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February 2, 2011 / Angela Sylvia

Digital Manga Guild: I Passed – Now What?

Back in November I took the editor test for the Digital Manga Guild, an initiative by the publisher Digital Manga Publishing where users sign up to work on licensed manga as either an editor, translator or typesetter. Participants get paid from a percentage of the sales of the manga. It seemed like an interesting idea, so I signed up and took the test.

The other day I got the email saying I had passed – and that I need to head to the forums and form a group. Wait, what? Though the Digital Manga Guild page has an option to sign up as a group, I was under the impression that this was I job I could work on individually – say, something like Demand Studios where I pick from available work. That’s the first bit that makes me uncomfortable.

Then I go to the forums to get a group, and discover that I have to post my information in a long, ever-growing thread and hope to find reliable group members from this batch of strangers. Okay. This isn’t the worst, since while many of the editors don’t exactly promote themselves well (I saw many a person use text-speak and broken cutesy Japanese to promote themselves as someone with a firm grasp of the English language and grammar) most of the translators and typesetter seem like intelligent and experienced individuals.

The problem? There are SO MANY more editors than translators or typesetter. There will be full pages of editors saying they’re looking for a group, with maybe one or two translators/typesetters popping up. Because of this, editors aren’t exactly in high demand, which means… no one wants me.

I’m not sure how the Digital Manga Guild is going to work as far as payment and usable experience, and I’m not sure if this will be something I’ll find worthwhile in the long run. But it also looks like I might not have to even worry about that, since finding a good group looks like it’s half the battle.

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