Negima and Love Hina manga author Ken Akamatsu established the J-Comi website in 2011 to distribute out-of-print manga titles via ad-supported, author-authorized DRM-free e-books. Evolving the offering, a recent J-Comi FANding trial, inspired by Kickstarter and DRM-free Harry Potter eBook Pottermore, met its goal in a blazing twenty minutes.
Launched to celebrate the 10 million page views, the beta "J-Comi FANding" project offered limited-edition e-book versions of manga series bundled with exclusive items such as previously unpublished works and author autographs. Its goals were met with a total 206 fans purchasing one of four titles, such as the the complete Love Hina. The 14-volume series, packed with Akamatsu's two previously unpublished short works and a draft manuscript, was priced at 1,050 yen ($13.50), including tax, and a postcard with the author's autograph was available to the first 50 buyers at an additional 1,050 yen.
Akamatsu adapted the idea for FANding by asking collector-minded fans to directly support manga artists through the purchase of special-edition sets. It also aims to make e-books more easily accessible to many readers who still feel hesitant about buying digital books, with watermarks embedded in the PDFs to discourage piracy.