Archive for August, 2009

Ranobe Cafe Get’s Some Love

So I awake today to learn cheerfully that a blog “SNAG Vs. World” has featured an article on the Ranobe Cafe. This article here will essentially be a reply to his 3 questions he gave for me to answer.

1: If light novels are simultaneously associated with niche and the success of the new The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya novel, what do you imagine would be the best marketing decision to sell more light novels to young people?

Well, first of all, I do not believe it has much of anything to do with the book covers, I firmly believe it has EVERYTHING to do with the publisher’s themselves not understanding the market and doing something unprepared.

A publisher must put out a light novel and EXPECT it not to sell. They must EXPECT this fact if they are going to continue the ways of the past.  Companies that were able to witness the TokyoPop fiasco and who still published light novels expecting great sales while placing it in the manga section were in a fantasy world. I have seen very little effort put into mareting or advertising, nobody knows these books even exist! I dont see TV ads, or magazine ads, or online campaigns. Nope, and to boot, they place it in the Manga section of all places. Well, we can now FIRMLY say that manga fans for the most part are NOT interested in light novels. So then who do we turn to? Well, actually, you now gave me a great idea for a future article for this blog. So I’ll save my words till then. 😉

I will applaud Yen Press for marketing Haruhi and soon to be released Spice and Wolf as NORMAL novels to the GENERAL PUBLIC. This is how it should have been all along.

2: How many publishers are selling and translating light novels in English and other non-Japanese languages?

I have no clue how many outside of America, but here’s a list of what I know.

Seven Seas, TokyoPop, Dark Horse, Bandai, Del Rey, Viz, Scholastic = all are american english light novel publishers

TokyoPop is also in Germany and publishes light novels there.

3: Was the decision by Tokyopop not to republish the Welcome to the NHK light novel a financial decision based on the light novel market being niche, or a political decision based on the light novel’s content (censorship)?

It was a financial decision by all indications. As far as I know, NHK never recieved any big negative press. So if they didn’t want it, they wouldn’t have published it or its manga. So no, just financial. Also, remember, NONE of their light novels as I understood it, ever have recieved a RE-PRINT. lol

Well, hope I answered your questions. 🙂

I hope your blog reaches not just the niche of light novel readers, but people interested in new Japanese fiction media as well!

Well thank you, so do I, so do I. ^_^

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August 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm 5 comments

The Author of Kaze no Stigma Dies

Book 1 of Kaze no Stigma

According to Anime News Network, the author of the popular “Kaze no Stigma” light novels, Takahiro Yamato, passed away July 20th. The reason for his death as understood currently was “illness”.

He leaves behind the people that loved him in his life, and will be missed by them as well as by millions of fans who are left with an unfinished novel series that has had 11 novels published thus far, and sadly, shall have no more published ever again.

Fan translations in english of the light novels exist online.

August 20, 2009 at 3:02 am 1 comment

Kino no Tabi Licensing Issues Still Active

Kino no Tabi Novel 1

Yes, you heard me right, according to the same article by Anime News Network that was refrenced in the below article, it was also mentioned directly by Tokyopop that the Kino no Tabi novel license was still suffering issues and had not been worked out as of yet.

Which leads me, as I’m sure you as well, to wonder what in the world was the ISSUE that it would be years and years later and they still haven’t been able to work it out? lol

August 20, 2009 at 2:55 am 4 comments

Tokyopop Confirms, Their Light Novels Are NOT Canceled

Third Reborn on the Mars Novel

Well, at least, two of their light novels are now confirmed for a release according to Anime News Network.

Which two? Brace yourself…….

1. Trinity Blood: Reborn on the Mars Vol. 3 (To be Released November 3, 2009)

2. Chibi Vampire Vol. 6

It’s not so much a surprise considering both were hot selling titles in their novel lines.

This should of course give the Light Novel community a sigh of relief to see that Tokyopop has not given up on its novels and is still working out ways to  release them.

August 20, 2009 at 2:50 am 5 comments

The Success of Haruhi Suzumiya

The Popular Novel Series From Japan

On my next to last trip to Barnes & Noble a while back, I spotted two un-sold copies of the newly released english version of “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”, a phenomenally popular novel series from Japan that has gone on to sell millions upon millions of copies and has been turned into a popular manga series as well as two anime series’. Now, before that visit, there were originally 4 novels, paperback, all in the teen section (I couldnt find one copy in the manga section in any visit), next to other teen series’.

Which means? That half of the copies the store had, were already sold-out. In hopes of inspiring a new sale, I took the two copies and placed them face forward in front of the other novels to give them extra attention. On my most recent trip, I noticed only one copy left. Which means, that out of the 4 copies that were originally given to my local Barnes & Noble store, 3/4 copies have been sold to TEENS who saw the series randomly and bought it.

This to me indicates a good sign of the possible success this novel series is having in America and the marketing strategy Yen Press is implementing. Now, I can’t verify about how the novel is selling out in other book stores, but if its having the same effect all over, Yen Press might have not been so crazy to have made their statement about “Making Haruhi a household name”.

August 20, 2009 at 2:32 am 3 comments

Eureka Seven Novel 2 Available

Second Novel of Eureka Seven

So as you may already know, or don’t, around July 31st, the second novel in the 4 volume Eureka Seven novelization was released by Bandai.

The novel should be available in your local book stores….or not.

It seems Bandai has been having trouble with each novel’s initial release, and this second novel looks like it will simply continue the trend. It may be many months possibly before its in ready stock within your bookstore, of course, that’s all speculation based on the previous novel’s release and the fact I didn’t spot it at Barne’s and Noble when I last went.

Amazon.com has it available for sale, but with an expected shipping time of 1-2 months………yes…..you heard me right…..1-2 MONTHS.

My advice? Put in a special order at your bookstore for it, and hopefully you’ll get in within the week, and not by Halloween.

I recently bought the first novel in this series, and look eargerly forward to reading it when I find the time.

August 20, 2009 at 1:55 am Leave a comment

An Apology From Me

I wish to give my apology to all you anxious readers out there who have probably wondered why there hasn’t been a blog update in a while. This is my fault and I am deeply sorry.

I shall now pick up where I left off and begin to barrage you with a large ammount of light novel news. lol

August 20, 2009 at 1:46 am Leave a comment


Welcome To Ranobe Cafe!

This marks the english speaking world's first dedicated light novel blog, bringing you news and views from the english perspective on light novels. We are more than just a blog about light novels though, we also stand in awe of the many other literary works crossing over to the West from Japan. So expect to also see articles that dabble from time to time in Cell Phone Novels and Japanese Sci-Fi works, to mention a few.

So come all you light novel enthusiasts! Come one and all! We may be a niche, and may represent one of the smallest markets in these economically troubled times, but we are also one of the most dedicated! So let us come together and support the industry we love and hold so dearly!

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