ways to Publish your Manga in Japan
There are a couple of different ways to publish manga in Japan. This might come as a surprise but the most manga doesn’t start off as volumes. They start off as individual chapters published in a magazine.
The traditional way involves taking your enveloped manuscript directly to the publisher by calling or emailing and making an appointment before heading to the company building. They then arrange for a specific editor to meet you after you have arrived and filled in some forms (because Japan loves paperwork).
The second option involves using your time, energy, and finances to print and publish the work. Of course, this includes digital publication, which may work as a more financially viable option from an independent publisher’s point of view. Although, it seems that getting digital sales as a new artist can be challenging.
How to Submit your Manga to Shonen Jump Magazine
For being the #1 most popular manga magazine, they sure make the process easy. They give everybody two options.
How do you submit your manga to Shonen Jump? One way is to call the head office and set up an appointment to meet an editor who will look over your manuscript in person. The second is to submit it online via their web portal. They only accept submissions in Japanese.
Let’s look at each of these opportunities in more detail. Starting with in-person.
How to Submit your Manga in-person to Shonan Jump
Unlike via mail or web submission, you can get direct feedback like “this manga is good / not good enough because…” for any work, you bring in. You do not need to dress formally on the day. You can relax and be yourself.
Total Time Needed :
They even have a couple of videos showing you the entire process.
Check them out here:
This video goes into more detail but is set up as a joke. But it still explains the process quite well.
How to Submit your Manga Online to Shonan Jump
Official Instructions for Web Submission:
Submissions are accepted 24 hours a day. You can also scan paper documents and submit them with photos. The editorial staff will definitely read them—replies to submissions generally within 7 business days. However, if the precautions are violated, you may not receive a reply.
- Fill in the required information on the submission form.
- Only one piece of work can be submitted per day.
- Submissions sent on your behalf will not be accepted. You must submit all of your work by yourself.
- Works in foreign languages are not accepted. You must submit your work in Japanese.
- Works such as novels and screenplays are not be accepted.
- Rough drafts are only accepted by mail or directly.
Demographics for Shonan Jump
The main demographic for Shonen Jump is boys and men, but its 2019 reveal the ages and, in some cases, the gender of its readership. Make sure the manga you are submitting speaks to these demographics in Japan. This requires you to understand Japanese cultural nuances. Make sure you understand all the manga genres before submitting.
The results were as follows:
|Weekly Shonen Jump||27.4% of readers are 25 years old or older,|
25.8% are 19-24 years old
17.6% are 16-18 years old
16.4% are 13-15 years old
9.6% are 10-12 years old
3.2% are 9 years old or younger.
|V Jump||90% of readers are men, and 10% are women.|
25% of readers are in the higher grades of elementary school,
24% are in junior high school
20% are in the younger grades of elementary school
12% are in high school
15% are adults
4% are in university
|Jump SQ.||30.2% of people aged 25-29 years old|
26.4% of people aged 20-24 years old
25.2% of people aged 15-19 years old
18.2% people aged 30-34.
67.5% of readers are men
32.5% of readers are women.
|Saikyō Jump||58.5% of readers are in the higher grades of elementary school|
28% are in lower junior high school
11% are in junior high school
2.5% are in high school or older
|Weekly Young Jump||47.8% of readers are aged 20-27|
32.3% are aged 28 or older
How to Submit your Manga to Hana to Yume
How do you submit your manga to Hana to Yume? You submit either in person or through the mail.
Hana to Yume is a popular Shojo Magazine
12 years old or younger = 8.3%
13-15 years = 29.7%
16-18 years = 24.6%
19-21 years = 13.9%
22 years old and over = 23.5%
Send your work to the following address:
Hakusensha Hana to Yume HMC staff
2-2-2 Kanda Awaji-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 101-0063
Manuscripts will be returned and judged free of charge.
Make a reservation via Twitter DM, or phone (03-3526-8025) and go directly to the Hakusensha building at Hakusen-sha Hana to Yume HMC staff 2-2-2 Kanda AwajiCho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 101-0063
You have to fill out your reservation details on a form and receive a guest card to hang around your neck at the building.
When the editor checks your work, their feedback tends to be bluntly honest, so it is best to have a thick skin.
How to Submit Your Manga to KADOKAWA Ciel
Runs three magazines, including Asuka, Monthly Shonan Ace, and New Type.
To directly submit manga to KADOKAWA Ciel, it is necessary to request a reservation by email and include the following details:
- Phone number (including time zone for contact purposes)
- email address
- URLs such as a homepage address and/or pixiv (if you have one)
- Publication history in other magazines (magazine name / time)
- Desired meeting dates and times
After, they’ll set an appointment with you at:
Kadokawa Ciel is located at KADOKAWA Co., Ltd.
CIEL editorial department, 2-13-3 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. 102-8177
How to Self Publish Your Manga in Japan
Did you know that you can also do this via Amazon? Yes publishing a book on Amazon will allow your book to be read anywhere including to a Japanese audience.
This is where most independent creators publish their work that gives free promotion via the kindle marketplace. Although you would need to dost of heavy lifting marketing yourself via promoting your link virtually.
The first step is to go to the KDP website and create an account or sign in with an Amazon account.
Then update any information in the “My Account” section. The fields that need to be filled in are “author/publisher information,” “method for receiving payment,” and “tax information.”
Two types of data for manga submission are required:
- Cover data
- Text data
The file format for cover data that can be submitted currently are the following two file formats: JPEG (JPEG / JPG) | or TIFF (TIF / TIFF).
The text data of the manga you created needs to be converted into ebook data. The supported formats are as follows. MOBI, doc, Docx, HTML, EPUB, RTF, plain text, KPF. With Amazon’s own software, “Kindle Comic Creator,” JPG and TIFF files can be easily converted to MOBI files.
The software CLIP STUDIO TIPS is another option as you can create MOBI and EPUB, so you will not need “Kindle Comic Creator” if you already have this.
Make sure you follow all the sizes and dimensions specified on the link above and if you still need any help check out this guide.
The next options given are to publish the manga as a manga to sell or a free manga.
In the next section, you are asked to add titles, content introduction, search keywords (so readers can find them), and pricing.
If you register for KDP Select, you can maximize your royalties to 70%. However, by doing this, you must make your manga exclusively for sale on the Kindle Store, and you may not sell this title on other sites.
Additionally, you cannot publish it for free on your own site, so if you want to sell your manga on other web services or your own site, please make sure NOT to register with KDP Select. If you do not register for KDP Select, your royalties will be only 35%.
Finally, once you have filled in the required fields, click “Publish Kindle Book.
While publishing your own manga as an ebook may be financially safer, you will have to put in the legwork to get it on the system or pay a representative to do it for you. With this method, you run the risk of not selling any copies, and you have to promote it yourself. Another advantage to digital publishing is that people worldwide will be able to purchase manga.
In contrast, manga books published in Japan will only be available for purchase in Japan until a localization company picks them up for worldwide release.
Going through a big company such as Shonen Jump, if they accept, seems to be the ideal way to publish your manga as it is more likely to sell just because of the company’s reputation.
Publishing a paperback yourself comes with financial issues as you have to pay for printing and bind out of your own money.
Now its time to hear from you:
Which option will you choose? Why?
Are you willing to move to Japan to do this?
Let’s hear your answer in the comments below.