This news comes perhaps less like new pub on the block announcement and more like word that an old pub who we we thought was gone has actually just moved out of their parent’s house with what they could fit on their backs (which conveniently happens to be a library of interesting titles and experience).
Individuals who were previously a part of Aurora Publishing, a manga publisher assumed shut down in recent months, have announced last evening that they’ve reformed under a new name: Manga Factory. Unlike Aurora Publishing, this new company does not have backing of the Japanese company, Ohzora, but will still be publishing licensed titles as the original company did. Interestingly they’re continuing to sell their remaining Aurora Publishing stock as before only now on their new web address at MangaFactory.net. It stands to hope they may be able to finish series that were dropped when Aurora Publishing stopped releasing books but they’ve yet to comment on this possibility.
The company is promoting itself as a publisher of both print and digital material, including “mobile device development for iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle and more.”. It’ll be neat to see what direction a ‘new’ company takes when coming into the field looking to start with digital means alongside traditional paper editions – starting off, so to speak, at the point many publishers are coming to now. Already they’re promoting a Kindle edition of the manga series Teen Apocalypse: Guilstein which was originally released as an iPhone edition a few years ago. A different company, Animate USA, has also been publishing Kindle editions of Aurora’s books in recent months. Whether this company will have any connection or joint-work with Manga Factory remains, to my knowledge, speculation but it’s more likely Animate USA is working more closely with Japanese companies than their English counterparts.
Manga Factory will have a booth at the upcoming Anime Expo where they’ll also be selling old Aurora Publishing books, which includes largely shoujo, josei and boys’ love titles from their multiple imprints (Aurora, Deux Press and Luv-Luv). If you’re there, stop by and wish them well in this new endeavor and enjoy what will be presumably be an extension of their fantastic discount pricing for the Aurora books. (Psst, get Future Lovers if it’s there, you won’t be disappointed!)
Lots of the usual questions for new companies – what kind of print quality can we expect (in this case the same or similar to Aurora’s?), how much of their content will be digital vs. print, how will they be distributing the content, what will the costs be for different formats and when we can expect a line-up of titles? We may yet get more news at Anime Expo this week but time will tell. Still promising to see some start-ups now though so best of luck to them!