Viz and B&N have teamed up to bring over Sui Ishida's Tokyo Ghoul in Monster Edition form. Is that a good thing?
At some point a manga publisher was going to experiment with having a title made exclusive to a retailer.
Well, looks like Viz will be the one to try it out.
Revealed last week, B&N announced they will be releasing Tokyo Ghoul Monster Edition, which is a 3-and-1 omnibus (Viz mentioned in their Facebook post that it’s sort of closer to the Death Note Black Edition release) that will be released November 21st. The intriguing thing is that you can only pre-order and buy it at B&N.
Look out video games, manga is trying out this marketing tactic too!
Now, with manga rising in sales, having a manga publisher want to team up with a retailer is probably not a surprise. If it can be done in other comics, and if it can certainly be done in video games, then maybe manga was the next to do so too.
That said, Viz and B&N teaming up and putting this out there now seems interesting. Tokyo Ghoul has done big numbers over here, and bringing more over in an edition like this seems like a good move. But locking it to one retailer seems like a risk. Risk in the sense that you might be forcing people who don’t like to shop at B&N and like Tokyo Ghoul to lose out on something they might want, and risk in that other manga publishers could do the same thing in the future where you can only get it one way. After all, some might prefer to order or buy from Amazon, Kinokuniya, etc. In edition you have to worry about whether or not Tokyo Ghoul fans would want to purchase a new edition of the series.
The rewards could be great though — obviously this is a partnership with B&N, who love the series, which has to mean B&N is contributing heavily to this release. This also should in theory make it easier for those who have heard of Tokyo Ghoul and want to get into the series to begin collecting it and not have to buy individual volumes. In all, this could be a seller for B&N since they will be the only ones that have this version of the series. And this will most definitely establish B&N’s huge turn in stocking manga in stores. (I still remember their little section in like 2012, 2013…)
I have reached out to Viz to see if they could provide an update on their partnership, and if this is something they will consider doing more of in the future. So this post will be updated as soon as possible. For now, would any of you be interested in seeing more of these types of partnerships with retailers?