Akamatsu Ken, author of titles such as Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima, is starting a free manga download site. The available manga will comprise out-of-print titles and Akamatsu’s Love Hina will be the testing one. The start is scheduled to November 26, when all 14 volumes will become accessible to readers. Other titles should follow and Akamatsu himself says that he expects other mangaka to make use of this service. Readers won’t pay any fees, yet mangaka will receive money from ad views and ad clicks.
Released manga will probably be accessible through a simple web reader and also in the PDF format. Furthermore, you are allowed to make copies and freely distribute them to friends.
This move was made because manga industry is experiencing a serious drop in sales, but publishers are not willing to adopt any new strategies. Publishers rob mangaka, giving them meager remuneration, so mangaka increasingly voice their opinion that in the Internet age, they should be the ones seeking new opportunities.