You wont grow if you dont invest into website and app



  • Google Japanese web novels and see if Amazon shows up or not.

    It's not like you can get the novels by subscription. Can't rely on sales of subscription to books.




  • Premium Member

    I think the latest stat we saw was 75% of sales are through Amazon, so it seems likely that most people are buying stuff on there directly and may not even be aware of who the publisher is, let alone any issues with the publisher's website.



  • With the amount of posts and topics where users say something along the lines of “I was buying all my books from amazon and one day I saw J-Novel Club listed at the back and came to the site only to discover the greatness of premium versions” I have to agree with Guspaz people often don’t look at the publisher.

    With JNC in particular it hurts cause many users discover after the fact how much content they are missing by not buying premium ebook versions and they regret it, some (present company included) have to repurchase the kindle versions on this site for presidium content.


  • Premium Member

    @rahul-balaggan I wonder if there are legal issues by mentioning in the normal ebooks that premium content is available by purchasing directly on JNC's site. If someone buys there once and notices it, they might buy from JNC's site directly next time. And that would mean more subscriptions too.



  • @terabyte don’t know about any legal issues, (probably none) however seems like an aggressive kick in the shin to say “hey you liked this book well come to J-Novel.club sign up for a membership and buy it again for the premium content”

    Regrettably I think advertisement beyond advertising in an ebook is needed to draw consumers here before they buy on amazon, right now it is all tied to reddit, a bit of twitter and the majority word of mouth.

    They already are coming to conventions and when they have enough of a physical catalogue maybe they can get a booth and spread even faster.


  • Member

    I think the website is already great enough.
    J-Novel Club was formed by a group of fan-translators. They probably want to spend more time translating the books we all want to read. And J novel club must be a very small company.

    Although I admit the layout is a bit old-school but I find it charming in its own way.
    And the app is very fast. Maybe they are purposely trying to be simple and old-school? Well, I quite like it.


  • Translators

    @aumi Wow someone with a positive opinion!

    Thanks, but the website really does need fixing, and the app could be way better.

    Also, JNC wasn't started by a bunch of fan translators. It's true that some of our translators/editors were fan translators in the past, but most of them (like me) stopped doing fan translation like a decade ago. I've been legit for a long time! Heh.


  • Premium Member

    I have to say that there are a lot of issues with the website and the apps.

    ===

    The website definitely has a lot of annoyances, such as when you are trying to browse through the selections and look at what is available. As mentioned elsewhere, other sites have a better showing of what to expect. (Take bookwalker for example where you can see how many volumes are available for purchase when you look at the titles).

    Having better linkage would be nice as well, such as making coming soon titles link to the first chapter instead of to nothing.

    ===

    The app for the android(?) has given me quite a bit of trouble, logging me out whenever I close the app. There lacks an option to easily buy membership or credits from the app and there is a lack of an option to download a purchase via the app.

    Synchronization is a pain and the app doesn't save the reading material well so if you leave the section to check something, it seems to have to reload again.

    Menu placement is poor on at least some devices, making misclicks easy (changing the direction of the text instead of returning to the section selection). The app also lacks a 'next section' function, which while minor if you are caught up, can be frustrating for anyone who prefers to read in batches.

    I know that a relatively common complaint about the app is the slow loading times, which I can agree that it is much slower than what people would be used to. CR is slower, but they are dealing with a series of images (and even then, on CR you can read while a chapter loads if you read slowly).

    ===

    The website and the app both have issues with images as well where depending on your font size, you have images in wildly varying locations (images not where you'd expect them to be). I know a lot of eBooks in general have issues with two page images and it is hard to not have issues when dealing with images that are supposed to go alongside text, but still something to consider.

    Other issues include the website sometimes skipping pages (particularly near the end of a section) or having extra white pages. For two page mode, the website lacks the ability to jump two pages at a time and there is a definite lack of a 'dark' color scheme for the books.

    There is definitely a lack of an official windows store app as well (there is apparently a third party app).

    ===

    While retention is great, there also lacks a lot of content for newer subscribers. I'm not sure how the premium credit works for buying an entire year (which is also why I only got a monthly subscription), but the way it is worded sounds like you get it on the month instead of on purchase? If I'm wrong, correct me, but I think that it would provide more incentive to buy a yearly subscription if all the credits were given on payment.

    While it might not be a fair comparison, CR has a yearly subscription plan for half the price of JNC's and you get a lot more 'content' for it including a very limited selection of manga as well as anime and some dramas. CR's servers are constantly failing so you don't necessarily get your money's worth there, but most people would see the amount of content when deciding rather than the reliability. (Reliability would be more for retention).

    That isn't to say that I don't get the idea of wanting to push people to buying the books, but...

    For the difference of premium vs standard membership, the benefits are also minor. You get access to a forum. That is the only real difference for monthly subscriptions. It is 6 USD more and you can buy credits for 6 USD anyways (Not sure if standard membership prices are different).

    Even with a yearly subscription, premium only saves you 0.50 USD per credit compared to the price of standard membership, a 6 USD difference for 12 Credits.

    A good example of membership showing value for larger purchases is, somewhat ironically, Sony, which has a pricing plan similar to CR.

    Of course, JNC isn't either, but it gives an idea of what people have come to expect as far as incentives go.

    ==

    Why do I mention the pricing? It is simple: while those who have been subscribing for a while may not have an issue, those who haven't subscribed yet will look at content and appearance. Does the app have good reviews? Does the website look like it has something worth paying for?

    While it isn't to say that a simple, clean look is bad, the website doesn't even have that, instead it seems to shove ads at your face in the form of "buy the ebook".

    Basically, the website looks rather unprofessional and very much so appears to be a fan translation site that happens to charge money. (For those who have dealt with fan translations for some time, there were sites that would take fan translations and charge people money for those translations, pretending to be legitimate (often poorly enough to be noticed, but well enough that people did pay)).


  • Premium Member

    @sinnoaria for the pricing, the difference of the credit price for normal vs premium is 7USD for normal and 6USD for premium. So if you are planning to get ebooks then premium is the way to go. Also the prices are fair, JNC has to pay the translators money to translate and JNC needs to make a profit. If we simplified all the net gain to translation cost per month and other expenses (such as maintaining the site and licenses), the monthly subscription and Money from direct sales (such as credits and Amazon purchases), JNC needs a net profit. There is a lot of math to find an optimized price to get max profit and @Sam-Pinansky certainly had to do all that math. I think the pricing is fine, JNC should probably make it more clear the benefits of each subscription though (like how you get a credit per month and buying straight from INC gets you bonus stuff).


  • Premium Member

    @drone205 I'm not saying that the prices aren't fair, but that what people will expect from JNC for the price that they are paying. Most people won't care if the pricing is fair or not. They will only care about the perceived value and one way to see that is, unfortunately, comparing to more established places with a similar service (even if the media is technically different). That is why I compared to CR - after a certain anime released, a few LNs shot up in popularity because of the related anime so at least some of the people looking at LNs will have anime sites as a basis.

    ===

    In the case of the 7 USD vs 6 USD for premium credits, someone could just buy a month of premium and buy credits that month for 6 USD to buy whatever books that they want so the benefit is still rather minimal. We can also think of it as this way 5 USD + 10 books = 75 USD or 7.5 USD per book. 11 USD + 10 books = 71 USD or about 6 USD per book. So if you want to buy books, you'd obviously choose premium. However...

    Another way to look at it is, 54 + 11 = 65 USD for a year + 1 month + 1 credit. Add 10 credits = 125 USD. So the difference there is relatively minor. 13 Months and 11 credits vs 12 months and 12 credits with a 5 USD difference. We can look at it as essentially the premium is an extra book. That is about the difference between the two.

    ==

    Looking at yearly subscription models and comparing them:

    54 + 11 + 60 = 125 USD
    120 = 120 USD
    120 + 5 = 125 USD
    125 USD | 13 Months | 11 Credits | 1 month premium, 12 standard, 10 credits
    120 USD | 12 Months | 12 Credits | 12 months premium
    125 USD | 13 Months | 12 Credits | 12 months premium, 1 standard

    ==

    Of course, if you just want the ebooks and don't care about reading monthly, it makes even more sense to only buy 1 month. 11 + 60 = 71 USD for 11 credits vs 120 for 12 credits.

    71/11 = about 6.45 USD per credit (ignoring monthly reading)
    120/12 = about 10 USD per credit (ignoring monthly reading)

    The reason I mention this is that some people might not want to read the edition with all the typos as some people might find it distracting and so they'd really focus more on the fact that it is a discounted copy of the ebook. Even if it is a minority now, it is still something to think about.

    ==

    These do not factor the wait if you are subscribing vs the immediate gain for purchasing the credits directly. (since from what I understand, if you are subscribing, you will only get the credits as a monthly bonus). Not everyone wants to wait 12 months to buy all the books so some people might consider the 1 credit difference worth the higher cost.

    After looking at that, if we were to look at single months, it changes as well:

    ==

    Looking at monthly subscription models and comparing them:

    5 * 10 + 70 = 120
    11 * 10 = 110

    Both of these cases give 10 months and 10 credits, but in one case, you could change your subscription, which would give you:

    5 * 10 + 11 + 60 = 121
    11 * 11 = 121

    Both of these cases give 11 months and 11 credits.

    The difference here being that you would be able to buy at any point in that period vs waiting.

    ==

    Now, if we were to compare to CR:

    120 = 1 year of JNC premium.
    54 = 1 year of JNC standard
    60 = 1 year of CR.

    40 titles of JNC for 120 USD = 3 USD per title or a value of 0.33 titles per USD + 12 books to keep.
    40 titles of JNC for 54 USD = 1.35 USD per title or a value of about 0.75 titles per USD.
    50+ titles of manga and 100+ anime and 80+ dramas on CR for 60 USD = less than 1 USD per title or a value of over 1 title per USD.

    One issue here is that with the 120 USD option, people may not see the value of the 12 books to keep over the fact that it is double the price of the alternative.

    This means that people coming from sites such as CR may perceive that for the price, they are receiving much less regardless of the true value.

    ==

    As a note: this post is mainly focusing on perceived value as far as comparing tangible benefits vs cost. Perceived Value has quite a few more factors to the point where I'd be writing several posts if I went in-depth.

    ===

    So basically, as stated before, one point here is that the incentive for subscribing to yearly premium is relatively minor, especially if you look at certain titles that no longer are available, making it so that there is even less incentive to read monthly and gain monthly credits vs buying credits every now and then. Looking at Monthly Premium, the incentive is even lower to the point that the benefit is negligible.

    That on top of the way the JNC looks at an initial glance will turn away at least some people who are on the fence.

    ==

    I'm not trying to say that JNC pricing itself is bad (I'm still subscribed to JNC), but that there are some things to consider that might not factor in directly to the profits themselves as far as getting people to subscribe.

    That is why there would be some benefit to having the apps and website improved as well as having more content. Of course, having more content has a large amount of issues as well, such as licencing and staffing. Even improving the apps and website would bring up issues of staffing and funding at a minimum.

    Despite the issues, it is still something to consider if they want to expand. Honestly speaking, Yen On/ Yen Press has most of the series that I'm interested in purchasing. Seven Seas Entertainment has the least and have dropped most of the ones I'm interested in purchasing. JNC doesn't really offer physical copies (looks like physical copies are being done through Seven Seas Entertainment and only a few series) and I don't have an incentive to buy 3-4 copies of an eBook although they do have a decent number of titles I am at least interested in.

    While more titles doesn't necessarily mean more successful as there is the individual purchases to consider, it does look nicer as far as incentives go for considering subscriptions. And if they don't have the quantity, they can go for quality (which I suppose would be premium editions) and presentation (website and apps).

    As an aside, another issue is, from what I understand, that non-premium versions are generally more expensive than the premium versions, so people may feel a bit ripped off, which negatively affects perceived value. One option there would be to have an option of buying the premium content separately - while it isn't common, there are some games that allow you to buy 'store exclusive' bonuses (basically the bonus is that you get it for free and usually a few weeks/months earlier).


  • Premium Member

    @sinnoaria CR is not a good comparison for

    1. CR is about anime while JNC is about LN

    2. you can buy a volume of a LN, that is why the premium is twice as much as the other as you seemed to forget.

    3. CR does not have the option to buy an anime series, if it did it would certainly way more then 6 or 7USD. If CR did have that and a premium where you get a season credit(12-13 episodes if 2-cour season) each month then it would be way more than JNCs 120 for a year.

    Another thing for the value is JNC translates at an extremely fast rate and even if the PRE-PUBS have typos the final product will fix almost all of them. The amount of typos in JNC books is not higher then any other publisher like Yen On or Seven Seas (heck I remember reading some Yen On and the shield hero books and the typos really bothered me while while nothing bothered me here).

    JNC has been getting series at nearly an average of 2 per month as of this point, and there are more to come.

    One last point the difference for normal to premium is 5.50 or 6.00 USD so if you plan buy books the premium is already better as if you were normal you would have to pay 1 more dollar and if we divide the type of spenders to low, med, and high with:

    Low) 3 books per month * 12 months = 36 books and therefore, normal is 36 books for 252USD, premium is 36 + 12 = 48 books for 216USD so that is a difference of 36 dollars with both buying same amount of books and difference of 120 with normal buying 12 extra to equal premium

    Med) 5 per month * 12 months = 60 books. Normal is 60 books is 420USD and 60+12=72 for 360. 60 diff for same buys, 144 diff for equal total books

    High) 10 books/month * 12 months = 120 books.Normal 120 is 840. Premium 120 + 12= 132 is 720. Diff of 120 for same books, diff of 204 if total books are same.


  • Premium Member

    As an aside, in addition to the main point, I'll point out this section separately.

    @drone205 said in You wont grow if you dont invest into website and app:

    Low) 3 books per month * 12 months = 36 books and therefore, normal is 36 books for 252USD, premium is 36 + 12 = 48 books for 216USD so that is a difference of 36 dollars with both buying same amount of books and difference of 120 with normal buying 12 extra to equal premium

    If we take a look at my post, you can see that isn't entirely accurate based on what I was saying.

    3 * 12 = 36 books.
    36 * 10 = 360 USD (on Amazon).
    360 will be our base here.

    11 * 12 = 132 USD for monthly subscription + 24 books * 6 USD per book = 132+144=276.
    That means with only premium, we are spending a bit less than we would on Amazon.

    However, since we are doing this monthly, there is another way to look at it.

    31 books * 6 USD per book + 11 * 4 + 8 * 5 = 270.
    That means by mixing premium and standard (1 month premium and 35 credit purchases is the same amount), we spend less than with only premium.

    @drone205 said in You wont grow if you dont invest into website and app:

    Med) 5 per month * 12 months = 60 books. Normal is 60 books is 420USD and 60+12=72 for 360. 60 diff for same buys, 144 diff for equal total books

    5 * 12 = 60 books
    60 * 10 = 600 USD (Amazon).
    600 will be our base here.

    11 * 12 = 132 USD + 48 * 6 = 420 USD

    54 books * 6 + 6 * 11 + 6 * 5 = 420 USD for combining premium and standard (again, 1 month premium is the same value)

    In other words, same price for both. With the 'high' count where you are buying 10 each month is where you'd benefit from premium only.

    If we were to look at yearly, then premium is cheaper as far as the cost per credit, but that difference decreases (percentage wise) as you buy more credits.

    5.5 * 12 = 66 for 12 credits or 5.5 per credit.

    6 * 12 = 72 for 12 credits or 6 per credit.

    There is a 0.5 usd difference per credit here.

    66 + 120 * 6 = 786 for 132 credits or 5.92 per credit
    72 + 120 * 6 = 792 for 132 credits or 6 per credit.

    There is a 0.08 USD difference per credit here.

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    @drone205 said in You wont grow if you dont invest into website and app:

    @sinnoaria CR is not a good comparison for

    1. CR is about anime while JNC is about LN

    2. you can buy a volume of a LN, that is why the premium is twice as much as the other as you seemed to forget.

    3. CR does not have the option to buy an anime series, if it did it would certainly way more then 6 or 7USD. If CR did have that and a premium where you get a season credit(12-13 episodes if 2-cour season) each month then it would be way more than JNCs 120 for a year.

    Another thing for the value is JNC translates at an extremely fast rate and even if the PRE-PUBS have typos the final product will fix almost all of them. The amount of typos in JNC books is not higher then any other publisher like Yen On or Seven Seas (heck I remember reading some Yen On and the shield hero books and the typos really bothered me while while nothing bothered me here).

    JNC has been getting series at nearly an average of 2 per month as of this point, and there are more to come.

    One last point the difference for normal to premium is 5.50 or 6.00 USD so if you plan buy books the premium is already better as if you were normal you would have to pay 1 more dollar and if we divide the type of spenders to low, med, and high with:

    Low) 3 books per month * 12 months = 36 books and therefore, normal is 36 books for 252USD, premium is 36 + 12 = 48 books for 216USD so that is a difference of 36 dollars with both buying same amount of books and difference of 120 with normal buying 12 extra to equal premium

    Med) 5 per month * 12 months = 60 books. Normal is 60 books is 420USD and 60+12=72 for 360. 60 diff for same buys, 144 diff for equal total books

    High) 10 books/month * 12 months = 120 books.Normal 120 is 840. Premium 120 + 12= 132 is 720. Diff of 120 for same books, diff of 204 if total books are same.

    I think you missed my point because I talked about all the points you make and more.

    1. I already pointed out the difference of media and that you can buy books.

    2/3) I didn't forget, I specifically mentioned it.

    @sinnoaria said in You wont grow if you dont invest into website and app:

    One issue here is that with the 120 USD option, people may not see the value of the 12 books to keep over the fact that it is double the price of the alternative.

    This means that people coming from sites such as CR may perceive that for the price, they are receiving much less regardless of the true value.

    1. There is also the fact that all backlogs for cr are available so outside of series that are removed, no special need of having to buy an anime to watch it unlike jnc where only the latest volume is viewable. Again, perceived value.

    Again, I think you missed my point since I mention that as well to a certain extent

    @sinnoaria said in You wont grow if you dont invest into website and app:

    Of course, if you just want the ebooks and don't care about reading monthly, it makes even more sense to only buy 1 month. 11 + 60 = 71 USD for 11 credits vs 120 for 12 credits.

    71/11 = about 6.45 USD per credit (ignoring monthly reading)

    120/12 = about 10 USD per credit (ignoring monthly reading)

    Again, I agree that the pricing is fair. The issue is perceived value, which is affected by a lot of factors. What you are focusing on is real value, which we both agree on. The issue is that real value != perceived value.

    Say you have a meal that looks like it is just hastily thrown together and looks like a mess vs a meal that looks like it was made by the best chef in the world and placed in an artistic manner. Even if both meals were made by the same person and should taste the same, the meal that looks like a mess would be perceived as being worth less than the meal that was presented beautifully. Many if not most people would perceive it as tasting better even if they'd taste the same if blindfolded.

    Say you have a child and pour orange juice into a small glass. The child complains that they don't have enough so you pour it into a taller glass that is thinner on the inside. Often, the child perceives the juice in the taller glass as being more even though they are the same.

    It is that reason that I say the website and apps are important. Doesn't change the real value != doesn't affect the perceived value.


  • Premium Member

    @sinnoaria I may have missed some points, I wrote it all on my phone and I can't see anything else other than what I am writing. I just think the pricing is fair and should not really change. And my main point is really that ppl who will buy the books should take the premium route, as it is cheaper and the more you buy the greater the divide becomes over other methods.


  • Premium Member

    I just wish the library on the website was more accesible, and for pictures on the app to work(beta app does little to fix this(.


  • Premium Member

    @drone205 said in You wont grow if you dont invest into website and app:

    @sinnoaria I may have missed some points, I wrote it all on my phone and I can't see anything else other than what I am writing. I just think the pricing is fair and should not really change. And my main point is really that ppl who will buy the books should take the premium route, as it is cheaper and the more you buy the greater the divide becomes over other methods.

    And I mostly agree. The pricing is fair and people who buy books should go premium. However, I had a few points there about value. Aside from the perceived value, which was my point, as far as real value goes:

    1. If you go monthly, then if you stick with standard and only change to premium when you want to buy books, it is cheaper or the same price as sticking with premium. This means that the monthly premium has the worst value of all the options as far as a recurring option. This is something that might need to be modified to push more value towards it.

    2. The best value for buying books is the yearly premium, but if you are buying credits in large volumes, the difference is minor.