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Explaining the English Light Novel Boom with Bookwalker Global


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Desa



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 253
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:55 am Reply with quote
It's not just the Japanese novels, Chinese and Korean novels are also booming in popularity in the English speaking world. If the stats from NovelUpdates, WuxiaWorld, GravityTales, etc are any indication, growth rates are definitely rising fast.

Not to mention most anime nowadays are basically just long adverts for light novels. Want to find out what happens after that anime "ending"? Read the novel. Novel sales propping up anime sales, which prop up more novel sales. It's a pretty sweet cycle they have going on over there.

I'm sure there are varying opinions on what the light novel community is doing to the anime community and vice versa, but I guess that's a topic for another day.
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#868759



Joined: 21 Apr 2017
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:07 am Reply with quote
The only thing is... they take sooo long to translate 1 volume that i end up losing interest. The other alternative is read in somewhere else, but i rly want to support official release, so more novels will come.
4 months per volume is not bad, but when a novel already has something like 20 volumes... it's kind of a problem.
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Desa



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:43 am Reply with quote
Buying the official translations is good and all, but one cannot deny the importance of fan translations in seeding a market. Crunchyroll wouldn't exist without fansubbers, this is undeniable fact. Without fansubbers the very concept of a "simulcast" just wouldn't exist and we'll still be living in a world where the "latest" anime releases to the English market are last year's anime in Japan or perhaps even older. Not to mention the number of releases would be tiny compared to the tsunami of seasonal anime shows we're getting now.

Similarly right now, the number of official novel translations pale in comparison to the ocean of fan translated novels on the web right now. Having a web presence is key. For example, "The Rising of the Shield Hero" light novel is only possible due to the popularity of the web novel version that preceded it, and the web novel only became popular in the English speaking community thanks to fan translators. For those who aren't aware, the web novel and light novel versions are different in many ways and should be seen as similar but separate stories. Those who enjoyed the web novels can read the light novels for a different take on how events play out.

Fans make the market, money is secondary. Buy what you can, but don't feel bad if you can't afford it. Just by reading works you like and spreading the word, you are not just supporting the system, you are creating it. As any successful author would say, "It was only possible thanks to all you readers out there".
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KilluaX3



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 130
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:26 pm Reply with quote
So how much do the LN volumes sell in the West?
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Stryfermon



Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:40 pm Reply with quote
Would love to see the rest Trinity Blood LN translated, so I can get my full set on my shelf.

Awesome to see that LN are getting more popular and always nice for more Japanese merchandise getting the english treatment.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 7522
Location: IL
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:44 pm Reply with quote
If there's an English light novel boom then why in the world has Kino's Journey not been brought over (again)?
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Calico



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:55 pm Reply with quote
This was an interesting article. It's always nice to get some insight on why certain titles are chosen to be translated. I'm not much of a light novel person myself, but I'm hoping that the recent boom of translations will lead to The Twelve Kingdoms being retranslated and finished over here. It deserved so much better than it got by Tokyopop.
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Karasu-Lacryma



Joined: 20 Feb 2015
Posts: 73
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:17 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
If there's an English light novel boom then why in the world has Kino's Journey not been brought over (again)?


Wondered this myself. Fan-translations are available for a lot of the books (good ones, at that) but seem to have slowed down. Maybe the upcoming anime will generate enough interest to overcome whatever licensing problems arose before?

The first anime covered volumes 1-6 if I recall, there's now 3 times more material to choose from so I hope this one doesn't just remake those.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:39 pm Reply with quote
Desa wrote:
Buying the official translations is good and all, but one cannot deny the importance of fan translations in seeding a market.


I think Matt Thorn would dispute that, judging from recent remarks she made on Twitter.
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AksaraKishou



Joined: 16 May 2015
Posts: 787
Location: End of the World
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:18 pm Reply with quote
Shay Guy wrote:
Desa wrote:
Buying the official translations is good and all, but one cannot deny the importance of fan translations in seeding a market.


I think Matt Thorn would dispute that, judging from recent remarks she made on Twitter.


Didn't know who that was so i went to check her twitter. I bounced from there so hard...
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Paiprince



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 591
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:28 pm Reply with quote
Would be great if Light Novels in the West would actually follow their namesake and be the same form factor as their Japanese counterparts. Making them look like manga tankobons are goofy at best and misleading at worst.
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Desa



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 253
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:02 pm Reply with quote
Shay Guy wrote:
I think Matt Thorn would dispute that, judging from recent remarks she made on Twitter.

There are always people out there who are driven to dispute facts. That's fine, they're special.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 758
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:31 pm Reply with quote
Desa wrote:
Shay Guy wrote:
I think Matt Thorn would dispute that, judging from recent remarks she made on Twitter.

There are always people out there who are driven to dispute facts. That's fine, they're special.


She does have a lot more experience behind the scenes than we do. I'm not inclined to dismiss her judgment out of hand.
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Desa



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 253
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:05 pm Reply with quote
Shay Guy wrote:
She does have a lot more experience behind the scenes than we do. I'm not inclined to dismiss her judgment out of hand.

As far as it relates to my original post, her personal experience has nothing to do with it. It is about understanding that markets are not born in a vacuum. This requires a wider view of the world, and in this specific instance I'd argue that her professional experience is actually clouding her judgement, as this is related to something that pertains to her own source of income.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 7753
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:14 pm Reply with quote
I think the importance of fan translations is highly over stated. People buy the legal light novels because they want to read the source material and see what happens next. It is not a coincidence that the rise in light novels in the US coincides with the rise of light novel inspired anime. I'm following several series in novel format. I've never seen a fan translation and have no intention of looking for one.
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