Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Shojo Beat Magazine Goes Down With The Ship

Yet another publication has announced they could not reach the lifeboats in time on the USS Anime. The folks that produce Shojo Beat magazine announced today that they will be suspending the publication with Issue #49 next month (the July issue - due to ship the second week of June).

Because this means that many paid subscribers will be finding their subscriptions terminated early, all Shojo Beat subscribers will be receiving a free copy of the August issue of Shonen Jump magazine with the pertinent information on what their subscription/refund options will be. My guess is that they will try to convince you to finish out your subscriptions with SJ issues.

All the shojo titles serialized in the magazine will continue to be published in graphic novel format under the Shojo Beat imprint. These include series like Rasetsu, Honey Hunt, Crimson Hero, Vampire Knight, Sand Chronicles, Honey and Clover, and Haruka.

For my part (and it's late so I'm not going to say too much) I'm sad to see yet another Anime/Manga related publication vanish from the market. We had been an advertising partner in Shojo Beat in 2006 and 2007 before they increased their insertion prices to an unrealistic level. I used to email Al Berman (their ad guy) out there once a month proposing that we make a go of things again but at the original rates, and he would always explain why the increased rates were reasonable giving the audience and circulation - even after Viz ads started filling in for all the unsold ad pages.

I ran a couple of sales reports before writing this that show a precipitous decline in our monthly sales of Shojo Beat beginning about 8 or 9 months ago, and I suspect that trend was repeated at most other retailers. Where we used to order the magazine by the case, recently our sales had been reduced to as few as a couple dozen copies a month.

They are another victim of this truly lousy economy - nothing more, and nothing less.

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