Kurt Hassler: The new digital version of Yen Plus will be displayed in a dedicated browser. The presentation will be precisely as you find it in the magazine -- that is to say that all chapters of each issue will appear in a single browsing experience to encourage readers to experiment with new titles with which they may not already be familiar. There is a Table of Contents, however, to allow readers to jump to their favorite chapters. I really do hope, though, that subscribers sample everything.
KH: This is one of those "to be revealed" items...
AV: What does this mean for some of the free, physical-item giveaways that Yen+ offered?
KH: With respect to giveaways, subscribers will be eligible for exclusive contests (which will include things like early copies of books, etc.) and other online benefits. We'll be wracking our brains daily to come up with new and exciting incentives.
KH: Ultimately, yes, I would like to be able to greatly expand our offerings. Going digital means we no longer have to be concerned with page count limitations or how adding additional content will affect our shipping weights or printing costs. We can offer more content to a wider audience more efficiently at a significant savings to the reader. The trade off is that we're losing that tactile experience of holding the printed magazine in your hand -- but as the material will ultimately be collected in the trade editions of the books, it's really just delayed gratification. And that's another bonus in and of itself. Since we don't have to be so concerned with page counts, we have greater flexibility to include multiple chapters of a series in an individual issue which in turn gives us more leeway with our release schedules on the books. The benefits of a move like this really are significant.
There's plenty more to be revealed-- and I'd be shocked if Yen wasn't looking at the possibilities for e-readers like the iPad book store, the Kindle, etc. But in the meantime it looks like we'll see more manga that you can read legally right in your browser, which sounds good. I confess that while I loved the overall print quality of Yen+, it made it difficult to decide whether to give up bookshelf space or dispose of them-- compared to the low-quality newsprint pages of Japan's phonebook-size mangabon, which I virtually always recycle!
What do you think? Will you be okay giving up your print Yen Plus for a digital version?