Management manga books target accessibility

A new series of six manga-style graphic novels seek to break down key topics and concepts in business and management by using the genre’s popularity and approachability

A manga-style graphic novel series for covering business and self-development has been launched by the research and education publisher Wiley.

The six Manga For Success books cover a range of topics as the following titles indicate: Managing ChangeMarketingResilience, Confidence and Positive ThinkingThe Psychology of Personal Growth and Better RelationshipsBusiness Problem-Solving and Strategy; and Leading Meetings and Teams.

‘Manga’ is the highly illustrated, emotionally compelling Japanese graphic novel format that has captivated millions of English-language readers around the world.

Originally published in Japanese by the JMA Management Center (JMAM), a leading Japanese publisher of business-oriented manga books, the Manga For Success series aims to combine highly visual manga stories with sophisticated explanations of the most important principles and concepts. They are primarily targeting younger career professionals looking for a fun way to learn the basics.

In Toshinori Iwai’s The Psychology of Personal Growth and Better Relationships, for example, a 28-year-old area manager of a retail chain meets the ghost of psychologist Alfred Adler, who gives her various advice and strategies for transforming the way she interacts with store managers and her supervisor. The result is a huge improvement in her communication skills and the birth of new relationships of trust that allows her career to move forward smoothly.

Widening reach and decoding complex topics

As with some other existing English-language manga titles from other publishers, these books are also structured to match the Western way of reading – ie from left to right across the page. Manuscripts were also carefully reviewed to make any necessary cultural adaptations to ensure the stories resonate with a Western audience in the same way they would the original Japanese audience.

Sales of manga books in the UK are now thought to worth more than £25million in the UK and more than $250million in the US, according to Neilsen BookScan Data 2021/22 and 2021 figures from the Anime News Network, respectively. With its coverage of business and management, this series is aiming to widen the format’s reach by appealing not only to existing manga fiction fans, but also new non-manga readers and people who just want an enjoyable, different and emotionally compelling way to learn about important topics and develop their skills.

The overriding aim is also that Manga For Success can make what are often considered intimidating topics easy and fun to understand. The format is highly approachable and is designed to help readers get a grasp on difficult concepts quickly from the detailed explanation of core concepts in each story. All six titles publish in print and ebook formats in April 2023.

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