LINE Novel App Ends Service on August 31
posted on by Kim Morrissy
The LINE Novel online app closed its service on August 31. The online service, which allowed users to publish novels online, was first announced in April 2019 and launched in August that year.
The app launched alongside the LINE Bunko Edge imprint, which was create to publish LINE Novels in print form alongside established light novel authors. As part of the imprint's launch, 43 authors were been announced as part of the lineup, including A Certain Magical Index's Kazuma Kamachi and Nyaruko: Crawling with Love!'s Manta Aisora. The last book published by the imprint was Asaura's Sabage ni GO!2 Indoor-sen to Ame no Hi no Okugai-sen (Survival Game GO!2 An Indoor Battle and an Outdoor Battle on a Rainy Day) in June.
Insiders told Sankei News that LINE Bunko Edge novels sold "so poorly that we couldn't explain it to the authors." They suggested that the reason the LINE Novel app may have failed to attract interest from users, especially compared to the more successful LINE Manga app, is because of the lack of visual elements and because the stories were not written in an easily digestible way to appeal to web novel readers.
The service is offering refunds for unused coins purchased through the app until November 13.
The managing editor of LINE Novel was former Dengeki Bunko Editor-in-Chief Kazuma Miki. The service partnered with publishers Dengeki Bunko, Kodansha Taiga, Shincho Bunko, Shinco Bunko nex, Shueisha j-books, Bungeishunju, Takarajimasha, Starts Shuppan Bunko, No-Ichigo Bunko, Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha, and Tokyo Sogensha. LINE, Nihon TV, and Aniplex collaborated to hold a "Reiwa Novel Prize" for LINE Novel's launch.