How to publish your Manga in Japan

Most people might think that biggest thing preventing them from becoming a Managka is just the ability to draw well. But actually, that`s not the case! I know many Japanese anime creators who want to be Manga artists. Sadly, they are still working in an Anime studio and despite being brilliant artists, they can not get hired for Manga work. 

It is the same situation as all the beautiful girls that move to Hollywood to become actresses…but can never get an audition.


What is the difficulty?

In short, the market is simply too saturated. There are several thousands of maniac hopefuls sending their work in to publishers on a daily basis. Competition is steep, and only small handful ever see their work make it to the top of the editor`s review pile.

There are of course other mistakes that many eager mangaka rookies make, and that is simply their lack of technique and direction. 

So how do you make your debut? Begin by submitting your Manga to a Manga publisher. Many amateur manga creators send me one portion, from uncompleted story as sample. This is a big mistake. Always submit a completed Manga or story. 

As a general rule, Japanese publishers print Manga in these formats: 30 pages for dramatic genres, and 15 pages for comedic genres. Of course these rules will vary slightly from publisher to publisher, but use these page amounts as a general guideline when submitting your work. Don`t forget to also include a cover page for your work, which will push the page numbers up to 31 for dramas, and 16 for comedies.


What does the editor look for?

After your work has been submitted, how is it critiqued by the editor? 

Is it the quality of the drawings? How cute or original the characters are?

In actuality, the first thing the editor will look at is whether or not you r story can be told well within the page limit! If you have sent in an uncompleted story, or one that ends in a cliff hanger, your Manga will automatically be tossed in the reject pile.. 

The next point checked is layout. Make your Manga as if you are filming a movie. Think carefully of how the script will play out in each scene. Think of how the cameras would be placed if you were to film your story. 

Finally, the very last thing the editor will look at, is art quality. 

Truth be told there are quite a few popular manga`s that grew in unprecedented success where the art was either very simplified or less than spectacular. A few examples would be Crayon Shin-chan, Doraemon, Dragonball, and more recently- Chi`s Sweet Home. 

The artwork in these manga`s was quite simple, and if it had not been for how well these manga`s had been written, it is more than likely that we would have never known about them.


Simple keys to success

To conclude, while many people carry the misconception that the most important aspect of being a successful Mangaka is artistic ability, the truth to why they are unsuccessful is largely due to the mistakes they are making with the story itself. 

The key is actually taking care in how your story and layout are formatted. 


Overlook these points, and your work will never make it past an editor`s desk.