Why You Should Always Buy Reprint Collections
Doujinshi may be one category of doujin activities, but within doujinshi there are many different varieties. It can be overwhelming for those new to doujinshi to decide where to start, so here’s one category I really recommend for beginners: reprint collections.
Let me tell you why reprint collections are great, and why you should never pass up on buying them.
First of All, What are Reprint Collections?
If you’re new to the world of doujinshi then you might not be familiar with the idea of a “reprint collection”. Known as “sairokuhon (再録本)” or “sairokushuu (再録集)” in Japanese, they’re almost self-explanatory: reprintings of old works that were distributed by an author in the past, whether in book form or on the web. They usually come in the form of an anthology of multiple works or volumes.
In other words, reprint collections are an opportunity for you to get your hands on rare, legendary works that are hard to find, or could be a great way to fill up your collection with famous works that were published before you became interested in doujinshi.
Reprint collections are treasures. Is there any reason why a doujin shouldn’t buy them? No, of course not!
The Endless Battle with Limited Quantities
Sadly, not all authors publish reprint collections.
Generally, reprint collections are usually made up of one specific genre, or are about one specific character, or a specific “shipping”, so if it’s an obscure genre with already low levels of distribution or few publications, then an author might not feel a need to make reprint collections.
Some authors don’t consider their past works worth all of the effort it takes to make a reprint collection. And some, sadly, judge that there’s no demand for reprint collections among their readers.
If an author does feel like there’s demand for a reprint and that their works are worth the effort, then they will likely do it, but there’s another hurdle: with a lot of chapters or stories combined into one book, the number of pages in the publication tends to increase.
Of course, we fans don’t mind. The more pages, the better! No matter how expensive it gets, most of us will gladly open our wallets if it’s something we want. But think about it from the author’s perspective: if the price we pay for the product is high, then the cost of its publication must also be expensive.
Let’s say that the cost to print a monochrome doujinshi is 10 yen per page (about US$0.09). Though it varies greatly, many reprint collections are made up of more than fifty pages. In that case, one printed book would cost 500 yen ($4.65). Ten of those books would cost 5,000 yen, 100 books would be 50,000 yen, etc etc. And that’s not including color printing, laminating, and any other special options.
Even though this is just a basic estimation, that’s a heavy financial burden on the authors who publish reprint collections. As you know, doujinshi authors don’t work for profit, so even if there’s plenty of demand for a reprint, whether one gets published or not depends entirely on the author’s financial capabilities. That’s why many authors are sadly forced to cut down the number of volumes of reprint collections they can publish at once.
That means that those of us who want to buy them might find ourselves fighting with others to get a copy before they’re all gone. But of course, the prize is well worth the fight.
A Wonderful Doujin Life through Reprint Collections
Reprint collections happen to be this author’s “oshi”, but what do you think of them? To me, there’s nothing I appreciate more than a reprinting of a doujinshi in my favorite genre.
Some authors might even include new drawings or commissions in their reprint collections, so not only new fans, but those who have been around since the beginning chomp at the bit to get them.
Why not take advantage of an opportunity to get your hands on a reprint collection one day? Then surely you’ll understand what I’m talking about.