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NEWS: J-Novel Club Publisher Launches to Release Light Novels in English Digitally


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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1537
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:17 am Reply with quote
This is a really interesting approach and a sign that LNs are making inroads into the English speaking world. Hopefully between subscription fees for early-access chapters and sales of finished volumes as ebooks, they'll be able to make it work -- having more viable LN publishers here is good for everyone.

I do kind of wish their iOS app did pages rather than a big scroll view, but having actually had to write that CSS hack for an ePub reader I worked on a few years ago, I can understand why they wanted to ship what they can. Also, I guess that begs the question: do ebook versions of Japanese LNs scroll or page? Maybe it's an authentic Japanese-style experience, right?
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1973
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:32 am Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
This is a really interesting approach and a sign that LNs are making inroads into the English speaking world. Hopefully between subscription fees for early-access chapters and sales of finished volumes as ebooks, they'll be able to make it work -- having more viable LN publishers here is good for everyone.

I do kind of wish their iOS app did pages rather than a big scroll view, but having actually had to write that CSS hack for an ePub reader I worked on a few years ago, I can understand why they wanted to ship what they can. Also, I guess that begs the question: do ebook versions of Japanese LNs scroll or page? Maybe it's an authentic Japanese-style experience, right?


Having paging instead of a scroll is a goal for future versions of the app, but it's highly non-trivial for technical reasons as long as you want to allow the user to change font-size/font because there is no way to do automatic repagination.
I could probably hack something using a webview, but then that wouldn't be much better than just using the web page on mobile.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1537
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:47 am Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:
Having paging instead of a scroll is a goal for future versions of the app, but it's highly non-trivial for technical reasons as long as you want to allow the user to change font-size/font because there is no way to do automatic repagination.

Oh sure there is,
Just implement paging by inserting stylesheets to put all the contents in columns that are exactly the width and height of your virtual page. Implement your forward/back buttons by scrolling horizontally to even offsets of this width. Also, turn off user scrolling. Then, when the user changes font and/or size, grab the xpath of the first paragraph on the page, find its x location after applying the new font/size, find the first page boundary to the left of that, and scroll there. Also, since this is in an app, you're doing everything with UIWebView.stringByEvaluatingJavaScriptFromString().
Piece of cake!

(Kidding, it's a f'ing nightmare to get it working consistently, and I totally get why you guys didn't tackle this yet)
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 331
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 8:03 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Could it be that, long ago, books could be about more than little sisters showing their panties and getting in compromising situations with their non-blood- related older brothers? Impossible! It's hard to even imagine a Japan where everyone could read kanji and the Prime Minister was a 3D human being...

OK, this made me laugh.

I'm not into light novels (I'd read the one with the summary above, though) so I guess I'm not the target audience here, but this is a good idea and I hope it will succeed.
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phoenixalia



Joined: 20 Dec 2011
Posts: 1289
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:10 am Reply with quote
I hope this will have light novels aimed at females from B's Log Bunko like Okobore Hime to Entaku no Kishi and others in the line.

Otherwise, even if this is worldwide, I won't be using this.

But I'm sure others will and I hope this succeeds.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1973
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:35 am Reply with quote
phoenixalia wrote:
I hope this will have light novels aimed at females from B's Log Bunko like Okobore Hime to Entaku no Kishi and others in the line.

Otherwise, even if this is worldwide, I won't be using this.

But I'm sure others will and I hope this succeeds.

I'd like to expand into a line of female targeted LNs sometime in the future, definitely!
There are definitely some we are looking at.
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 1453
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:52 am Reply with quote
Signed up because this seemed interesting enough.

It wasn't enough clear, in the article or at the site, will the finalized volumes be available worldwide as well, whether on the site or on places like Kobo etc?
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1973
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:56 am Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
Signed up because this seemed interesting enough.

It wasn't enough clear, in the article or at the site, will the finalized volumes be available worldwide as well, whether on the site or on places like Kobo etc?

Yup worldwide.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1537
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:02 am Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
Signed up because this seemed interesting enough.

It wasn't enough clear, in the article or at the site, will the finalized volumes be available worldwide as well, whether on the site or on places like Kobo etc?

I forget where it was on the site, but somewhere I saw it said that the finished ebooks would be on the usual retailers (Kindle for sure… I forget if I saw Kobo or iBooks or others specifically). For example, you can go to the Kindle store now and find the entry for My Little Sister Can Read Kanji, with J-Novel Club listed as the publisher.

And yeah, I signed up for the basic $5/mo membership too. Feels like the early days of Crunchyroll, with a handful of titles that are a little off the beaten path. Could grow into something really cool.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 1939
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:09 am Reply with quote
SHD wrote:
Quote:
Could it be that, long ago, books could be about more than little sisters showing their panties and getting in compromising situations with their non-blood- related older brothers? Impossible! It's hard to even imagine a Japan where everyone could read kanji and the Prime Minister was a 3D human being...

OK, this made me laugh.

I'm not into light novels (I'd read the one with the summary above, though) so I guess I'm not the target audience here, but this is a good idea and I hope it will succeed.

Agreed. And I'm not sure which cracks me up more, the synopsis of the story (which I started reading not expecting much, because..) or the title which is ridiculously incredulous about something that shouldn't be amazing. Anime hyper
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Larkan



Joined: 25 Mar 2016
Posts: 73
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:27 am Reply with quote
My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World
My Little Sister Can Read Kanji

My little sister one, i saw it in a top 10 LN video by some dude and i wanted to check it out.
from Overlap Arifureta or Saishinbu.
from HJ Hagure Yuusha no Estetica and Ore ga Heroine wo Tasukesugite Sekai ga Little Apocalypse!? are my the ones i would like to see picked up.

They both have a lot of good novels Overlap and HJ, i mean.
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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
Posts: 727
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:56 am Reply with quote
Hmm. They don't really have any breakout/big titles for their launch unfortunately. I guess Occultic;Nine could count as one, but considering the anime has come out to mediocre reviews...

Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria, High School DxD and Fate/Zero would have been good launch titles in my opinion...though who knows? They said they had ten more titles to announce...
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justbeingotaku



Joined: 10 Jan 2014
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:05 am Reply with quote
It would be awesome if they were able to pick up the LN that TokyoPop never finished. I know I'll be checking these guys either way.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1973
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:11 am Reply with quote
Larkan wrote:
My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World
My Little Sister Can Read Kanji

My little sister one, i saw it in a top 10 LN video by some dude and i wanted to check it out.
from Overlap Arifureta or Saishinbu.
from HJ Hagure Yuusha no Estetica and Ore ga Heroine wo Tasukesugite Sekai ga Little Apocalypse!? are my the ones i would like to see picked up.

They both have a lot of good novels Overlap and HJ, i mean.

I promise the rest of our titles won't be 50% little sister or big sister books!

maybe more like 20%? Very Happy
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Selipse



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
Posts: 206
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:21 am Reply with quote
Amazing! I seriously can't believe they got Occultic;Nine right out of the gate! AND AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE!
The membership's also pretty reasonable, I might get one when they announce the rest of the series.

Also, I find it really funny (and also a bit sad for me) that now that I'm reading stuff in Japanese, it's much easier to get them in English, haha.
If they could somehow get to publish them in Japanese too, I'd subscribe in a heartbeat.
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