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Kansai Club Publishing Launches Kickstarter for Tezuka’s The Crater

Kansai Club Publishing Launches Kickstarter for Tezuka's The Crater

Kansai Club Publishing launched their Kickstarter for Osamu Tezuka’s The Crater today. News of the launch initially went out via their Twitter account, while we first heard about this upcoming project when they sent out PR in April.

The new publisher is seeking $3500 for the printing of this collection of Tezuka short stories which it plans to release as 2000 limited edition hardcovers. Each book will also come with special art prints, and other goodies depending on the level of support backing given through the duration of the Kickstarter. The goal is to have the books published by July.

Considering the quality Kansai Club is boosting, two thousand copies, and the strength of Tezuka’s fanbase, I’m actually surprised their fundraising goal is as low as it is. Not to mention the fact that in their Kickstarter write-up, the company rep explains how they were required to pay the licensing fees upfront which has already put them $25000 in the red. Compare this to Digital Manga’s fundraising goals which spanned from $20000 to $47000 and you have some confusing numbers.

If Kansai Club sells each of the 2000 books at the listed $35, that equals $70000, which does seem to cover all their bases nicely, financially speaking. Still, why make the Kickstarter goal so low? At the time of this article, the fundraising is almost halfway there. It seems very likely this will be funded within a couple of days minimum, but how far does $3500 really get them? Are the books already printed? Is Kickstarter simply being used as an ordering system? Promotion method? They do say that regardless of the Kickstarter’s success, this book will happen so I get the feeling the Kickstarter is more a matter of them crossing their fingers and hoping for whatever they can get, as opposed to a set goal. The company is even promising free t-shirts to every backer if the fundraiser sells 1000 books, adding another really big cost to a project that already seems to be operating on some really thin overhead.

Kudos to Kansai Club if they can do it, of course. It’s interesting seeing all these numbers and methods when compared to previous Tezuka Kickstarters where the combination of high fundraising numbers from a long-established company left me skeptical, to say the least. I’ve already supported this project by pledging for the first book.

Along with putting forward your own pledge and seeing what’s available through the tier system, you can learn more details about this edition of The Crater and read preview pages on the Kickstarter page.

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.

Kuriousity does not condone or support the illegal distribution of manga online.
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3 Responses

  1. Andrew Nevo says:

    Hi Lissa,

    Thanks for the write up and for your pledge! I’d just like to respond to a few of your comments for clarification.

    The $3,500 goal for our Kickstarter page was a conservative (and arbitrary) number. It was (and still is) almost impossible for us to determine the number of books that we will realistically be able to sell. We have no past book sales to work with, we haven’t hired any PR or marketing people, we are not going through traditional sales channels, and at this point, we are mostly working with word of mouth. As you say in your write up, “I get the feeling the Kickstarter is more a matter of them crossing their fingers and hoping for whatever they can get, as opposed to a set goal.” Our extended goal of selling 1,000 books through Kickstarter is closer to our actual goal.

    The books are not yet printed. We are currently finishing up final touches on the book and still need to submit our final work product to Tezuka Productions for approval before the books can be officially released to everyone. The royalties that we were required to pay in advance to publish this book did not cost us $20,000. The $25,000+ includes the cost of the royalties, printing the books (we will be paying our printer and physically printing the books PRIOR to the end of our Kickstarter campaign), and other miscellaneous business expenses. Our total cost for publishing these 2,000 copies (assuming we reach our extended Kickstarter goal) will be around $45,000.

    Yuka and myself are really not making any money from this publication. Every penny of profit from this book will go directly into funding our next project. We really are just a couple of Osamu Tezuka fans who want to add more books to our shelves. If we are able to make a living off of it in the long run, than that would be amazing. If we are only able to publish The Crater and then are forced to close our doors because we didn’t sell enough copies fast enough, than that’s fine too. We are happy just to be able to have contributed to the world of Osamu Tezuka.

    Feel free to email me personally with any questions or concerns.

    Thank you Lissa and everyone else for your support!


    Andrew Nevo
    President, Kansai Club Publishing

    • Hi Andrew – thanks so much for your response! And please excuse the lateness of my response on account of total failure on my part.

      It’s always interesting to me to hear the approximate numbers behind publishing, especially when the royalties and license fees come into play. I really appreciate you being willing to share those numbers, and it makes it all the more exciting to watch the Kickstarter numbers rise. Congratulations on it’s success! And with the clock still ticking on it, I hope you find The Crater successful enough to see more books in your future.

      (The print production worker in me was also tickled pink by your backer update about the hardcover material change. So few share details of the print process for their books and it’s great seeing that attention to detail.)

  2. […] published series including Astro Boy and Metropolis. Recently a new company, Kansai Club, had a successful Kickstarter to fund Tezuka’s The Crater, which they had hoped would be the first of more Tezuka titles […]

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