Updates made this afternoon to BLU’s website have made official what online retail sites have been warning boys’ love fans since mid-November – starting in 2010, BLU (the boys’ love imprint of Tokyopop) will be releasing their books at a cover price of $14.99/US.
Scarier yet for some of us, $18.99/CAN – thank goodness for the strong Canadian dollar keeping those terrifying prices relatively obselete on bookstore shelves!
Original volumes of BLU manga, published first in 2005, were priced at $9.99/US. This includes the first volume of the popular now-completed series Love Mode and the on-going Junjo Romantica. This means boys’ love fans have seen a five dollar increase over five years – averaging out the costs, we’re looking at an increase of one dollar for each year BLU has been publishing. BLU’s last price increase was in early 2008, raising from their debut $9.99/US to $12.99/US.
The first book listed to be released at the $14.99/US price is Hinako Takanaga’s Croquis, due out February 2010.
Editors on the BLU forums have cited different reasons for the price increases and variances since their debut, including related-decisions to keep or remove colour pages from books because of shrink-wrapping issues. All Tokyopop books have seen price increases over the years, garnering some negativity from consumers when accompanied by lower quality paper and fewer-to-no colour pages. Tokyopop has since returned to a higher quality paper while their pages range around $10.99/US.
Edit: BLU Manga has since stated that their future releases will all have 2-4 colour pages to go along with the price increase. (via TheYaoiReview)