How is the quality of licensed print novels?



  • Simple question, how is generally the quality of licensed print light novels from any known english light novel publisher (I mean the quality of the print and book binding)? And what is with the extras like chara cards, etc., which are often included in the raw light novels, are they also included in the licensed versions?


  • Premium Member

    Hmm, which one do you mean, quality of the physical goods, quality of the story, quality of the translation; and is it limited to novels from JNC, or from any publisher in any language?



  • @tgquan67 I mean the quality of the print and binding. And from any known light novel publisher, like Yenpress etc..


  • Premium Member

    I would be interested in that too. There aren’t many licensed light novel series I would buy in print, but it would be nice to know though.
    Regarding the extras, for example, in my copy of the eighth volume of ‘Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter’ a special card is included. I’m wondering, if this title were to get licensed, would the card be included too?

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  • Premium Member

    @clarabelle nope, those add-ons like character cards, original illustrations, book sleeves, etc. usually require some extra effort in working with the original publisher. This is from my experience with not-in-english physical books though.


  • Member

    I'm not too quality focused on my books. The paperback ones i own (all Yen Press) are more or less what I'd expect from such books, and i don't have any issues with paper or binding.

    Complaints i see are most often about (imo overblown) translation choices or about content quality control (errors in images or lower image resolution). But those tend to be book specific rather than general issues, though there probably are certain publishers that have more of a reputation than others for that.

    I have seen some general praise for JNC's physicals in terms of paper quality and book size, but can't offer a direct comparison to other publishers myself since my JNC books are all digital.


  • Premium Member

    It depend of the publisher and the serie:

    • for Sevens seas: Grimgar print is really good aside from one image in book 5 which is way too dark. Boogiepop is also good, I find the paper a little better in Grimgar but in both case it's of good quality.
    • Vertical: I only own the Monogatari serie and the quality is great but they seems to have put a lot of care in that serie so it may not be as good for other series.
    • Yen On: I'm not a big fan of Rokka no Yuusha paper but it's okay. The empty box and Zeroth Maria is a bit better, and So I'm spider so what is especialy good with good paper and cover, with folded color illustrations page at the begining.

    Overall, all the LN I've bought have been of at least good, quality.


  • Premium Member

    YMMV, but these are my rankings from best to worst

    1. Vertical: beautiful paper choices, cover art, fonts and typesetting. They are the highest quality I’ve seen

    2. JNC: Love the size, the paper stock. Some of the layout and design of back covers is a little off

    3. Yen: A little too big and the paper stock is just OK, but the layout and design is probably second to Vertical. The binding is solid too.

    4. Seven Seas: Of the companies I’ve tried I really don’t like their print books (though I love the selection of titles they offer). Too large, too much gutter space leaving lots of white space on each page. They do however offer extras for some of the JNC titles which no other publisher does.

    I haven’t seen Sol, but I’ve not heard great things. Viz and TokyoPop are both quite good but the latter is all OOP and the prior releases very little.


  • Staff

    @the-green-death said in How is the quality of licensed print novels?:

    1. Seven Seas: Of the companies I’ve tried I really don’t like their print books (though I love the selection of titles they offer). Too large, too much gutter space leaving lots of white space on each page. They do however offer extras for some of the JNC titles which no other publisher does.

    They have shrunk down with the newer light novels being released. Just got Classroom of the Elite, and it is about as tall as one of their manga, however the font size is still fairly large so the book itself is thicc, however I would say it is a great improvement overall, significantly easier to hold.


  • Premium Member

    @rahul-balaggan Oh cool, happy to hear!

    I also forgot to mention One Peace. They are a cool height but crazy thick and kinda poor quality printing and terrible back cover layout. I’d put them over the 7Seas I’ve seen but under Yen ON