J-Novel Club is a publishing company specializing in the translation of Japanese light novels into English. It streams light novels and manga in regular installments before publishing finalized e-books. As of August 2021, J-Novel Club has licensed over 150 light novel and manga series and have published more than 800 e-books.[1] It has licensed titles from many Japanese publishers, including Hobby Japan, Overlap, Kodansha, Drecom, Earth Star Entertainment, Kadokawa Corporation, Micro Magazine, Shufunotomo, and Softbank Creative. It was acquired by Kadokawa Corporation on April 28, 2021.

J-Novel Club
FounderSam Pinansky
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationSan Antonio, Texas
Publication typesBooks (digital and print)
  • J-Novel Club
  • J-Novel Heart
  • J-Novel Pulp
Owner(s)Kadokawa Corporation
Official websitej-novel.club

History edit

After coming to the conclusion that "there was a whole universe of content out there in Japan that's hardly available in the west at all,"[2] Sam Pinansky began working on the business model for J-Novel Club in 2015 and "took inspiration from what the fans had started to do on their own, as well as the more traditional models for book publishing."[3] J-Novel Club's overall purpose was "to create and grow a worldwide market for Japanese light novels translated into English."[4] The original name for the project was "K-Novel" because "kei" is Japanese for "light" (as in the K from K-On!), but before launch the "K" was changed to "J" (for Japanese) to avoid confusion with Korean novels. "Club" was added when it was noticed that the .club top-level domain name was available.[5]

J-Novel Club was founded in 2016 by Sam Pinansky and announced they would release light novels in weekly installments for their members before releasing the finalized books on e-book format. It launched with the titles Occultic;Nine, Brave Chronicle: The Ruinmaker, My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World, and My Little Sister Can Read Kanji.[6] Shortly after they announced two more light novels: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash and I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse.[7]

On January 19, 2017, J-Novel Club announced it would be collaborating with manga and light novel localization company Seven Seas Entertainment, who would publish print editions of two of J-Novel Club's light novels: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash and Occultic;Nine.[8] On July 3, 2017, Seven Seas announced they would be publishing print editions of two more J-Novel Club light novels: Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest and Clockwork Planet.[9]

On July 5, 2018, J-Novel Club announced it would be printing physical versions of some of its light novel series.[10] After launching its print line with In Another World With My Smartphone, as of August 2021, J-Novel Club has 25 light novel and manga series in print.

On November 20, 2018, J-Novel Club launched an online manga reader with five launch titles:[11] A Very Fairy Apartment, Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles, Infinite Dendrogram, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, and Ascendance of a Bookworm.

On October 7, 2019, J-Novel Club launched a Kickstarter project for Invaders of the Rokujouma!? print edition and successfully funded it with more than $100,000 over its initial goal.[12][13]

On November 16, 2019, J-Novel Club announced the new J-Novel Heart imprint focusing on shojo titles.[14]

On April 2, 2021, the J-Novel Pulp imprint was announced with the titles John Sinclair: Demon Hunter, Jessica Bannister, and Perry Rhodan NEO.[15] This imprint focuses on translating and publishing German-language pulp fiction into English.[citation needed]

On April 28, 2021, Kadokawa Corporation announced they acquired the company.[16]

During their panel at Anime NYC 2022, J-Novel Club announced a new collaboration with Yen Press to publish their titles in print. The titles announced for a print release were Hell Mode light novel, The Misfit of Demon King Academy light novel, and the My Instant Death Ability Is So Overpowered, No One in This Other World Stands a Chance Against Me! light novel and manga adaptation.[17] J-Novel Club also announced that it is partnering with RBMedia and Podium to produce audiobook versions of their titles.[18]

On October 15, 2023, J-Novel Club announced that it is launching a subsidiary called "J-Novel Club Nina" for the European market. It will, at first, launch in French and German languages.[19]

On March 6, 2024, J-Novel Club announced that it had signed a print distribution deal with Hachette Book Group and Diamond Book Distributors for North American and international releases respectively.[20]

Titles edit

Audiobook titles edit

Manga titles edit

References edit

  1. ^ "J-Novel Club". j-novel.club. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  2. ^ "FEATURE: Found in Translation - An Exclusive Interview with J-Novel Club". Crunchyroll. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  3. ^ "An Interview with Sam Pinansky, Founder and President of New Light Novel Streaming Service J-Novel Club". Taykobon. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "Saturday AM #58". sellfy.com. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  5. ^ "I'm Sam Pinansky (aka Quarkboy), founder and President of J-Novel Club! Ask Me Anything! • r/LightNovels". reddit. February 18, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  6. ^ "J-Novel Club Publisher Launches to Release Light Novels in English Digitally". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  7. ^ "J-Novel Club Licenses Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse Light Novels". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  8. ^ "Seven Seas Collaborates with J-Novel Club to Bring Light Novels to Print | Seven Seas Entertainment". Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  9. ^ "Seven Seas Licenses Made in Abyss, Nameless Asterism, Soul Liquid Chambers, Getter Robo Devolution Manga (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  10. ^ "J-Novel Club Announces Print Publishing Line With In Another World With My Smartphone Novels". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  11. ^ Ressler, Karen (November 20, 2018). "J-Novel Club Launches Online Manga Reader, Licenses 5 Manga Titles". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  12. ^ Mateo, Alex (September 16, 2019). "J-Novel Club to Launch Kickstarter for Invaders of the Rokujouma!? Light Novels' Physical Release". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  13. ^ "Invaders of the Rokujouma!? Print Edition". Kickstarter. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  14. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (November 16, 2019). "J-Novel Club Licenses 13 Light Novel Series, Reveals Print Editions for Sexiled, My Next Life as a Villainess". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  15. ^ "J-Novel Club Announces the Launch of J-Novel Pulp Imprint with Three New Licenses – English Light Novels". englishlightnovels.com. April 2, 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  16. ^ "KADOKAWA Announces Acquisition of J-Novel Club" (PDF). Kadokawa Corporation. April 28, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  17. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (November 19, 2022). "J-Novel Club Announces Print Publishing Partnership with Yen Press". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  18. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (November 19, 2022). "J-Novel Club Produces 9 Audiobook Versions of Licensed Titles". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  19. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 15, 2023). "J-Novel Club Expands into Europe With JNC Nina Subsidiary for Light Novel Releases in French, German". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  20. ^ Tai, Anita (March 6, 2024). "J-Novel Club Joins Hachette Book Group, Diamond Book Distributors in New Print Deal via Yen Press". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 6, 2024.

External links edit