The chapters of the manga series Fairy Tail are written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. The first chapter premiered in Weekly Shōnen Magazine on August 16, 2006, which is where the series has continued its serialization since then. Individual chapters have been collected and republished in tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, which released the first volume in December 15, 2006.
As of January 2015, 47 volumes have been released in Japan. Of all volumes, 8 of them, namely volume 24, 26, 27, 31, 35, 36, 38 and 39 have an alternative special edition. Not only do they had a different cover, all of them were also bundled in a boxset with a DVD and/or other special features. Volume 24 included a DVD that contains a collection summary about the characters and the current anime. Volume 26 included the 1st OVA DVD (anime adaption of "Welcome to Fairy Hills"), the special OVA manga, plus a Happy collectible strap accessory. Volume 27 included the 2nd OVA DVD (anime adaption of "Fairy Academy: Yankee-kun and Yankee-chan"), and the special OVA manga. The 3rd OVA DVD ("Memory Days," an all-new original story storyboarded by Hiro Mashima), was bundled with the special edition of Volume 31 that released in February 2012. The 4th OVA DVD (anime adaptation of Chapter 261 and "Welcome to Natsu's House") was bundled with the special edition of Volume 35. The 5th OVA DVD (anime adaptation of Chapter 298) was bundled with the special edition of Volume 38. The 6th OVA DVD (anime adaptation of "Fairy Tail x Rave") was bundled with the special edition of Volume 39. Finally, Volume 36 included an extra DVD containing a 12-minute prologue to the movie Fairy Tail: Priestess of the Phoenix.
The series was licensed for an English language release in North America by Del Rey Manga, which published the first volume of the series in March 25 of 2008, and ended its licensing at the 12th volume. Kodansha USA took over and released the manga commencing from the 13th volume starting from May 10 of 2011. All volumes currently released in English are also available for digital purchase and download on any Kindle device. Crunchyroll has also started simulpublishing the Manga on their site every Wednesday; with the most recent chapter being free, and back chapters requiring a paid memberships to read. It has been published in France by Pika Édition who have released 38 volumes as of July 2, 2014. In Spain it is published by Norma Editorial from March 15, 2008 - now there are 37 volumes released in Spain and it's one of the top-selling manga series. It has also been published in Taiwan by Tong Li, which has released 34 volumes as of October 2012. It has also been published in China Mainland by Hubei Children's Press, which has released 16 volumes as of February 2010. It has also been published in Germany by Carlsen Verlag Gmbh, which has released 19 volumes as of January 2012.
In addition it has been published in Brazilian Portuguese by JBC, which has released 46 volumes thus far.