Bringing Up Issues to Publishers
This isn't so much BL specific, but it's really the BL I get that I want to see be the best it can be. I wanted to see what people thought, as I'm struggling with this myself and have been for a while. What problems are worth bringing up to publishers in your opinion, and what's the best way to do that? (I know email is likely the best for the latter, but because it feels so official, I'm hesitant to reach for that first.)
Recently, I've found what I consider major issues - names being incorrect, bad enough in one that I haven't been able to finish it - in two different SuBLime titles. I brought these issues up via social media (also hoping to verify with other people what the Japanese edition actually used to make sure I wasn't horribly wrong) and, as I do so, have tried to always underscore that I have major respect for what they do, and while I understand these issues may not fixable in already published titles, that I hope they take extra care going forward. (Honestly, I don't think the SuBLime twitter is checked all that often though.) I've also had misprinted titles from them (Spring 2019 is a known period of issue with their printer,) and they HAVE replaced those for me (in fact, waiting on a correct copy of Don't Be Cruel v1/2 right now.)
I also once found a page on a futekiya title was off center - like someone had cut it in two horizontally and shoved one half over half an inch to the side - and wrote them via their contact. Shortly after, it was fixed (I'm sure it was an issue on their end as this manifested on different devices for me.)
Of course I also find typos regularly, not only on futekiya titles, but across all publishers, and I don't bring those up as they don't seem worth the trouble (and also I don't want to be *that* person, the person who nitpicks every little thing. My mother was a copyeditor in the 70s, and letters from people pointing out all of those were a just a pointless frustration they were forced to read, but couldn't do anything about.)
So, just focusing on the big issues, what are the best ways to bring up said issues with publishers? Is that even acceptable? What counts as a big issue worth bringing up, and what doesn't? (I'm terribly US Midwestern, so it feels really impolite to bring these up, but as a paying customer, I also feel that if something is really impeding my enjoyment of their product, I should be able to speak up...? But also companies don't actually care about us, and the people working for those companies are nearly always overworked and underpaid and aren't given the time/money/resources to do things as thoroughly as we'd like. So. My dilemma.)
(Even here, I've felt so embarrassed pointing out areas I think either need to be fixed or could be improved, but this is fan run, so I don't feel like I'm entitled to in any way - I just want to help out.)
TLDR: Have you brought up any issues, such as printing/technical errors or major content errors, to publishers, or other types of issues at all really, and to what success? If it's okay to bring those up at all, what's the best way to do that?
Emailing directly seems to be the best way to let them know? I think it's harder for print places though...but digital publishers are more receptive I think. Both Lezhin and futekiya are receptive to emails for corrections based on experience. (Since they put out so much, mistakes are bound to happen unfortunately. Renta actually did a small post about it in the past.)
Also feel free to let us know about issues. We are fan run so there’s still a lot of rough patches.... but letting us know helps!
Anyone else have suggestions?
I've brought things up to June before, but since a lot of what they sell isn't their own work, they often can't correct mistakes. I imagine SuBLime might be more receptive? I think it's easier for digital services like Futekiya, Renta, and Lehzin, since they don't have to worry about misprinted physical books.
I wound up emailing, as I always should have, regarding the SuBLime titles. I still hope they can fix the digital versions and any future reprints of Secret XXX, if it sells well enough. (I'd certainly buy it again just for that, honestly.)
I'll have to find that Renta post, because I'm interested in what exactly it said. Was it a blog post? Renta has some practices I don't agree with (changing use of family names to given names) but they generally have internal consistency when they do.
I'm still really interested to hear more opinions and discussion on this - including what sorts of things you would or have contacted publishers about.
For Lezhin, it was a typo or two I saw, really small things. This was a couple of years ago and haven't done it lately.
June...I wonder if anyone is in their offices now.
@boysloveparty trying to find the Renta post, though maybe it was a Tweet afterall.
I came across their open letter to scanlators again and some of the comments really made my head spin.
This is a little off topic. On the reverse, it’s interesting to see publishers trying to reach out to readers?
@blue Ah! I remember that Renta post! Actually what led me to discovering them in the first place (and subsequently spending a lot... a lot... a lot... of money on them... ahaha) It's interesting actually to see what I agree and disagree with the non-bad actors - the bad actors I'm not going to even consider of course. But boy, opinions, I sure do have them. But yeah, off topic for this thread!
Thanks for digging that out! Don't worry about looking for what you were thinking of - I certainly didn't expect you to!
It is interesting to see publishers reach out. I'd LOVE for publishers to have like. explicit guidelines laid out (how to request licenses, what address to contact with issues and of what kind, etc...) but it's never so clear as that. Especially small ones! (I was glad someone was brave enough to ask Irodori Sakura, eg, how to best suggest artists we'd love to see - and then futekiya reaches out all by themselves sometime to share that info! DMs. They both like twitter DMs, btw.)
Will try to see if I find it again while working on the database!
Probably one of the reasons why they don’t have guidelines is because there might not be guidelines? I remember sitting in on panels at cons years ago and people asking the same thing to publishers. It seems like it is really depending on human relationships actually than a strict guideline.
I made a complaint to Renta about the resolution of a chapter being low resulting in the text being blurry and difficult to read and got a fairly quick response back that they'd try to improve that for the next chapter. I honestly don't remember if I noticed much difference but it at least wasn't bad enough to complain about again and I appreciated the response. I just went through their contact form on the website. I've also used their suggestion form to request titles but they don't give you a response to that so it feels a little like shouting into a void.
@friedgreenfujo I regularly find the small aside text in Renta releases to be REAL hard to read, even when downloaded to the app (though it's better there than if I'm reading in the browser where it's regularly completely illegible for me.) Disappointed they couldn't fix the previous chapter though, if they improved the res on the later one. Nice to get a reply though. Thanks for sharing your experience!