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Manga preview web sites launched

20/09/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Del Rey Manga has announced the launch of new title-specific websites, each of which will allow manga readers to preview thirty pages from the first volume of a new manga title-before the official publication date-in a page-a-day approach.

One of the fastest growing categories in bookstores, the size of the graphic novel market has risen to an estimated $250 million market today.

The vast of the growth in the market has been due to the increased popularity of Japanese comics, known as manga, a genre that Del Rey launched in the summer of 2004; Del Rey now has one million manga in print in the United States.

Although other large manga publishers have offered preview content on their websites, Del Rey's approach is unique in that each day for thirty days, a new page of manga content will be added for each individual title. In this way, Del Rey hopes to encourage readers to come back every day, and to build buzz for their hottest new properties.

"Our page-a-day concept goes beyond what the other large manga publishers have offered on their sites," Betsy Mitchell, VP & Editor-in-Chief of Del Rey told SFcrowsnest. "We wanted to give our fans an opportunity-absolutely free-to sample Del Rey's new series before laying down hard cash. There's a lot of manga on the shelves these days, and this is one way readers can decide whether our titles are the ones they want to spend money on. Obviously, we think we've got the right stuff."

"If this promotion is as successful as we anticipate it to be, we hope to be able to provide preview websites-well in advance of publication-for as many forthcoming new series as possible," added Del Rey's Manga Director Dallas Middaugh.

The first three titles to be featured on the title-specific sites - all Kodansha properties - are GACHA GACHA by Hiroyuki Tamakoshi (on sale September 20, 2005; ages 16+), GHOST HUNT by Fuyumi Ono and Shiho Inada (on sale September 27, 2005; ages 13+), and SUGAR SUGAR RUNE by Moyoco Anno (on sale September 27, 2005; ages 10+).

The URLs for the first three title-specific sites are www.delreymanga.com/gachagacha, www.delreymanga.com/ghosthunt and www.delreymanga.com/sugar

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