Sunday, November 26, 2006

Trying to Tap a New Market

DC Comics announced last week that they're going to create a new publishing arm called Minx, that will publish graphic novels for teen girls. Teen girls primarily read manga these days, but DC's mang arm, CMX, is reportedly (not in the same press release) floundering financially. So, it seems that the publisher is trying to mix it up and grab a bit of a market that is highly sought after - teen girls. The odd thing is that most of the books announced so far are being written by men. That's not to say that men can't craft books women enjoy, but I think that in an industry already dominated by men, it might be wise to use this opportunity to give some female talent work in this new publishing imprint.

There have been several articles on DC's new venture. Here's one:

The New York Times
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 11.25.2006

"It's time we got teenage girls reading comics," said Karen Berger, a senior vice president at DC Comics.
And DC, the comics powerhouse best known for Superman and Batman, has a program to make that happen.
In May, DC plans to introduce Minx, a line of graphic novels aimed at young adult female readers, starting with six titles in 2007, each retailing for less than $10.
The stories will be far removed from the superheroes who more typically appeal to young males.
They include "Clubbing," about a London party girl who solves a mystery; "Re-Gifters," about a Korean-American teenager in California who enjoys martial arts; and "Good as Lily," about a young woman who meets three versions of herself at different ages.
Teenage girls, Berger said, are smart and sophisticated and "about more than going out with the cute guy. This line of books gives them something to read that honors that intelligence and assertiveness and that individuality."
The line is positioned as an alternative for teenage girls who have, especially in bookstores, become increasing smitten with the Japanese comics known as manga.
Largest ad push in decades
In 2004, DC started CMX, a manga imprint, to capture part of that audience. The marketing then was similar to that used for DC's other titles.
With Minx, though, DC has taken what, for it, is the unusual step of seeking outside help. It has joined with Alloy Marketing (plus) Media to promote Minx. All told, DC, a unit of Time Warner, will spend $125,000 next year to push the line.
"In terms of consumer marketing, it's got to be the largest thing we've done in at least three decades," said Paul Levitz, the president and publisher of DC Comics.
"It's not large by the scale of consumer marketing and advertising as it's done in America, but it's a large-scale commitment, I think, for a publishing company in general."
Alloy is offering DC access to a large audience of teenage girls, through Web sites and the Delia's shopping catalog, which has a mailing list of nearly 5 million, according to Samantha Skey, Alloy's senior vice president for strategic marketing.
Skey said Minx would be the first graphic-novel publisher to be included in the catalog.
Along with other initiatives, Alloy plans to create online networks about the novels that will let subscribers write reviews, see previews and sketches or discuss the stories.

Here's a link to another version of the story.

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