Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tiptoe Review - Adorable!!

The ladies over at Squeefinity reviewed The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe. Read what they had to say!

Okay, first of all, this is freaking one of the most adorable things I've ever read, so I am going to keep writing adorable over and over again as I review it. ADORABLE! [Read the Rest of the Review]

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Amazon Sales Rankings - Let's Do The Numbers!

As they say on Marketplace, "It's time to do the numbers!"

I'm a data geek. I love data. After noticing Amazon's sales rankings a couple weeks ago, I became curious about how those rankings change over time, so I made a script that checks the Amazon page for 21 DMG titles every three hours and then makes a graph of the ranks.

The top graph is the Kindle Manga rank from 0-100 (as high as the ranking goes).

The bottom graph is the Kindle Paid rank with an infinite number of ranks. I capped the graph at 200,000.

One thing I found interesting is that our DMG titles plummeted in Manga Rank the day after Christmas. I don't know if this is because a lot of non-DMG titles were suddenly available or if all the new Kindle owners preferred other manga titles which pushed us out.

I wish I had this script running on December 16 when I took screenshots of 15 DMG titles in the Manga Top 20. By December 19, when this started recording, most of the books had already dropped to the 20-60 range.

TO OTHER DMGers: If you would like to see this graph but with a legend showing which colors are your books, let me know here or send me a message on Twitter. I kept the titles anonymous on purpose, but if you give me permission I will identify them in the spaghetti mess above. I can probably post bi-monthly or monthly updates so you can track your Amazon sales.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe - Review by Manga Bookshelf!

Check out what Manga Bookshelf had to say about the Rule of Standing on Tiptoe!

Having enjoyed Okuyama’s short story collection Warning! Whispers of Love, I was eager to try The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe, a volume-long one-shot nicely translated/adapted by the DMG group Cynical Pink. [read the full review]

Friday, December 16, 2011

DMG Dominates :D

15 of the top 20 Kindle Manga books are from Digital Manga Publishing, and 13 of those are DMG titles! Way to go, guys!

(Click to view in light box.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

DMG Titles: Kindle vs. Nook vs DMP App

Big thanks to Boys Love Bang Bang ( @BLBangBang), prettyism, @DefiantAndi from Defiant Endeavors, and azurelucy for contributing pictures of their devices!

First up, the Kindles! I was disappointed by how The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe appeared on my graphite Kindle (top left), but it looked much better on prettyism's Kindle (top right). I have no idea why since they appear to be similar models, but maybe I just need to fiddle with my settings.

a) My older Kindle
b) prettyism's Kindle

c) BLBB's Kindle Fire
d) iPad Kindle App

BLBB's Kindle Fire (bottom left) still has some white space, but the contrast looks pretty good. Considering the price of the Fire, this is a pretty sweet toy. Enjoy, hun! To round things out, I've also included the Kindle iPad App (bottom right). As mentioned in a previous post, there's lots of white space since the files were made for a different sized screen, but the quality is still good.

Without geeking out and getting consistent lighting and scale references and good cameras (I used an iPhone), it looks like the Kindle iPad app and the Fire are pretty comparable. You can zoom in on both, but both BLBB and I agree that there is an unfortunate amount of image compression, and the artifacts make reading small side text difficult. Also, you can't swipe to the next page when you're zoomed in. You have to hit the X to close the zoom window before moving on.

Also, Amazon has rejected an explicit BDSM DMG title, and it's unclear if more titles will be removed in the future. I'll update here as we find out more info.

Next up are the Nooks:

e) Andi's Nook
f) azurelucy's Nook Color (with a regular Nook edition)

g) Rae's Nook Color (with a Nook Color edition)
h) Nook iPad App

They look comparable to their respective Kindle counterparts, but due to circumstances beyond our (and DMG's) control, the Nook file format is higher quality than the Kindle file format. There's no noticeable compression or artifacts, and the files are still negligibly small on broadband (~15 MB).

There are two editions of each book: regular and color. The Color Edition is formatted to fit the dimensions of the larger screen, which is why Rae's DMG title fills the screen and lucy's still has some margin. For the record, BN has not rejected or pulled any DMP titles.

And then there's the DMP app available for iPad and Android tablets:

i) DMP's iPad App
j) DMP's Android App (Samsung Galaxy Tab)

...which is the best quality for the iPad, but books are $1 more than Amazon and BN (see this post). Apple has pulled DMP's more explicit titles from the DMP app in iTunes, but lucky Android owners still have the full library.

For the technologically savvy folks, here's a screenshot from a rooted Sony PRS-T1. The dimensions of the manga match the screen, so this is a good alternative to a Kindle Touch or Nook Touch.

k) azurelucy's Sony PRS-T1 running Aldiko

I'm always on the look out for more pictures of DMG titles on readers and to hear what your experience has been like with digital manga.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Golden Ham Style!!

Who doesn't love Ham-chan?

The Rule Of Standing On Tiptoe - Senobi No Housoku (C) Puku Okuyama. 
All rights reserved. 
Original Japanese edition published in 2011 by Taiyoh Tosho Publishing Co., Ltd.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rainy Day Love is OUT!

I REALLY liked the art in this book. It reminded me of the character drawings for Final Fantasy Tactics. I can't believe it was Konno-sensei's first title, too. I will definitely be looking for more from her in the future!!

Like I said on Twitter, this is the perfect mixture of sweetness and smut. Everything is moving along as cute as can be and then, wow, it gets a little spicy. It goes back to the sugar, and then BAM.

Get it now on eManga, Kindle, Nook, and Nook Color!
(Rated 18+)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Digital Manga Publishing App

DMP just released an Android and iTunes app for downloading and reading manga. I can only vouch for the iPad version, and the image quality is fantastic. The pages are formatted to fit the iPad perfectly, and they look good even when you zoom in.

The interface is intuitive and responsive (I've tried manga readers where you had to swipe hard and decisively to turn the page), and there was no lag when I was swiping through the pages quickly. Each book has a 10-page preview, though for many of them, the first 9 pages are all title, table of contents, credits, etc.

The only strange thing is that the DMG titles are $8.99 compared to $7.95 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I guess you get what you pay for, though, since it is a better iPad reading experience than the Nook or Kindle app (I mentioned in a previous post that the Nook and Kindle pages are sized for the e-readers and don't fill up the entire iPad screen). I'm still waiting to see if anything changes when the new Nook and Kindle tablets come up, but for now, this DMP app is the best option for reading DMG titles on an iPad.

EDIT: I figured out the reason the titles are more expensive using the iPad app. The books are in-app purchases and are charged to your Apple account, not to your eManga or other DMP account. Since Apple takes a cut, DMP priced everything higher accordingly. The books range in the 100 MB range, which explains why the quality is fantastic.

iTunes App Store
Android Market

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kindle vs. Nook

I'm our biggest fan! I bought Tiptoe for both Kindle and Nook because I wanted to compare the two versions. I have an iPad, so my caveat is that I'm not able to compare the two platforms on their original devices.

Right off the bat I noticed that Nook's file size is much bigger than Kindle's. Tiptoe for Nook was 17.3 MB whereas Kindle was only 11.4 MB. As you might guess, this translates directly to quality. The Nook version had much fewer compression artifacts, and the gray tones were crisper and cleaner. Both versions had some white space around the edges because the pages are formatted to fit the aspect ratios and resolution on the actual Kindle or Nook and not an iPad screen. The Kindle version does have a pinch-to-zoom feature, but it only served to emphasize the compression. Nook has no zoom.

I don't know if Amazon limits the file size for Kindle books, but Attacked on a Tiger's Whim and Healing Music (also DMG titles) also had a larger files for Nook. With the upcoming Kindle Fire and rumored Nook tablet, interfaces and apps may change, but for now, if I had to choose, I would undoubtedly go with Nook for iPad. The extra 6 MB made a huge different in quality, and only took an extra few seconds to download.

EDIT 11/8/11: At the last DMG videoconference, the DMP staff confirmed that Amazon and B&N use different file formats with different levels of compression. Also, Amazon charges DMP for bandwith usage while B&N does not (though B&N still has a file size limit). 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tiptoe on Kindle and Nook

I just bought The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe for my Kindle!! Get it here!

EDIT: Now available on Nook, too!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe on eManga

It's out, it's out! Our first title is now available on eManga!
A new student enrolls in Kosuke’s sophomore class in high school. As a perfect foil to Kosuke’s short stature, Raku is tall, manly and popular with girls. Although Kosuke initially feels jealous, he soon learns of Raku’s secret and is asked to keep it a secret. Raku finds himself taking an interest in Kosuke and they begin to grow closer. This is a high school romantic comedy about an odd couple!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Name Change! Rainy Day Love

After Elina began working on Ameiro Koigokoro, she realized that "ame" should be translated as "rain" and not as "candy." After talking to DMG, we're changing the title from "Steadfast Candy Heart Love" to "Rainy Day Love."

Finished The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe

Yesterday, we submitted The Rule of Standing on Tiptoe to the Digital Manga Guild for review. Hopefully, everything was all right and we'll see it on soon! There was an amazing amount of side text, but thank goodness DMG doesn't require Japanese SFX to be redrawn in English. That would have quadrupled the amount of time it took to clean and typeset! Also, the SFX were so artistic, it would have been a shame to cover them up!