In the last year, new research has reported that manga accounts for 80% of all digital book sales in Japan. Manga readers are choosing to view their favourite series through portable devices instead of paperback volumes. It’s not hard to see the appeal. Digital manga can be taken on the go, kept on a slim device instead of hauling books in a bag. And with a generation already glued to their smartphones, it almost seems easier to read digitally.
The digital manga market in Japan is seeing a rise of almost 20% in the April 2013-March 2014 year. The net worth of the market comes to 65 billion yen, $540 million in US dollars. The entire digital book market is worth an estimated 85 billion yen.
Japan doesn’t seem to have given up hope on the rest of the digital book market, however. Attention has turned to e-books, especially to classic literature. E-book sales are expected to rise in the next several years, hopefully boosted by the popularity of digital manga. With so many people choosing to buy their manga this way, it seems more and more readers will start looking into digital reading.
This is not to say that traditional paperback manga sales are slowing. Many readers still prefer the feel of a book in their hands, bookshelf lined with back-to-back volumes of their favorite manga. Digital manga has simply now become just as popular. Whether by smartphone, tablet, Kindle, or any e-book reader, manga has found its place in the digital uprising.