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Parsifal24



Joined: 20 Apr 2010
Posts: 909
Location: Holland MI
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:36 pm Reply with quote
Wow! That was a really informative episode kudos. I was an early supporter of J-Novel Club as I am a firm believer in "voting with your wallet" that and I really enjoyed My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World. Yet at $120/year for only digital ownership, I ended up canceling the membership as, and admittedly this is my almost congenital pessimism speaking. That I felt like I really had no real "ownership" of the series I was potentially going to buy.

So if something like what happened with J-Manga or earlier on when Comics One had digital releases, it would be all for naught. If the company "went under" I'd have no way "own" the novels I bought. But that is more me "always looking on the dark side of life" than a slight against anyone . As well as it simply being a matter of cold hard economics for me as well.

Thankfully with the partnership with Seven Seas physical copies of novels are being released and I have pre-ordered the first four volumes of Grimgar Fantasy of Ash.

I am glad to hear digital sales will not cannibalize my support of physical Light Novels. As when it comes to books, I'm team physical copy till my casket drops. Partially out of preference and also because my eyesight is bad enough that reading most things on an E-Reader is almost impossible.

As far as Light Novels in English speaking and reading fandom in general it's still feels kind of new, I mean English Light Novels dot com is a handful of people and a few video reviewers here and there put out a review. I really hope Light Novels gain more "traction" as frankly I like seeing a fan community "succeed".

Also I have to agree Chan Boards are not that great of a place to know what license next. As discussion of Light Novels on 4chan in particular has mostly turned into paranoia about publishers (Yen Press in particular) using "stealth" marketing if a title gets licensed to turn people away from fan translations of Light Novels. Or in the case of Magical Girl Raising Project excoriating the fan translator for being wildly inaccurate and complaining about how long legal releases will lag behind Japan.
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1972
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:56 pm Reply with quote
Parsifal24 wrote:
Wow! That was a really informative episode kudos. I was an early supporter of J-Novel Club as I am a firm believer in "voting with your wallet" that and I really enjoyed My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World. Yet at $120/year for only digital ownership, I ended up canceling the membership as, and admittedly this is my almost congenital pessimism speaking. That I felt like I really had no real "ownership" of the series I was potentially going to buy.

So if something like what happened with J-Manga or earlier on when Comics One had digital releases, it would be all for naught. If the company "went under" I'd have no way "own" the novels I bought. But that is more me "always looking on the dark side of life" than a slight against anyone . As well as it simply being a matter of cold hard economics for me as well.

Thankfully with the partnership with Seven Seas physical copies of novels are being released and I have pre-ordered the first four volumes of Grimgar Fantasy of Ash.

I am glad to hear digital sales will not cannibalize my support of physical Light Novels. As when it comes to books, I'm team physical copy till my casket drops. Partially out of preference and also because my eyesight is bad enough that reading most things on an E-Reader is almost impossible.

As far as Light Novels in English speaking and reading fandom in general it's still feels kind of new, I mean English Light Novels dot com is a handful of people and a few video reviewers here and there put out a review. I really hope Light Novels gain more "traction" as frankly I like seeing a fan community "succeed".

Also I have to agree Chan Boards are not that great of a place to know what license next. As discussion of Light Novels on 4chan in particular has mostly turned into paranoia about publishers (Yen Press in particular) using "stealth" marketing if a title gets licensed to turn people away from fan translations of Light Novels. Or in the case of Magical Girl Raising Project excoriating the fan translator for being wildly inaccurate and complaining about how long legal releases will lag behind Japan.

Well, the premium ebooks you get with premium membership are yours to keep forever, they're download to own and DRM free.
It's as close to ownership as you're going to get digitally, really.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 1938
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:26 pm Reply with quote
samuelp wrote:
Well, the premium ebooks you get with premium membership are yours to keep forever, they're download to own and DRM free.
It's as close to ownership as you're going to get digitally, really.

#1. The biggest problem I see with J-Novel Club is no "flagship title". Without that to draw people in, there's no major release in there that'll draw interest.
#2. As someone who has been buying the US releases of Accel World (I need to buy some other series too) the "value" just isn't there for $10/month. For that matter, unless one expects to be a VORACIOUS reader of LNs, I don't see the value of a monthly subscription. I don't know what the workrate is, but Accel World LNs are coming out basically 1 per quarter. That's 3 months per book, so unless I'm following at LEAST 3 titles, I'll get plenty of months with no new content. (and that's for translations, the Japanese release has 21 vols, which have been coming out steadily at 2 per year for several years)

A subscription model makes sense for manga and anime (which both come out weekly) but seems ridiculous for novels. (which are more erratic in schedule or much more distant between releases or both) I mean, unless I expect to go through a couple volumes each MONTH (which seems unlikely since according to the site they currently carry 12 titles total), it makes no sense for me to buy a yearly subscription rather than pay the monthly fee only when there's something I want.
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Utsuro no Hako



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 725
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:44 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
A subscription model makes sense for manga and anime (which both come out weekly) but seems ridiculous for novels. (which are more erratic in schedule or much more distant between releases or both) I mean, unless I expect to go through a couple volumes each MONTH (which seems unlikely since according to the site they currently carry 12 titles total),


Twelve series, but each one is constantly releasing one chapter per week. It takes about two months for a complete volume to come out, so they're finishing about six volumes each month.

Of course it depends how many of those series will interest you. I think Grimgar, Paladin and Realist Hero are defintiely worth it, with BigSis and Paying to Win being fun little chasers, but YMMV.
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HeeroTX



Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 1938
Location: Austin, TX
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:05 pm Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
Twelve series, but each one is constantly releasing one chapter per week. It takes about two months for a complete volume to come out, so they're finishing about six volumes each month.

I figured that from the release schedule on the site. I'm sure there are some that disagree, but for me I would NOT want to buy (or receive, if you prefer considering the pricing model) novels a chapter at a time (even in terms of a "subscription" basis). I realize there are some fan-translations that do that, but those are "free" and more than anything else "better than nothing". But I definitely wouldn't be amp'ed about reading a single light novel in drips and drabs over the course of 2 months.

If I think about it "logically" there's not a huge difference between a chapter of manga and a light novel chapter, but that's just not the way I'm used to consuming that particular medium. Regarding the titles, its totally a YMMV thing. I didn't subscribe to CrunchyRoll until they got a title that necessitated it for me, and have been a member ever since. That's why I say any other service needs such a title. (or failing that, a LOT of titles so they can pull lots of little fandoms instead of pulling from one larger fandom)
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1972
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:20 pm Reply with quote
Utsuro no Hako wrote:
Quote:
A subscription model makes sense for manga and anime (which both come out weekly) but seems ridiculous for novels. (which are more erratic in schedule or much more distant between releases or both) I mean, unless I expect to go through a couple volumes each MONTH (which seems unlikely since according to the site they currently carry 12 titles total),


Twelve series, but each one is constantly releasing one chapter per week. It takes about two months for a complete volume to come out, so they're finishing about six volumes each month.

Of course it depends how many of those series will interest you. I think Grimgar, Paladin and Realist Hero are defintiely worth it, with BigSis and Paying to Win being fun little chasers, but YMMV.

Just to clarify, two of our series (Brave Chronicle, which was just 1 volume, and occultic;nine, which we've finished both volumes that are out) are now finished with the weekly releases, so we have 10 series doing weekly releases right now.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1537
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:12 pm Reply with quote
HeeroTX wrote:
A subscription model makes sense for manga and anime (which both come out weekly) but seems ridiculous for novels. (which are more erratic in schedule or much more distant between releases or both) I mean, unless I expect to go through a couple volumes each MONTH (which seems unlikely since according to the site they currently carry 12 titles total), it makes no sense for me to buy a yearly subscription rather than pay the monthly fee only when there's something I want.

I'm subscribing largely out of my obligations as "older fan with disposable income" (ha ha) who can get behind something while it's growing until it reaches takeoff velocity. I didn't subscribe to Crunchyroll at first because I mostly saw it as a way to watch obscurities that would never get licensed (first thing I watched there was Wandering Son), and only came around after I'd watched Madoka a couple times and visited their booth at ACen and said "you guys deserve real money out of me". So I figured I should get behind J-Novel Club sooner.

Honestly, the one thing I'm keeping up with is My Little Sister Can Read Kanji, so sure, it would make more sense to just buy those volumes as they come out, but I'm holding out hope for something new to surprise me at some point.
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zrnzle500



Joined: 04 Oct 2014
Posts: 2760
PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:26 pm Reply with quote
Well I reckon this podcast has had the intended effect, for me at least, as it's gotten me to check it out, even as one who doesn't really read LNs or manga, from both a preference for anime and a desire to not spoil the anime, plot wise or expectations wise. Though I think I am inclined to go the route of just buying by the volume, as like HeeroTX I'm not sure there will be enough to make a membership worthwhile. Even if I don't get into LNs, at least I could use it to look at the first chapter if an anime is made of one of the LNs they have so I can get an idea of what I'm in for. Hopefully you can get some more properties and business will be more successful than prior ventures.
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 3589
Location: Northern Virginia
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:59 am Reply with quote
Somewhat ironically, the biggest reason I haven't signed up for this yet is because I'm learning Japanese pretty aggressively right now and spend what used to be my reading time either studying, or trying to read some of these novels in Japanese. I am also a bit tight on money. But I really do want to get a subscription even if I don't end up reading all that much just to support the idea because I want this to succeed. I love the idea and I love the light novel format typically. I am sort of a physical book kind of person as well, but I have no problem reading digitally on my phone for some things, as I can still sit in my comfy reading chair as if it was a normal book. Smile
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CandisWhite



Joined: 19 Apr 2015
Posts: 197
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:56 am Reply with quote
"Core fans...couple hundred people". Oh God, do I know that pain.

Parsifal24 wrote:
Wow! That was a really informative episode kudos. I was an early supporter of J-Novel Club as I am a firm believer in "voting with your wallet"...Yet at $120/year for only digital ownership, I ended up canceling the membership...That I felt like I really had no real "ownership" of the series I was potentially going to buy.

Thankfully with the partnership with Seven Seas physical copies of novels are being released and I have pre-ordered the first four volumes of Grimgar Fantasy of Ash.

I am glad to hear digital sales will not cannibalize my support of physical Light Novels. As when it comes to books, I'm team physical copy till my casket drops.

I'm the same way. Reading is the heft of a book in your hand and a bookshelf full of different ones, something you can look at and enjoy.

I am definitely glad to see print versions of light novels and will support this just to see more titles get released this way.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 3502
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:13 am Reply with quote
I am hoping that more manga gets official digital publishing. While Seven Seas is doing a great job trailblazing the digital frontier, they are still not publishing many of their titles digitally.

I am in my fifties now. I can no longer buy physical copies anymore. I have too many books and manga. Most are in boxes in the garage because I have no place to display them anymore. So I have been moving more and more to digital.

Size is not an issue anymore. You can get a ten inch screen Kindle if you want, and tablets come in many sizes.

I had to empty out two bookcases of books and manga, it came out to eight large packing boxes that me and my adult son had to move around together for each box. You all are going to age sometime and those books and manga are not going to get any lighter. I am still going to keep my ultra favorites series in hardcover and softcover in some cases, but digital makes more sense as you get older. Because of that manga publishers need to move more forward on this front.

And if you are for the environment, save a tree while you are at it.
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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 Mar 04, 2017 7:37 am Reply with quote
CandisWhite wrote:
"Core fans...couple hundred people". Oh God, do I know that pain

Sure, but like Sam said, if you can be just a little larger than that, a small fanbase that votes with its money can make things happen. If you can get into the thousands of fans, at least, then you can get to the two examples Sam cited: Nekopara raised $963,000 (9,120 backers at an average of $106 each), and Muv-Luv raised $1,255,000 (7,890 backers, average $159 each). And both of those were overachievers: if you need $100,000, you can do it with 1,000 people pledging $100 each. That's not out of the question even for titles with smaller fanbases, as long as there is, as Sam said, that core group of fans.

With Anime Sols, I was kind of surprised their Tezuka stuff (which is what I pledged for) didn't get funded for DVDs, since the Tezuka fans reliably show up for all those DMP Tezuka manga Kickstarters. Maybe the problem is that Anime Sols didn't give super-fans a reason to pledge any further than was necessary to get the DVD sets, so they needed more fans spending the same amount, rather than a possibly-smaller number of fans spending more per person?
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samuelp



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1972
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:31 am Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:

With Anime Sols, I was kind of surprised their Tezuka stuff (which is what I pledged for) didn't get funded for DVDs, since the Tezuka fans reliably show up for all those DMP Tezuka manga Kickstarters. Maybe the problem is that Anime Sols didn't give super-fans a reason to pledge any further than was necessary to get the DVD sets, so they needed more fans spending the same amount, rather than a possibly-smaller number of fans spending more per person?

The tezuka super fans are pretty non-committal when it comes to his anime.
I think there's some truth to the notion that Tezuka's manga is timeless, but the anime are very much products of their times. The audience is significantly different.
Also, DMP uses kickstarter and uses it very well, while Anime Sols never really was designed with the constant attention that crowdfunding requires. It tried to substitute free streaming anime instead of user interaction and updates, and it didn't work very well.
I had a full-time job at the same time I was running it, so I could only devote so much energy to it, unlike J-Novel Club which is very much a full-time job (several, frankly).
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CandisWhite



Joined: 19 Apr 2015
Posts: 197
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:32 pm Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
CandisWhite wrote:
"Core fans...couple hundred people". Oh God, do I know that pain

Sure, but like Sam said, if you can be just a little larger than that, a small fanbase that votes with its money can make things happen. If you can get into the thousands of fans, at least, then you can get to the two examples Sam cited: Nekopara raised $963,000 (9,120 backers at an average of $106 each), and Muv-Luv raised $1,255,000 (7,890 backers, average $159 each). And both of those were overachievers: if you need $100,000, you can do it with 1,000 people pledging $100 each. That's not out of the question even for titles with smaller fanbases, as long as there is, as Sam said, that core group of fans.

You're thinking of one-offs, and under the assumption that if you build it they will come, with wallet in hand. It's one thing for a middle class fan to get the money together for one release; It's another to ask them to give money to every project out there that they may be interested in, especially averaging $100 a pop. I was able to get the money together to pledge for the DVD set of Skip Beat because I had no other major irons in the fire; On another occasion, I might have had more interest in, or already bought, something else. Specifically referring to Anime Sols, I pledged to the last 2 sets, and bought the first 2, of Creamy Mami because I had the money then; If the release had been dependent on me pledging to the first 2 sets, or if every other person interested had been in my shoes for the first 2, the whole show would have tanked.

To a regular business venture for a very niche product, such as the Jem comic, which recently announced its finale due to sales that declined too far, every fan who drops off, due to another interest outweighing this one or financial reasons, is a big loss. Kelly Thompson, the comic's writer, wrote about this on her blog. I'm a hardcore Jem fan and I had bought 6 copies each month (The extras were given away) to match the amount bought with the boxsets (5 different covers plus the cost of the box) so sales on my part wouldn't decline; I had to cut that back to 3 a few months back and it just happened to coincide with other people dropping off.

The smaller the fanbase, the less people you have to draw on; The presence of each is very important and, therefore, their absence can have a profound effect. No matter how much passion there is, the numbers only work out if people are willing, and able, to support it at the level it needs. And some property always has to lose the Russian Roulette of fan dollars; It just sucks to see many of the things you love keep getting that bullet.

TarsTarkas:
Quote:
I had to empty out two bookcases of books and manga, it came out to eight large packing boxes that me and my adult son had to move around together for each box. You all are going to age sometime and those books and manga are not going to get any lighter. I am still going to keep my ultra favorites series in hardcover and softcover in some cases, but digital makes more sense as you get older. Because of that manga publishers need to move more forward on this front.

As I am already retired due to health reasons, I am fully in weak body territory; As I don't plan to ever move, or to buy more than I have space for, I don't see the issues with having bookshelves in my house. I am not trying to be rude (Your life is your own) or pick a fight, I am simply pointing out that having physical copies of things that bring pleasure is not a problem for everyone. And while digital is fine as an option for those who want/need it, I would hate to see it become the sole option.
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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
Posts: 724
PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:17 am Reply with quote
Don't write Viewster off entirely; they're the only legal readily available way to see NieA_7 and Welcome to Irabu's Office at the moment.
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