Gensokyo.store is an online storefront helping to make self-published, physical fanworks more accessible to more fans in more places. We are operated by the same enthusiastic team behind Gensokyo Radio who have been in the independent music and merchandise space since 2011. Gensokyo Store serves as the storefront for Gensokyo Radio as well as third-party artists, artist groups (or “circles”), and other sellers.
What We Do
Some of the benefits of shopping at our store include:
Making Fan-made Works Easier to Find
Our store inherently provides a service to consumers by selling physical works often found in other regions and works that may be more difficult to find and purchase.
Shipping from the U.S.
We ship from the United States meaning consumers in the region won’t need to pay international shipping rates to get what they’re looking for.
The majority of media has gone digital, but independently produced works in Asia and other countries are still largely physical. Furthermore, many albums are only available physically. By making these available through our store, we provide an additional option for consumers.
Artist groups will often make additional merchandise available directly at market events and elsewhere, but these can be some of the most difficult items to find afterwards. Other groups may have merchandise but don’t have a way to distribute it outside of events. Our store provides an additional option for these artists.
How Artists Publish Albums & Where We Fit In
When it comes to independently published works by artists and groups, there are some markets that are still primarily physical despite the proliferation of digital music in the 2010’s and beyond. For various reasons, some artists still prefer to publish physically whether that’s due to audience expectation, ease of process, improved margin, royalty rates, and so on. For example, fan-made works using compositions from the Touhou Project video game series are assessed a royalty on digitally distributed music, but not physically distributed albums; therefore, some artists prefer physical distribution because they take home more of the sale price.
Our store makes physical works available in regions beyond where these artists traditionally distribute: music markets, events, privately organized concert events, independent or local shops, and more. The works we handle are often self-published, non-commercial, and reach limited audiences. Generally, there are no large record labels or representation to stand behind these works, and artist groups are on their own to determine how to promote and distribute.
About the (Derivative) Works We Sell
Our store may make available works from several areas, but we’ll use two for the sake of example: works derived from the Touhou Project video game series, and original works. In the case of works based on Touhou Project, the series creator has put forth guidelines which helps to dictate how the IP may be used for derivative works. In summary, it is very permissive, but there are some general limitations; a translated version of the guidelines is available at https://touhou-project.news/guidelines_en/.
In terms of Gensokyo.store’s compliance with the above guidelines, we are a small home business which mails physical media (an accepted example under the “Distribution” subsection in the guidelines). Our intent is to provide a more compliant option for artists who aren’t able or don’t know how to make their own physical stock available in our region.
Please note: as stated within, the published guidelines for Touhou derivative works are intended to provide a general sense for what is and is not allowed. We strongly believe our store which focuses on independent works, helping independent artists distribute physically and not digitally, and being independently operated is in compliance with the spirit of the posted guidelines in regards to Touhou Project derivative works.
Regarding original works, artists have much greater liberty to determine how their works are provided and distributed to fans, and as such are often sold alongside Touhou derivative works in Asia and elsewhere. Because of this, we have elected to sell both types of works. For all other IPs, we will work to understand any limitations that govern their use and distribution before selling specific works or approving vendors to sell works.
How Gensokyo.store Supports Independent Artists
Items sold at Gensokyo.store help to support artists through two separate models: batch purchase and consignment.
Batch purchase items are items which our store has purchased in full directly from a vendor. In this case, a vendor may be the artist themselves or a third-party who has purchased works from the artist and/or sold the artist’s works on their behalf (such as a doujin/independent shop or other approved merchant). Often, vendors are located in Japan or elsewhere in Asia, meaning it is an additional exercise for fans in western countries to obtain.
Products sold using this model have already financially supported the artist. The value our store adds is the work we’ve completed in sourcing and providing these items to fans in the west. Purchasing items that use this model enables us to continue directly sourcing items from vendors and making it easier for fans outside of Asia to find and enjoy works from artists abroad. On product pages, these items will have “Gensokyo Store” or “Gensokyo Radio” listed under the “vendor” tab.
Items sold under the consignment model have a portion of each item’s sale go directly to the vendor. In this case, a vendor is the artist or a representative of an artist group (also known as a “circle”) who collects on the group’s behalf. These vendors have a more direct relationship with our store and may have their own store pages listed on Gensokyo.store.
Products sold using this model support artists only when a sale has been made on an item the vendor makes and sells through our website. The value our store adds is through providing an additional option for fans to source fan-made works and support artists, providing an online storefront for vendors, and stocking, warehousing, and/or printing on-demand through our affiliated publishing service (see below). On product pages, these items will have the vendor’s name (usually a circle/group name) listed under the “vendor” tab.
Gensokyo.store also sells merchandise from its sister website GensokyoRadio.net. These items support the radio station and help to pay for operating expenses including server rental and colocation services; broadcast equipment, event expenses, and other supporting services.
Album Publishing Services
We provide an optional service to music artists who sell digital copies of their works but do not yet have physical albums or CDs (or are looking for another option). Gensokyo Radio provides an album printing service for low-volume batches as well as on-demand services for items sold through Gensokyo.store. The albums produced through this service may be sold on our store, independently by the artist, or both.
How to Contact Us
For inquiries, you may contact us via the following:
- User and Customer Support: support at gensokyo.store
- Artists, Circles, and General Sales: sales at gensokyo.store
- Twitter: @GensokyoStore
- Discord (via Gensokyo Radio): Discord.gg/Gensokyo