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Post Reply Will The American Light Novel ever sell in America?
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Posted 11/8/15 , edited 11/8/15
Every single discussion about Light Novels online is about what people can and cannot get from Japan. Most complaining what they cannot get.

I don't care about that nor am I asking about that.

My question is would you purchase an LN written (for sake of argument) by a North American. That also happens to have 5 or 6 pages of beautiful professional manga artwork (not deviant amateur hour).

Do you think there is a market for it in the U.S. for English Written Light Novels. Not novellas, not graphic novels. I said a Light Novel designed and written the way a Japanese writer would write stylistically ( minimalist, character driven, heavy dialog).

Except the story is original and from a North American writer using manga illustrations in the U.S. Market. What do you think?
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Posted 11/8/15 , edited 11/8/15
Nope; wouldn't buy that. While this could increase the popularity of LN's in general, I doubt that there would be more translations of Japanese LN's.
Posted 11/8/15
I buy but do you see anybody doing that thou ?
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Posted 11/8/15
It would depend on what it's about
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Rabbit Horse
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Posted 11/8/15
you mean like Harry Potter? (i know, it's British, but you get the point)
we already have such novels. the only thing we don't have is illustrations similar to the ones from Japanese novels, and i don't think they're that important/necessary, since you use your imagination when reading it. if i decide to buy a novel, i do so because the content seems interesting (maybe because of the wittiness) or i like the works by the author. graphics is literally the last thing i consider when buying a novel.

unless you mean novels that are very similar to the Japanese ones in content, with the only exception that it's written in English. many of the Japanese novels are harem series, and i'm not too sure the West would appreciate such novels. maybe someone who's already into anime and manga, but can't say the same thing for the non-otaku.
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Posted 11/8/15
Oh my your responses are wonderful, thank you so much

Interesting each response shows me CLEARLY that there is a market.


"I buy but do you see anybody doing that thou?" Yes, in the dark corners of the internet and all over kindle and amazon independent writers do write and draw their own self published LN's. but, none of us have ever heard of them as there is no unifying publisher pushing or marketing that kind of novel to any audience, let alone an otaku audience. And as you could figure a self published writer is usually broke and typically an amateur anyway.

"It would depend on what it's about" If there was a platform specifically for this writer I guarantee you'd find your genre ^_^


"... illustrations similar to the ones from Japanese novels, and i don't think they're that important/necessary, since you use your imagination when reading it.........unless you mean novels that are very similar to the Japanese ones in content, with the only exception that it's written in English. many of the Japanese novels are harem series, and i'm not too sure the West would appreciate such novels. maybe someone who's already into anime and manga, but can't say the same thing for the non-otaku."

Ok, I disagree about the artwork, beautiful artwork will ABSOLUTELY pull a reader in the same way a book cover does. #2 Illustrations are different from what Americans are used to, so there is a "newness" factor in having professional manga illustrations spaced throughout Chapters in the book.

#3. And yes a very Japanese style of story, meaning all of our favorite character tropes, the Tsunderes, Loli's, dense hero's being called perverts for touching tit, etc ^_^

I think the U.S. LN's should be specifically targeted to otaku with all your favorite genres. BL, Yuri, Harem, Magical School with Romance, etc.

You guys are awesome, thank you for your responses ^_^ I would love to hear more ^_^
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Posted 11/9/15 , edited 11/9/15
I wanted to learn more about this topic, so I decided to search the web for "Wikipedia stories with illustrations." A moment later, I found an article titled "Illustrated fiction" at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illustrated_fiction. I read it, and saw that it cited quite a few examples of prose fiction with illustrations written in English. There were stories published in English with occasional drawings as far back as the 1700s.
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Posted 11/10/15
@caddyalan

Yup ^_^

None of this new. Light Novels are MERELY dime store novels from the 1800's and even earlier in Japan. Light Novels are the very definition of what we call PULP FICTION.

There's nothing new about LN's. The problem is that there is no unifying platform or title that lists it as a specific genre in a book store, like the way we would separate Manga from Western Comics. (which all falls under fiction).

True Light Novels on Kindle and Amazon are always under Sci-fi, fantasy, and Young Adult...yes ..broadly they fit these categories. but if a series of AMERICAN authors wrote TRUE ENGLISH LANGUAGE LNs (Japanese style with Tsunderes, Lolis, Harems, Magical Schools etc) and specifically put it under the genre of "Light Novel" and targeted it at otaku.

The Market would open up tremendously...you build it they'll come.

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Posted 11/10/15

crimecinema wrote:

@caddyalan

Yup ^_^

None of this new. Light Novels are MERELY dime store novels from the 1800's and even earlier in Japan. Light Novels are the very definition of what we call PULP FICTION.

There's nothing new about LN's. The problem is that there is no unifying platform or title that lists it as a specific genre in a book store, like the way we would separate Manga from Western Comics. (which all falls under fiction).

True Light Novels on Kindle and Amazon are always under Sci-fi, fantasy, and Young Adult...yes ..broadly they fit these categories. but if a series of AMERICAN authors wrote TRUE ENGLISH LANGUAGE LNs (Japanese style with Tsunderes, Lolis, Harems, Magical Schools etc) and specifically put it under the genre of "Light Novel" and targeted it at otaku.

The Market would open up tremendously...you build it they'll come.



Meh, thought you were talking about physical releases. Digital is even more disappointing..
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Posted 11/10/15
If the writing and plot are good, I'd dig it.
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Posted 11/10/15 , edited 11/10/15
@Nyanotic Thank you, I would too ^_^

@ComboChrist.

I would make physical releases, but one should follow the numbers. Young readers today are more apt to read on their phones before spending money on something physical. If they want a physical release I would opt that as a "print on demand" that one can purchase along with Ebook (or buy the printed book and get the Ebook free).

Also the printed book would provide ADDED VALUE as I would probably throw in an extra beautiful illustration or a small poster that only comes with the print book purchase.

but I would never sit on an inventory of physical books. It would have to be print on demand.

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Posted 11/12/15

crimecinema wrote:

@Nyanotic Thank you, I would too ^_^

@ComboChrist.

I would make physical releases, but one should follow the numbers. Young readers today are more apt to read on their phones before spending money on something physical. If they want a physical release I would opt that as a "print on demand" that one can purchase along with Ebook (or buy the printed book and get the Ebook free).

Also the printed book would provide ADDED VALUE as I would probably throw in an extra beautiful illustration or a small poster that only comes with the print book purchase.

but I would never sit on an inventory of physical books. It would have to be print on demand.



Bleh, poor ppl ._. that's why we can't have nice things..
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Posted 11/12/15
Americans like character driven stories as long as they are streamable on Netflix. Otherwise we lack the patience.
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Posted 11/12/15

Ravenstein wrote:

Americans like character driven stories as long as they are streamable on Netflix. Otherwise we lack the patience.



Lol funny but absolutely not true

"$5.25 billion: Amazon’s current annual revenue from book sales 2014.

19.5%: The proportion of all books sold in the U.S. that are Kindle titles. E-books now make up around 30% of all book sales, and Amazon has a 65% share within that category, with Apple AAPL -0.31% and Barnes & Noble NE +0.00% accounting for most of the balance.*"

source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2014/02/10/amazon-vs-book-publishers-by-the-numbers/


Americans read more books than you think~ or at least they buy them ^_^
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Posted 11/19/15
It's started to sell pretty well in the UK so maybe?
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