Back in November, I posted a quick blog entry about the Digital Manga Guild, asking readers what they thought of its pretty radical proposal. Not unsurprisingly, much of the response was wary. Prospective participants were unwilling to trust an untested system with admittedly sketchy details on things like process and payment.
With that in mind, I contacted the folks at Digital Manga Publishing to ask how they’d feel about having someone report from the inside. I proposed that I sign up and take the editor’s test, and if I passed, I’d enter the Guild as both a participant and a journalist, reporting my experiences at Manga Bookshelf, so that prospective Guild members could get a real feel for how the Guild works, where the kinks are, and how the process might evolve during its debut run. To their credit, DMP was very enthusiastic about my proposal, and eager to hear any feedback I might have for them along the way. They also gave me the go-ahead to reveal anything about the Guild I felt necessary, including details like payment.
Last night, I received notification that I passed the editor’s test, so I guess it’s time to begin! I have three important notes before going forward. First, in order to report accurately, I must treat my participation as seriously as anyone else going in. So I’ll be approaching the DMG as a job with hard deadlines and high standards. Secondly, as a journalist, I feel it would be inappropriate for me to accept payment from DMG, so anything I personally make on the job will be donated to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. And lastly, I want to assure any participants who end up working with me that I will never reveal their names in my reports, and that my intention is to report on the Guild and not them.
Unsure if I’d be going forward until I received the results of my test, I took a few notes along the way. We’ll start with those here, with more detailed reports to come as my experience really gets underway.
11/4/10 – Just submitted my pre-registration. The process was easy, though the information requested seems sparse. Since I’ve never edited manga before, I submitted links to my own website, with a bit of discussion on other writing and editing I’ve done. From the form, I get little sense of how much experience they’re really looking for, or if the only thing that really matters is the upcoming test. Time will tell.
11/9/10 – Submitted my editor’s test. Had a little trouble uploading, because the file format the test was delivered in is not one of the formats accepted by their uploader. The webpage promises I’ll be contacted “shortly” but discussion on the forums reveals that they have a high volume of submissions & it might take a while. It might be nice to have a little more clarity on this subject. Also confusing, they are asking people who registered as individuals to form groups on their own, even though we haven’t found out yet if we’ve passed the test. This seems backwards.
1/31/11 – Received notice of acceptance into the Guild!
Dear Melinda Beasi,
Thank you for taking the test, and for your patience in our grading. We are happy to let you know that you have passed the test, and welcome you to the Digital Manga Guild! If you haven’t already, please begin forming a group of at least three (typesetter, editor, and translator) and choosing one member to be your representative. The group representative will handle all communication, projects, and payments, so choose wisely! Feel free to visit our forums (http://www.digitalmanga.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=56) to find other group members. We will be contacting you very soon with the next step, including more details on a Q&A teleconference in mid-February with our President and agreement forms. Congratulations and welcome to the Guild!
Digital Manga Publishing
My next step is to try to find myself a group. Most of the groupless have gathered in this thread at the DMG forum to introduce themselves and spell out their experience. It’s immediately apparent that there are more homeless editors than anything else, so we may have some difficulty each finding a place. With this in mind, my initial feedback to DMG is that I think some of the groupless editors feel a bit lost at this point. Understanding that the DMP staff is pretty swamped, I hope they’ll be able to provide a little moderation and assistance should things get dicey for groupless participants.
I’ll be posting my credentials over there along with the rest. Anyone want to join up with me? Please let me know!
More updates to come!
ETA: I’ve (
sort of, maybe definitely) been invited to a group! More on this in the next installment!