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Amazon Lists New Tezuka Vertical License

SPOILER ALERT!


Poor Vertical. They just announced a new Tezuka title at their Vertical Vednesday to a small group-- who were not supposed to spread it --when information about the upcoming release was leaked via Amazon, where it seems distributor Random House inadvertently sent data earlier than they were supposed to.

I hate these articles, readers, because on the one hand, I need to share the news with you, but on the other hand, the fact that the news leaked-- and the spreading of said news --may cause problems for the licensing deal. Even if I was happy and excited for the title, my sharing said excitement could contribute to its cancellation.

But the news must go on, and Vertical may wind up publishing Osamu Tezuka's Ayako, a dark tale told in two volumes of manga about a young girl from a very troubled family who is kept locked up in the basement for her early life, only to eventually leave her cage and try to make her way in the world. Actually, it sounds a lot like an early inspiration for V.C. Andrews' infamous Flowers in the Attic novel...

When Vertical first hinted at a new Tezuka license with a "strong heroine" and offering up a particular page count, I actually suspected it was Princess Knight. I'm sad we won't be getting Ribbon no Kishi, but I still really hope Ayako comes out, because I'm very interested to see some more of Tezuka's darker side (as well as light).

Dear Tezuka Productions (or whoever might be managing the copyright for Ayako): please let them release this. I'm hooked; I must read it!
HSaabedraon Jan. 14, 2010 at 5:16 a.m.
Some advice speaking as someone with experience dealing with leaked info: Once it leaks, it's fair game for coverage despite any issues that may pop up as a result.  If anyone is to blame for the leak it isn't the fans in this case as it normally would be, but an error from the publisher.  
 
 Japanese and American companies need to realize that it is impossible to continue the "last-minute licensing surprise bit" so common in the industry for hype generation, because being overexcited leads to leaks to begin with.
giaon Jan. 14, 2010 at 7:32 a.m.
@HSaabedra: Of course it's "fair game," but that doesn't mean I don't feel bad for the publisher. :\ 
 
I do think it's important for publishers to be able to at least try and control when announcements come out-- at cons, for example, or as part of a blitz, or whatever --but a leak like this, that's just one company submitting data to Amazon too early? It's kind of sad.
 
That said, I've never fully understood why it puts a license in peril to have it happen, unless it's just that it makes the Japanese companies lose confidence-- in which case, I'd think they'd be used to Amazon doing this by now.
HSaabedraon Jan. 14, 2010 at 8:18 a.m.
@gia said:

" @HSaabedra: Of course it's "fair game," but that doesn't mean I don't feel bad for the publisher. :\ 

Not holding this against you at all, those are your feelings on the matter.  I just have a different perspective on the situation based on personal experience.

 I do think it's important for publishers to be able to at least try and control when announcements come out-- at cons, for example, or as part of a blitz, or whatever --but a leak like this, that's just one company submitting data to Amazon too early? It's kind of sad.

Unfortunately, that's just a fact of life when dealing with Amazon.  They can only go by whatever information they're given and they can't promise to embargo anything.
 
 @gia said: 

That said, I've never fully understood why it puts a license in peril to have it happen, unless it's just that it makes the Japanese companies lose confidence-- in which case, I'd think they'd be used to Amazon doing this by now.

The only reason a license would be placed in jeopardy is if either company is operating on a provisional agreement without having anything signed or proof of a completed transaction, which would be extremely foolish on either side because of exactly such a situation happening.  To me, the whole idea of the "last minute surprise Japanese license confirmation" always felt like a lame ploy for cheap publicity more than anything else, but I'm operating on prior experience handling small scale negotiations.
constanzadellarosaon Jan. 14, 2010 at 1:12 p.m.
Just read the news at ANN.  Hope the license isnt' in jeopardy (though I agree it looks like a publicity stunt). 
 
I have enjoyed the first volume of Adolf so far, and I would seriously consider buying Ayako if published. Tezuka was an amazing storyteller, and his darker and mature stories, more than the 'lighter' ones, are proof of this.
giaon Jan. 14, 2010 at 2:52 p.m.
@HSaabedra: From Ed's (since-deleted) tweets, I actually think the problem was more with Random House submitting the info too soon-- which they weren't supposed to do for exactly this reason --than with Amazon doing something wrong per se.
HSaabedraon Jan. 14, 2010 at 3:01 p.m.
@gia: 
That makes sense in this case knowing Amazon's listing submission procedure.  I'm just surprised Random House still made the mistake after what happened last year with the Chi's Sweet Home listing.

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