Greater competition (between dōjinshi creators in the 1980s) gradually fostered rising standards of quality, which in turn attracted more circles and buyers. Higher sales shrank production costs and boosted profits, which could then be reinvested in the dōjinshi themselves. Small printing companies, many of which had begun in the minikomi (microcommunication) boom of the early 1970s, were able to use the profits derived from greater demand for their services to modernize their equipment, lowering production costs further and enabling them to construct their production schedules around each Comike. Additionally, lower printing costs freed smaller groups from the dependence on bigger groups, which often had strict rules on content and style to avoid conflict among their many members. Having lost their raison d’être, these big clubs and circles gradually faded away, leaving dōjinshi creators to produce stories they liked, in the manner they liked.

Fan-Yi Lam, Comic Market: How the World’s Biggest Amateur Comic Fair Shaped Japanese Dōjinshi Culture

As physical objects, the dojinshi (zines) that can be found at Japanese conventions today are often of very high quality-beautifully printed pages, professional binding, glossy color covers, and so on. These quality standards are attainable for the vast majority of fans because there are a number of printing companies that specialize in dojinshi, including dojinshi that are fanworks. The competition between the companies has made professional printing very accessible to fans in Japan. 

As the quote above explains, these printing companies have been around since the seventies/eighties. No few of them were started by fans, and they played a crucial role in boosting dojinshi creation in Japan. They made printing dojinshi/zines easy and cheap even for individual fans, freeing people to publish more or less exactly what they wanted. The printing companies also organized their own dojinshi conventions around the country in order to boost demand for their services, making participation in fandom more accessible and popular as they gave people outside the big cities a place to find and distribute dojinshi. Some of these printing company-organized conventions are still hugely popular today.

The small but influential dojinshi printing industry is a great example of commercial entities really working with fandom, benefiting both the fans and the companies.

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