Newcomer alert! Here's the lead translator of a brand new shoujo and josei manga and LN company explaining how she joined the industry, and what we can do to help.

To kickoff 2017, it’s time to get a sense of what we can do to help the anime and manga industry succeed. While the signs have trended up for both anime and manga success in the West over the past few years, piracy still exists, titles you’d think would get licensed still are unlicensed, and companies continue to navigate uncharted territories in a digital future. So the best question is: how can we help?

Well, let’s ask industry people!

From a long-time editor of a weekly Japanese magazine to a brand new shoujo and josei publisher, a few industry members took time to explain how fans can support the industry and help it continue to grow. So expect during the month of January you’ll get to find out why these people decided they wanted to work in the industry, and share what fans can to do to help them out.

You’d think with established publishers already around, it’d be difficult to break in as a new publisher. Don’t tell that to the people at Cross Infinite World, who found two combinations that aren’t available: Shoujo and Josei light novels…published online. Yep, web novels. You’d think that means nothing, but then you are reminded that Sword Art Online began as a web novel…
Anyways, Charis Messier, who is the lead translator at the company, took some time to explain how she ended up joining this industry, and what we can do as fans to help.

My reason for joining the industry is not uncommon, but it has a special place in my heart – because I was a fan. I always wanted to see more shoujo, josei, and otome related titles brought over, as the pickings were pretty sparse even after I got into the industry. Translation has always been a passion of mine and so is the game/anime/manga/light novel fandom, so my desire to see different titles licensed and my passion for translation made it pretty natural to want to join the industry.

I started translating games for fun and for my friends in high school and that experience directly led me to translating for game companies. I’ve since translated in many different industries, but my passion has always been for shoujo and josei series, which led me to Cross Infinite World, where I definitely get to enjoy what I’m working on. Remember, while you might not get into the exact part of the industry you want to be in at first, you will eventually get there!

There is a very simple way you can help the industry grow, and it’s a way most people know about but don’t pay much attention to—writing reviews. Whether good or bad, a review is a fan’s way of communicating with the company and other fans about a series. I personally always find reviews helpful when I’m thinking about buying a series. Now that I work in the industry, I’ve also seen how much reviews can have an impact. You might think only good reviews help, but bad reviews can also get people interested in odd ways. In some cases, series with bad reputations can also do very well in sales. Good reviews are always a big moral support for the authors and the teams who work on the series, but for smaller companies with lesser known titles, obtaining reviews is one of the hardest things to do.

Along with reviews, just talking about a series on social media and different sites to spread the word is another easy, but effective way to support the industry. Honestly, there is no better way to show your love for a series than to talk about it. The best advertisement isn’t paid, but from word of mouth by fans.

Last but not least, we receive wonderful emails and letters from our readers at Cross Infinite World all the time about how much they love one of our series and would love to read the next volume. That kind of direct contact from the fans is another way to support the people who work in the industry. It’s always nice to hear what fans think!