Ranobe Cafe Get’s Some Love

August 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm 5 comments

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. ^_^


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Author of Kaze no Stigma Dies New Haruhi Suzumiya Novel On The Way!

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jacob Martin  |  August 24, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Hi, it’s me again, I wrote that article pimping your blog.

    Glad to see you answered my questions in such an informative manner, I’m a big fan of Japanese fiction, not just manga and anime but also light novels and literature too.

    Does it make me an even bigger weaboo to note that I shelled out for the hardcover of Basho: The Complete Haiku out of some desire to understand pre-anime and manga Japan?

    And why does young people’s perception of Japanese fiction always involve anime and manga? Surely young people of the nerdy variety would find works like Basho interesting or maybe even contemporary stuff like Haruki Murakami novels?

    • 2. ranobecafe  |  August 24, 2009 at 7:08 am

      lol, I think most people’s perception of Japanese LITERATURE is influenced by the fact that they barely know about anime and manga, and those two things are practically the only things they have been exposed to from Japan. And for those that DO know all about them, they still don’t understand anything about the literature side of Japan.

      I kind of briefly touched on this in an article I was interviewed for, for the Haikasoru blog by Viz publications. You might want to read the article, “Haikasoru vs Light Novels”

  • 3. http://www.the-honyaku.co.cc  |  August 25, 2009 at 11:55 am

    lol, I like this post :).

  • 4. Eri  |  August 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Hi, i can answer the second question.

    ” How many publishers are selling and translating light novels in English and other non-Japanese languages?”
    In Spain, Genkobooks (imprint of editorial Planeta) had published:
    – Trinity Blood R.A.M vol 1- 4 *End*
    – Trinity Blood R.O.M vol 1- 6
    – Emma vol 1 – 2
    – Lodoss vol 1 – 2 ¿End?
    – Monster
    – Matantei Connan vol 1 – 2
    Hope this help you.

  • 5. Sharillon  |  September 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    And in Germany we have…

    Planet Manga (Panini)

    Trinity Blood (canceled)


    Kino no Tabi 1-4 (put on hold)
    Gosick 1-6 (finished)
    Boogiepop 1-4 (put on hold)
    Some Shonen-Ai Stuff
    Emma 1
    Juuni Kokki 1+2 (put on hold coz of licencing issues)


    One Piece Movienovel
    Kyou Kara Maou 1-6 (I doubt the cancel it)
    Some Shonen-Ai Novels
    Both of the first 2 hack novel series
    Vampire Knight Novels


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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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