One of the few good things to come out of last year was the ever-growing demand for manga. The manga sales in North America had reached an all-time high, setting things up for 2021. But sadly, things do not always go the way they are supposed to.
The manga sales in North America rose steadily from 2016 to 2019, but there was a sudden spike during the pandemic. This increased demand had to be met but resources were failing the retailers.
Due to the pandemic affecting every corner of the industrial ecosystem, its effect can now be physically seen inside the stores.
The book stores and other online retailers selling manga face a major shortage in the supply of manga in response to current reader demand in North America.
The decreasing use of industrial printers in the US combined with supply chain issues due to the pandemic are the major factors for causing this.
The local printers were already operating at full capacity in order to fulfill the recent orders for sold-out manga under COVID restrictions. The increasing demand meant that some of the printing had to be outsourced, which meant transporting books from other countries.
The rise in shipping rates and backlogs at ports all over the world led to new orders getting delayed.
Representatives of major publishers such as VIZ Media, Yen Press, and Kodansha have come forward assuring that they are doing their best to work together with the suppliers.
While the pleasure of reading something physically is different, the digitization of several manga titles is playing its small part in checking the problem.
Due to the nature of things, the problem will probably persist till early 2022. Let’s just be patient until then.
Source: ICv2 Official Website