Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Give Me Your Questions!

Hillery Pastovich, National Sales Manager from Tokyopop, will be coming to a countywide meeting for YA Librarians in my area next Wednesday - and I will be there since, while I am (as of yet) only a lowly Library Assistant, I am in charge of YA stuff at my branch.

So, while I'm sure most of it will be a sales pitch to us, and I'm not sure how capable Hillery Pastovich will be at answering your questions, and I do need to be careful of what I ask because this is the first time I will be meeting all the other YA Librarians and I'd really like to get to be an actual librarian at some point, please do let me know if you have any questions you'd like me to ask.

I return, I will do my best to ask them and post both her answers and any other interesting information from the meeting.


Lyle said...

I'm still not sure how I'd phrase this for a librarian, but the question I'd have for Tokyopop sales would be if they realize how it can be a challenge to find a good Tokyopop title (as opposed to Viz, at least) partly due to the lack of genre-specific imprints, but also due to the shorter series which means more titles to learn.

Does T-pop have any plans to make it easier to spot a promising series?

Mickle said...

I think get what you're getting at, and I'd say that's a really good question for me to ask, since genres exist not only to help readers, but especially to help booksellers and librarians, who can't possibly know everything about every title in their store (despite what some people think). Knowing good authors and good series, and being able to point to genres makes our lives easier as well.

I mostly read Tokyopop though, so I'll have to check out some Viz titles at the store (the library is too tiny) to get an idea of what you mean. Any suggestions? :)

Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to include your frustration with the length of the series, since sometimes shorter works better for libraries. Especially county libraries, like mine, where my branch is really tiny but we're connected to several dozen others. It's makes sense (although I'm not sure this is how we do it) to have an entire run of a series in one branch, another entire run in another, etc., especially since patrons can easily request other books from other branches. Otherwise you just end up keeping the most recent titles, and then you never have the first in a series on hand at your branch, and that just gets annoying when you are trying to give suggestions.

But I'll work on it.

Either way, thanks for the good info, and I'll do my best to ask a genre/promising series/"if you like this, then you'll like..." type question.

Lyle said...

With Viz I was thinking about how their imprints have clear identities, it's a little easier to get introduced to a series if you know you're already drawn to Shojo Beat titles, or Viz Signature, etc.

I guess a short version of the question might be to say that it can take a lot of research to find a good T-pop title compared to Viz and if T-pop might make that process easier.

Interesting point about series length. As a consumer, I find myself drawn to Viz because the longer series mean that there are more unread volumes on the shelf from titles I already follow, bringing up a "I could read Death Note volume 9 or start something new."

As for series to check out, the first volume of Beauty Pop was very interesting, I liked how the heroine was a skilled beautician who finds society's emphasis on physical beauty ridiculous. Nana is another shoujo title I adore. One of the heroine starts out very annoying, she's a woman who defines her worth based on the men she's with, but the story follows her growth as a person as she befriends another woman named Nana, an independent rocker. It was a series I found "good in theory" at first but really started to love as the series picked up.

Phoenix is a must-read, IMO. It gets a little heavy-handed at times and the sexism from the time these stories were created is frustrating, but the series has some great payoffs. Teuzuka can look at the worst in humanity and still express hopefulness that we'll reach our best potential.

Death Note is an addictive series. If you ever watched Adrian Pasdar in Profit, Death Note hits similar buttons (smart people trying to out-scheme each other). There's one character in particular I like, she started off as a ditzy teen but eventually turned out to be as smart a schemer as some of the other characters, just more chaotic.