Here is a report of yesterday's teleconference from The Dutchman. Thank you so much to The Dutchman for being willing to share:
(I logged in seven minutes late because my phone line did NOT likethe telephone number.)
DMP's president blurb summarized:
Facts so far on projects:
• Twelve publishers so far, by the end of this year, they hope for 1000 to 1500 titles
• They want to register as many localizing groups as they can because they have an aggressive schedule
• Localizers are important--the quality they put out reflects on the Japanese publishers
• DMG project was started last October, and so far, 508 titles have been acquired
• He's returning to Tokyo in 10 days: possibly 2000+ titles to pick up; great response from Tokyo
• DMP's eManga.com is only one DMP owns, but they plan on having titles accessible for all platforms
• Goal: to create a "bookstore mall" on the website based on publishers. A reader would come into emanga.com, select the publisher they like, and read all the books by this specific publisher
• Most titles are not mainstream: once DMP has about 1000 mixed titles, President feels more mainstream publishers in Japan will give the DMG enterprise serious consideration = more "big" titles (PERSONALLY, i think there are many GEMS in the "less popular titles...)
• Most titles are yaoi, explicit (adult content), classic (old) ones, but they also have josei, shonen, shoujo,
• most titles are dated 2000-2010
Background and Logic to DMG initiative:
• Less than 20 people employed at DMP, but President believes they can compete against the 'biggies”
• Small companies always struggle, though, and need new strategies; strategies different from big company since we have different resources
• Sharing revenue idea by three parties is the result of trying to eliminate the "unfairness" of traditional publishing:
◦ Japanese publishers demand minimum guarantee upfront money (licensing fee). Then, editors, typesetters, translators, printers, etc. all get paid before the title actually starts making revenue for DMP. This makes it difficult for the small publishers to stay alive
• DMP, being a small entity, has strong motivation to change the existing procedure--it's difficult for DMP to succeed when such high demands initially
• DMG resources are:
◦ speed, not afraid of risks for new challenges, a "no fear mentality," enthusiasm, enjoy challenges of new things
• President encourages the localizers to have this same "spirit." "Big company doesn't always win the game; we need to be united in spirit, and enjoy what we are doing"
• One other important thing he wanted to communicate to make sure DMG has the right people:
◦ "Because we are small and try to complete against big companies, many titles are not mainstream 'big' titles. If you are looking for those titles only, then not gonna work."t
• This has never been done before, so we really don't know how this is going to work, but my (President) gut feel is that initially the sales will stall, but we'll all be rich as time goes by!
Break down of revenue:
12% revenue share for localizers
40% goes to Japanese publisher (approx 80% employees usually)
40% DMP (20 employees)
Localizers' Q and A:
• Deadlines will be determined based on packages that will be put together, and difficulty level of titles will be considered. Probably different deadlines for different titles.
• The contract for localizers, which is a standard contract, is almost complete. The contract will state parameters of deadline.
• Because of enormous amount of titles, we won't be able to make the paper books
• All powers will be put on digital platforms; then, top-ranking titles over time, will possibly be published in print
• We don't know how titles will perform in America; after figuring out which titles do well on a digital platform, we are planning to publish these titles in print
Groups signed up so far?
• I (President) don't think we have enough people! Because we are bring in so many titles
• Out of all the people who have signed up, passed the test for qualifying, only about 40 or 50 groups have been qualified
• Even if we have 50 qualified groups, we won't run out of titles
On individuals verses groups:
• This is a community initiative; individuals need to find other group members to work with
• Individuals maybe later, but right now, "shared" community; you need to make a group with at least with three people: translation, typesetting, and editing
• Group talent is needed
• You can have as many people as you want in your group, but the more people you have, the less money you will have as individuals You share the revenue yourselves within your group
• Elect someone as a representative to distribute the money
How often will groups receive projects?
• We'll be offering packages of three books
• Once your group finishes that package, you'll be getting another package
• Hopefully, you can localize ten titles a month! We won't run out of titles! Don't worry.
• Your group can do as many tiles as you want; we're trying to make sure each package (of three titles) sent to localizer groups will be fair in: page count, difficulty, genre
Title translation difficulty, how is that based?
• We'll based what we give you based on your performance. i.e. historical stories, which might be a little harder to translate, we may offer to those who have proven higher level translation skills
How fast would we receive these packages?
• We're tweaking the localizer agreement; once this is signed, and we get the files from Tokyo we can start; we're hoping to get some of the files as early as the middle of this month