Would you pre-pay extra to get a favorite title added to JNC?


  • Premium Member

    What do people think about JNC having member-sponsored / patronage-enhanced licenses?

    In this thread it's discussed whether the voting on license suggestions has any point - https://forums.j-novel.club/topic/2133/dose-any-thing-from-the-list-ever-get-picked-up

    That got me thinking. What if we could sweeten the deal for a favorite title by paying extra?

    For example, JNC takes a look at the titles with more votes, sees which ones are available. X of the titles are available, but possibly would not make enough from book sales to be worth adding.

    However, if there was a guaranteed $x in funding like with KickStarter campaigns, then the license would be profitable enough to pay for it, the translation, and the marketing.

    The list of X titles then appears with the $x needed for each. Then like KS money is collected, to be refunded if the $x is not collected within n months. Or perhaps that is round 2, with round 1 being a way for people to pledge amounts without paying anything yet. If the pledges go over $x then the real campaign starts.

    I know some people are on strict budgets and couldn't do this, but some might have enough extra income to fund a favorite title this way.



  • Would I support something like this for a series I want, Yes

    Would this system ever actually happen, no

    In fact it has already been said that KS for Lights Novels is just not an option


  • Premium Member

    @rahul-balaggan said in Would you pre-pay extra to get a favorite title added to JNC?:

    In fact it has already been said that KS for Lights Novels is just not an option

    I think of this as a bit different from some random person wanting to get funding to license and publish a single series.

    Unlike a typical fan, JNC has a negotiating history with publishers, experienced staff, is set up to sell to all of the retailers, etc.

    This is more like the campaign for the Aria blu-rays that I backed with Right Stuf / Nozomi. They didn't expect to make enough from potential disc sales to let them pay for English dubbing and everything else that went into the blu-rays, so instead they got us hardcore fans to mostly cover the expenses up front. The later sales of the retail versions of the discs will be icing on their profit cake.

    If it costs JNC $x to license (favorite-title) and $y to translate it, and if they could get enough fans to pre-pay enough of that then the risk of adding it their library drops down to nothing. They'll at least make a little money even if sales via Amazon, etc. are disappointing.



  • @harmlessdave said in Would you pre-pay extra to get a favorite title added to JNC?:

    @rahul-balaggan said in Would you pre-pay extra to get a favorite title added to JNC?:

    In fact it has already been said that KS for Lights Novels is just not an option

    I think of this as a bit different from some random person wanting to get funding to license and publish a single series.

    Unlike a typical fan, JNC has a negotiating history with publishers, experienced staff, is set up to sell to all of the retailers, etc.

    I agree with that, but that this is not just about having a history with publishers.

    JNC can’t go up to a publisher and say hey I want this series but I don’t know if it will sell so I will do this system here and see if I get enough backers, in the mean time please don’t give the license to someone else.

    I also feel like there are a multitude of others problems that would stop any company from doing this method, as well as making any Japanese publisher hesitate to handle their series like that.


  • Premium Member

    @harmlessdave Go on JNC curious cat, you're not the first to have that kind of idea so there allready a number of similar question there. But even for something as big as Highschool DxD it doesn’t seem possible. That said Sol press do quick starter for VN so it may not be impossible.


  • Premium Member

    Pledges make more sense than prepayment given that things are never a done deal until the deal is done.

    Apart from the administrative burden, one major problem I can see is that these systems generally thrive on people knowing how much has been pledged. If a series proves popular it could encourage other companies to try to outbid JNC or it could encourage the publisher to raise the price etc.

    It is also my understanding that JNC gets a lot of their sales through third parties such as Amazon so popularity at JNC might not correlate with high sales generally speaking (although it could mean JNC does not have to pay a third party a cut for the sales it encourages through its own site).

    Another potential barrier I can think of is that it could potentially discourage people from buying the series that exist if they are focused more on novels JNC are not publishing or might not publish.

    Finally, what about circumstances where a novel is unsuccessful in getting enough interest? That could end up being bad publicity for the book which could sour JNC's relationship with a publisher.

    Overall I think things like the suggestion forum and reader's surveys can provide sufficient information on what JNC regulars want, and sales information on current series provides information on what sells well to the more casual readers.


  • Premium Member

    @raitoiro said in Would you pre-pay extra to get a favorite title added to JNC?:

    @harmlessdave Go on JNC curious cat, you're not the first to have that kind of idea so there allready a number of similar question there. But even for something as big as Highschool DxD it doesn’t seem possible. That said Sol press do quick starter for VN so it may not be impossible.

    Thanks, I think I've seen curious cat mentioned once or twice in the forums before but never did the Google search to see what it was about.


  • Premium Member

    VN or game are possible using this kind of scheme because the basic of their publishing is software.
    and sometimes VN company is just small scale company (under 100 people) so negotiation is easier.

    LN on the other hand is full of old school player/book publisher and mostly is big company with strich rule and relationship.

    I don't know how the license works but from what I know it based on bid and proposal.
    like how much money you willing to pay to get it.
    this kind of system will makes any kind of KS campaign goes bad with larger company stealing license or bidding bigger money.

    its not like its not going to work, its just hard and potentially disastrous.

    its different story tho if JNC or any campaigner directly collaborating with the author. especially on title that the copyright is not yet on any big publisher name. like how Spicytail or Sekai Project directly collaborating with author of Spice and Wolf and create derivative work from the title (not the LN itself).

    also WN is another story so you might want to looks for potential WN. I don't know if JNC want to work on WN tho.


  • Premium Member

    Basically, it has been said elsewhere that the reason you can't really have Publishers for LNs/Manga translation licenses (or really even anime) do 'kickstarter' style campaigns is simple: It alienates the publishers when you go: Okay, we'll straight up license this series, but this other series we aren't sure about so we'll wait for this kickstarter campaign to finish and see if it will be popular enough.

    You'd need the translation publisher to be built around 'kickstarter style' campaigns to use such a campaign. And even then, that might not look good to the original publisher you are trying to get the license from.

    There are some exceptions, particularly with VNs, but that is more just a difference of industry standards due to variables. For example, many VN companies do their own VNs. On the other hand, many LN and Manga companies hire/pay authors/artists to do their work. Basically, LN and Manga publishers are more or less outsourced and not as involved compared to VN which are more often in-house and very much involved in their own projects (think say EA vs Indie). This leads to differences in negotiation.

    (Basically, yes I would prepay, but I don't think it is possible).


  • Premium Member

    @shyevsa said in Would you pre-pay extra to get a favorite title added to JNC?:

    also WN is another story so you might want to looks for potential WN. I don't know if JNC want to work on WN tho.

    They said they didn't want to go for WN since the jap publisher would likely see it as "stealing" author and series plus there's more work and it's more dangerous.


  • Premium Member

    @sinnoaria said in Would you pre-pay extra to get a favorite title added to JNC?:

    There are some exceptions, particularly with VNs, but that is more just a difference of industry standards due to variables. For example, many VN companies do their own VNs.

    Visual Novels are a great comparator. For VN it is a big project you really want to do but need pre-orders for to help fund it, so you are willing to invest resources in promoting the Kickstarter in the hope of getting a big payout. That is different to using the system primarily as an interest gauging measure for an existing community.

    Secondly, a VN might have sequels but it is a single high priced standalone product. A LN is the first in a series, and so is a long term commitment on the part of JNC as they do not like to drop a series that they have licensed for reputational and other reasons


  • Premium Member

    I support (in addition or instead of) VOTE with your premium credits

    pledge your support for a title by adding a premium credit to your vote
    if the title gets picked up within "x" days/weeks credit will get you volume 1 when published + something
    if it doesn't, credit goes back into your account

    If JNC is 'on the fence' if a title will sell enough to make it worth their while, this is a way to gather market data from enthusiasts as well as lowering the risk somewhat

    these is a 'cost' to members, the premium credit wouldn't be available to use for anything else while the voting period is ongoing, so JNC would know that members really want that title, on the other hand the risk to members is low.


  • Premium Member

    @jon-mitchell that's nice idea there. the whole vote can be made secret and only JNC knew how much. and from there they can know how much they willing to spend on the license too.

    however considering how much people vote on the license suggestion sub-forum I think the amount would be too small to make it works.


  • Premium Member

    @shyevsa

    not secret, that's the power of influence....(you don't need to say WHO voted for what but that title X has 27 premium votes and title Y has 53 might make people take a look at title Y more...)

    there could be a quasi-formal 'election'

    "which of these 10 titles do you most want to see translated? would you buy copies or just read the pre-pubs?" voting with credits has more weight than just a survey.

    of course Sam might not want to show his hand (i.e. revealing 10 titles that he is considering) or it might be considered rude in publishing circles (I really don't know, but I deal with RFP's for projects all the time where customers basically do this exact thing)


  • Premium Member

    I see that this could happen moreso in the case of single volumes. Something like the Mari Okada (sp?) bio perhaps could have been done this way, but a series? That would be tough.


  • Premium Member

    @raitoiro said in Would you pre-pay extra to get a favorite title added to JNC?:

    That said Sol press do quick starter for VN so it may not be impossible.

    Even Sol Press' Kickstarter project sounds like it was already licensed / will happen no matter what happens with the Kickstarter. If it fails, it's probably still happening, albeit maybe slower.


  • Premium Member

    @rahul-balaggan

    For some reason I think one of the other publishers (Sol?) are doing it this way... Kickstarter or equivalent to get a series up and running.



  • @thomask not for LNs, they do that for VNs.

    For all their LN licenses they have had to do just that, license it announce a sale date and sell it. (Although they have been doing a really bad job with all steps after license it)

    They did say that if they sell a certain number of digital editions they will do a physical release, although the speed at which they announced Battle Divas and strongest gamer physical makes me think that it was all just a publicity stunt to make more people buy the digital and then double dip and get the physical edition, and that they had the physical rights from the getgo.


  • Premium Member

    @rahul-balaggan said in Would you pre-pay extra to get a favorite title added to JNC?:

    @thomask not for LNs, they do that for VNs.

    For all their LN licenses they have had to do just that, license it announce a sale date and sell it. (Although they have been doing a really bad job with all steps after license it)

    They did say that if they sell a certain number of digital editions they will do a physical release, although the speed at which they announced Battle Divas and strongest gamer physical makes me think that it was all just a publicity stunt to make more people buy the digital and then double dip and get the physical edition, and that they had the physical rights from the getgo.

    Makes sense then, I can see how that would be beneficial.

    Maybe it’s my confusion that others are having too?


  • Premium Member

    @harmlessdave

    Do we know how many prospective sales JNC has to know they’d make before it becomes worth while in licensing something?

    Put aside if it’s possible or not (already licenced, wrong COO, difficult authors etc)

    My problem with it is how would they make the choice? I mean I’d toss in extra for probably a dozen series, while wanting say Legendary moonlight Scultpor and Magi Grandson be at the top and others to be at the bottom, hows that fair from the others who have a list that are opposite to mine and how does JNC decide?