Left to our own devices: Cheaper Kindle and manga-mania

Amazon has dropped the price of the basic 6″ Kindle to $299. I’m not sure if this is genius or desperation, but it’s still a lot of money. (Memo to Amazon: All the cool kids are using these “links” now that aren’t 140 characters long. You might try it sometime.)

Andrews McMeel has combined Universal Features Syndicate with its Uclick division, which develops and markets comics for mobile phones to form a new company, Universal Uclick. The move will eliminate overlap between the two companies and allow them to market comics more efficiently through a variety of channels.

And all the rest of our news is about manga, which seems to be heading toward handhelds in a big way—which is not surprising, given the popularity of cell phone manga in Japan.

At Anime Expo, eigoManga publisher Austin Osueke pointed to webcomics as the possible solution for the slump in manga sales and revealed that his company is working on an iPhone app that will allow the user to read a sample comic and then buy it on their phone.

Lori Henderson looks over small-screen manga readers at Manga Xanadu.

Go! Comi has released Japan Ai: A Tall Girl’s Adventures in Japan for the iPhone. At 99 cents for the entire book, this a real bargain, and it’s a book that many non-manga fans will enjoy as well. Deb Aoki reviews the digital version at About.com.

Digital Manga will be publishing Yellow 2, the sequel to the popular yaoi manga Yellow; what makes this webcomics news is the fact that Yellow 2 was published only on cell phones in Japan, so the U.S. edition will be the first print edition.

Digital also put out a press release this week about a slew of manga they are putting on the Kindle store. This is a bit cheaper than print versions, but as I pointed out at MangaBlog, Vampire Hunter D fans would do better getting their fix directly from iTunes.

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