Aurora cuts manga prices in online sale


POSTED: Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Today's “;Cel Shaded”; is a discussion of tough economic times and economic stimulus measures.

It's not the drama playing out in Washington and Wall Street, mind you. You get more of that elsewhere in this newspaper. This is more the story of a small manga publisher struggling to make it in this market and the way it's reaching out to readers to get them to buy its books.

The publisher is Aurora Publishing, the Torrance, Calif.-based subsidiary of Japanese publisher Ohzora. Since 2007, Aurora has specialized in publishing manga for female readers under three different imprints: Aurora, for more mainstream tastes; LuvLuv Press, which includes josei manga, or manga targeted toward adult women; and Deux Press, providing more than enough yaoi (boys' love) to make fans of those kinds of stories happy.

The problem — as is common in a market dominated by a few titles — is that not enough people are buying Aurora's books. Here in Hawaii it's particularly difficult to even find Aurora's books in stores.

So the publisher is taking its cause directly to readers. Anyone who orders books through Aurora can get any title published before January 2009 for $4 per book, and $8 per book for anything published after that date. Considering normal cover prices range from $10.95 to $12.95, that's quite the bargain. Titles and short synopses are available at http://www.aurora-publishing.com, http://www.luvluv-press.com and http://www.deux- press.com. (Note that many of the series are best suited for teens 16 and older.)

To order, send an e-mail to Elisa Tung at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Credit cards, PayPal and money orders are being accepted as payments, and the sale will continue until ... well, until Aurora says it's not continuing.

“;We at Aurora continue to try to bring more diverse and nonmainstream selections,”; Tung told me via e-mail. “;I hope we can continue to do so and greatly appreciate all the show of support we are getting from our fellow readers.”;


Kawaii Kon tidbits

For those of you planning to go to Kawaii Kon next week and have yet to pre-register ... well, you're quite the procrastinators. You'll have to decide quickly, though, as you have until 11 p.m. today to do so.

It also means today's the last day to take advantage of the “;celshaded”; discount code, which gets you 12 percent off the cost of a three-day pass (regular price $40 adults, $30 children ages 6-12). Door prices for three-day passes, for the record, will be $50 for adults and $40 for children.

A quick visit to the Kawaii Kon registration page (hsblinks.com/68) also revealed a new pre-sale item: $7 tickets to the Moonlight Magic Ball, a formal ballroom-dancing event taking place during the convention for the first time this year. Admission to the ball appears to be separate from admission to the convention itself, so if you're interested, sign up today, then dress up in your finest attire.


”;Cel Shaded,”; a weekly look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Tuesday. Follow Jason S. Yadao on Twitter at twitter.com/jsyadao or e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).