Make JNC clear again


  • Premium Member

    Aside from that bad joke, it really seem like there a clarity problem with JNC right now. It's not uncommon to see post from new users who don't understand why they can't read all the volumes or thought the premium membership allowed for that, and quite a lot of people just understand the service as a whole.

    I understand that it's probably best to not remind people too much of what the service doesn't do. But since JNC barrely advertise itself, word of mouth is probably the main methode of getting new user, so having people who sometime even feel like they have been scan is likely worst.

    I think the quickest solution would be to update the page which describe JNC (https://j-novel.club/howitworks) since right now it does say that being a member let you read the lastest volumes but not that it's only the lastest volumes. The part which does say that's prebub are limited in time is hidden in the "learn more" and end on a weird "so became a member today" which can be interpreted as "if you become a member there's not time limit" rather than "become a member before they expire".

    An idea which could also help would be to let new user put a small number of serie (1~3) in catchup only for themselves. After all it seem like a lot of people join JNC only for 1 or 2 series at first so letting them catchup to the last volume of those could attract more customer and help calming those who through they would be to read all volumes of all series.


  • Premium Member

    @raitoiro I'll be a bit of a cynic here. We are sort of paying for the "privilege" of proofreading the prepubs. Which is entertaining in its own way, watching to see who finds what first or who finds the most typos.

    For the record, I love JNC. Keep it up.


  • Member

    You say "right now" as if this wasn't always a problem (or that could just be part of the joke), but this has always been an issue.

    But that minor point aside, I agree that it's still an issue and that the information on how the site works could be (and "should be") clearer for someone just landing on the page and going through the membership process quickly (at least I don't think the informational pages have changed much since I last paid attention to it).

    Yes, how the site works is most certainly clearly stated in places you could expect to find it if looking, but the design doesn't go out of its way to inform someone who's not looking. That might be the fault of the people who make assumptions without looking, but "fault" doesn't stop you from having to deal with the complaints.

    While the information is still not as front and center as it might be, the general situation is still better than it used to be. Non-members used to get a "you could be reading this now" message on expired parts that very much made it seem like they could read it if they signed up; at least that mis-information has been fixed.


  • Premium Member

    I think some of your criticisms also parallel suggestions for home page improvements and search engine friendliness. (I agree that something more clearly spelling out what JNC is/ is not needs to be somewhere easy to find.

    granting new members custom catch-ups sounds nice, but would have licensing (cost) implications, it may be less problematic to grant a few premium credits as a promo? I don't know; but, as JNC has evolved/ grew from a handful of series with a few volumes each to dozens of series with hundreds (total) volumes published, new members can't feasibly get caught up to whatever series happens to be their favorite (for free)


  • Member

    @paul-nebeling well I don't proofread I just enjoy, since may grammar doesn't allow me to. Also access to forum with other LN fans is a big plus.


  • Premium Member

    @hatguy12 yeah the "right now" isn't accurate, i probably add it because recently there has been more of those complains.

    It's true that if you take time and read more than just the how it work, it's quite obvious that prepub are limited in time.
    But since JNC doesn’t advertise itself, having people feel like they have been misslead (even if they're actualy at fault for not reading) seem like an important problem.


  • Premium Member

    @hatguy12 said in Make JNC clear again:

    Yes, how the site works is most certainly clearly stated in places you could expect to find it if looking, but the design doesn't go out of its way to inform someone who's not looking. That might be the fault of the people who make assumptions without looking, but "fault" doesn't stop you from having to deal with the complaints.

    This reminded me of an old saying some old bloke told me when I was a youngin....

    Rule #1 - The Customer is always right.

    Rule #2 - The Customer is always an idiot.

    Basically like you've said, you have to spoon feed customers to limit complaints, but no matter how much you spoon feed customers, some will still complain because humans are idiots.

    So yeah, it could be way clearer than it already is - the bit hidden by that "learn more" button about stuff expiring needs to be up the top, in bold print, with flashing signs pointing to it. And when someone signs up, there's "are you sure" pages explaining this ain't Netflix & the "Pre" in prepub is damn important.

    But still, people would ignore that and complain anyway. So how much time per given week/month is wasted handling complaints & issuing refunds VS how much time to figure out the most concise idiot proof wording & implement it, just for people to ignore it anyway and then complain...

    I got nothin. I get my prepubs & premium eBooks, I'm happy.


  • Premium Member

    @jon-mitchell I don't think granting personal catchup would have a cost, at least if regular catchup don't have a cost. If it wasn't clear it should be limited in time like the regular catchup. In essence it would be like if you start the month your favorite seri is in catchup. I think it would be a good idea to attract new customer because when you look at the complain on the forum most of the time they're not complaining because they can't read any serie but because they can't read that one serie they start JNC for. So if you let them read that serie they're a chance that either:

    • keep using JNC to read that one serie new volumes
    • came to understand how JNC really work and like the system enough to keep using it

    Giving free premium credit isn't a bad idea but it has a real cost, once someone has the book there's little chance that they will buy it, while with a limited time offer you can expect them to buy the book even if they've allready read it.
    That said premium ebook need a lot more advertisement there're one of JNC best feature but kind of hidden, like the link on the front page don't lead to them but third-party store.


  • Premium Member

    @raitoiro There would be a cost as JNC would need to change their system to deal with custom catchups.


  • Premium Member

    @sinnoaria Yeah true, i was speaking of licencing cost, but it's true that changing the system would cost, that said i don't think it would be huge.


  • Premium Member

    @raitoiro said in Make JNC clear again:

    @sinnoaria Yeah true, i was speaking of licencing cost, but it's true that changing the system would cost, that said i don't think it would be huge.

    Considering that they haven't even managed to make their release page more accessible for people with weak vision...

    Or fixed the prepub expiration estimate (cooking with wild game part 8 shows it expired before it came out. Released 21st. Expire estimate 15th).

    Or a bunch of other issues with the website and apps...

    I think that the cost of fixing their system might be rather large. I mean, they haven't even fixed the basic of their membership page being accurate. I mean, I sort of understood, but that is because I read a crazy amount ahead of time and assumed that catchup months meant that prepubs weren't normally available. It wasn't clear going purely based on the membership page.



  • @raitoiro said in Make JNC clear again:

    That said premium ebook need a lot more advertisement there're one of JNC best feature but kind of hidden, like the link on the front page don't lead to them but third-party store.

    The link on the front page is a drop down, you can tap the drop down and you can chose if you wanna go to amazon, Kobo, Premium, etc.

    The reason B&N is the default link is because that is a requirement for JNC to sell physical editions in stores, B&N wants JNC to advertise B&N so if you click on a new release the default is always B&N.

    Also it has been said in the past that the bonuses in the premium editions are things that the Japanese publisher want to keep sold to a smallish group, even in Japan they only sell a small amount of books with bonuses and that is all.

    Even JNC physical books will not have the premium content within, SSE books were an exception. Why, we will probably never know.

    Personally speaking new users choosing a select batch of “personal catchup titles” will probably never be a reality, for several reason. First Sam has said that he wants new LN readers to broaden their horizons, don’t just stick to the 1 or 2 series that you know you will like, expand your horizons and find some things that you are surprised you like.

    Another major issue is the technical aspect of this, right now when any series goes on catchup, Sam has to manually put every single part in every single volume back on the site, and then when the catch up is over he has manually take them all down and put them back in the vault.


  • Premium Member

    What Rahul said is basically what I was trying to say.

    Right now catchups are manual. In order to implement custom catchups, you'd need an automated system. In fact, a lot of the site is manual, which isn't such a big issue now, but if JNC wants to expand, they'll need to consider in automation or hiring some people that will have some access to the backend. Automation is more likely.

    That said, this won't be something to expect in the near future considering how long it takes JNC to update their site. That said, manually changing the catch ups is nice for us since that means that sometimes we get a few extra hours/days to read if we forgot (procrastinated) to read something.

    It takes a lot longer to read digital books than physical books :S Especially when you have to wait like 5 minutes to refresh because the app isn't cooperating or when changing devices so you have to load each pre-pub section manually and find the one you are currently on. This is yet another issue that hasn't been resolved, as far as I can tell.

    Basically, there are a lot of issues that JNC hasn't fixed in months. Combined with that JNC likely is using catchups as ways to introduce new series to people, I doubt that JNC will be allowing custom catchups for new members. Maybe later JNC might consider a system for a series catchup (perhaps x USD per book or something, though at that point you almost might as well just buy the books unless it gives you a discount on buying).



  • @raitoiro said in Make JNC clear again:

    @sinnoaria Yeah true, i was speaking of licencing cost, but it's true that changing the system would cost, that said i don't think it would be huge.

    Would probably require new licensing contracts too, since right now I believe they do not allow "unlimited" reading of the entire series, even if only a few people have "unlimited" access at a time.


  • Premium Member

    @rahul-balaggan Ok didn't know that B&N were asking to be the first link.
    Same for the fact that that premium ebook aren't mean for large scale sell, that said it explain how JNC is able to get shop exclusive SS less than 6 month since the jap release.

    I don't think personnal catchup would prevent user from trying more serie, on the other hand if they stick around for one serie it's more likely that they end up trying other series.
    On the technical part, if doing regular catchup is that much of a task, then the site really need way more automation, a simple SQL data-base could probably do the job.


  • Premium Member

    I think much of the concerns boil down to 'growing pains'. Two years ago when JNC had a dozen series and most of them were only a few volumes deep- if I wanted to do a 'personal catch up', I would have to buy a volume or two/three, maybe a total of $20US. Now if I'm a new member and decide I want to catch-up w/ Smartphone (or some other series) because I saw the anime and want to see what happens next? (or want the read in more depth etc.) I need to buy 13 volumes, $90+ US! And if I thought that my membership got me out of plopping down the big bucks, only to find out that I can read volume 14 (as it is translated) but not 1-13, I might be irritated.

    I'm sorry that people joining now won't get some of the benefits that I did because I was a relatively early member (not practical/economical to get current with a favorite series). Unfortunately that is the nature of the beast. I don't think it is reasonable to expect JNC to take a loss financially on the license costs to allow for 'personal catch-ups'.

    I've seen some articles that described JNC as offering a service like Netflix or Crunchyroll, but for LNs instead of shows. This is misleading. Once a volume is complete/offered for sale, it is no longer available to 'stream'. The pre-pubs (except for the sample first part) get taken down and I suspect JNC needs to pay royalties on every epub that gets downloaded/sold. (I don't know what the cost of royalties is for catch-up titles - but I doubt it is zero. Either royalties must be paid, or there are soft costs of putting them up for viewing/taking them down, or lost opportunity costs)

    I think/hope the day is approaching that JNC is big enough to update/upgrade the homepage to fix some of the communication issues around how the club works, in order to avoid dissatisfied customers/ disenchanted potential members


  • Premium Member

    @jon-mitchell Well we can at least agree on the main subject of that topic: JNC need to clarify the fact that pre-pub aren't eternal.

    On the catchup part i doupt putting a serie on catchup cost them money, i could be wrong but the fact that Ao Oni was in catchup 2 time nearly in a rox recently, when the serie has really low sell is for me proof that JNC likely doesn’t have to pay for that.
    I don't think personnal catchup would be a necessarily a loss, sure some people would just read the serie without buying the book, but if it's the serie that make them choose to try JNC, start LN, ... it's likely that they will end up buying it. Plus if you can attract more customer, keep some of the one which thought pre-pub last forever; it could end up being a gain in the long run. Like i said it would be like becoming a member the month your favorite serie is in pre-pub.
    Well in the end it's up to JNC to see if it financialy worth it, not too much of a pain to create, can attract customers, ... we don't really have the info to know.


  • Premium Member

    @raitoiro

    agreed we really don't have the info the know.

    I'm leaning towards the: there is no such thing as a free lunch, stance that the terms and conditions of the license used by JNC (what they can post, what royalties need to be paid for what) restrict what JNC can 'give away' with a membership without throwing the original license holder (author etc.) a cut ($$). Ao Oni might've had looser Ts &Cs (or was just cheap). I don't believe that 'personal catch-up' wouldn't incur a cost. Now, if that cost is offset by something else, that's a whole other conversation.


  • Premium Member

    See, what I think would be fair would be (if they ever fix the site up and add automation), have it so that 1 premium credit gives you a month's access to a 2-4 volume series and if you like the series, you can pay the difference in credit to buy the books. This could be increased by 1 credit for every 4 volume sequence (so 1-4 volumes,5-8,9-12,etc.) minus the volumes you own. So say you own 26 volumes of rokujima and it has 30 volumes out, it would count as a 4 volume series for the purposes here.

    Again, this would require automation or it would just become a huge mess.

    Basically, the idea here is that you pay 25% of the price to unlock it for a month, then if you like it, you can buy at 25% off (there are a few places that used to use this format, though they didn't do as well. Basically rent before you buy concept.)


  • Premium Member

    @sinnoaria said in Make JNC clear again:

    See, what I think would be fair would be (if they ever fix the site up and add automation), have it so that 1 premium credit gives you a month's access to a 2-4 volume series and if you like the series, you can pay the difference in credit to buy the books.

    A similar concept is discussed at https://forums.j-novel.club/topic/2142/suggestion-buying-premiums-unlocks-pre-pubs - a part of the problem is that it might require existing contracts to be renegotiated.