How do you feel about English light novel publishers

  • Premium Member

    Since light novels seem to be on an upward trajectory recently and more and more are being licensed I'm kinda curious about how we all feel about the various publishers bringing us our books. Since this topic was my idea I'll start.

    J novel club

    Absolutely perfect in every way, kidding please don't ban me Sam. Anyways J novel club is probably my favorite publisher currently. The books are serialized on the website itself giving me something to look forward to each week though each release has a chance of a delay though never a huge one. They also tend to release the books the fastest which gives them a big advantage over everyone else on this list. Also because J novel club is mostly digital they can take chances on smaller or newer title that might not have taken off yet though this can be painful if a book doesn't get a follow up. One more downside here is that anything licensed by them is not guaranteed a physical release though the make up for that in my opinion by being the only publisher to offer DRM free versions of their books. Also although I'm probably not the best person to ask about this I think their translation quality is pretty high and most of the errors they do make are caught by the forums.

    Yen Press/ Yen On
    If I had to pick on word to describe Yen Press/Yen On it would be glacial, their releases so slow and have a tendency to be delayed. When they license something I'm interested in I'm simultaneous happy and depressed, happy because it mean I'm getting, depressed because I know it will take forever for me to get it. Most of their licenses also tend to be very safe titles, usually either because the light novel already has a successful anime or a critically acclaimed title that's hot right now. I've also seen some criticism that some of their title are not translated or edited as well as they should be but once again I'm not the right person to ask about that.

    Seven Seas

    I personally have a higher opinion of Seven Seas than I do of Yen Press. While its true that their physical publishing is just about as slow they put out a digital edition ahead of that making the books at least feel like they are coming out faster. They also seem more likely to take a chance on something than Yen Press, and if it has a monster girl in it the odds of them licensing it go way up. As for translation quality I personally haven't seen any huge complaints of them so I'll assume they are at least decent.

    Sol Press

    I haven't read any of their light novels so I can't really say much about them. All i can say is that so far most of their licenses don't interest me and it feels like some of them were grabbed because they were cheap. I am somewhat interested in some of their licenses and assuming they can keep a decent schedule I'm fine with them. Though considering how delayed some of their volumes ones were I'm not too optimistic on that front.

    One Peace Books

    All I will say on them is I'm not really happy with them right now considering the latest volume of Shield Hero delay that was announced on the day it was supposed to be released.

    Cross Infinite World

    Probably the most niche of the publishers on here, especially since none of their books to my knowledge have had a physical release. Of all of the current publishers they seem to target the female demographic more than anyone else though since I'm a guy that really doesn't matter to me. They have published some one offs that I've enjoyed though I haven't gotten invested in any of their series and I also have no idea how fast they publish new books. I have no idea how people generally rate their translation quality .

    Square Enix

    Literally hasn't published anything yet so its impossible to say.

  • @eternal-wanderer said in How do you feel about English light novel publishers:

    Since light novels seem to be on an upward trajectory recently and more and more are being licensed I'm kinda curious about how we all feel about the various publishers bringing us our books. Since this topic was my idea I'll start.

    J novel club

    I think these guys are alright, tend to be slow to pick up new volumes in the series they are translating. Specifically, I am talking about Arifureta volume 9 and volume 10.
    Their final release often contains at least 2 spelling errors. They tend to play it safe in their licensing endeavours and their manga offer is completely unappealing to me.

    Yen Press/ Yen On

    Slow and steady wins the race? They have a huge library and as such, several series that I really enjoy. Al through it would've been nice if they were faster to translate them, bloody slow pokes.

    Seven Seas

    In my opinion their translation speed of certain series is comparable to j-novel and might even be faster in some cases. Reincarnated as a sword volume 2 came out only 1 month after volume 1 and third volume is scheduled to come out in 2 month after volume 2.
    Judging by their survey, they are at least TRYING to entertain the idea of licensing some obscure, niche titles.
    They are making good use of facebook, unlike a another company called j-novel club who seems to forgot that they have a facebook page. What is your marketing department doing j-novel?
    At the moment, seen seas is definitely my favourites.

    Sol Press

    Sol who? They got my attention with that recent R-18 announcement, we'll see how it performs.

    One Peace Books

    Volume 14 of shield hero got pushed back all of the sudden, which was a bit of a bummer.

    Cross Infinite World

    Cross who? Actually BEAST † BLOOD kinda seems interesting, might check it out later.

    Square Enix

    Okay, so that happened.
    No idea what they are thinking by going into light novel market. But the company should have a decent financial background and I was honestly expecting some more daring licenses, buuuuuuuuuuuut..... Wait and see, I suppose.

  • Premium Member

    Yen Press publishes faster than Japan for the majority of their series. There are some chronically delayed ones, like NGNL, but outside of those, it's actually a myth that they're slow.

    We used to think the same way on the discord, and so we graphed out the release dates for most of their popular series, expecting to get some hard numbers we could point to proving that they were slow. To our surprise, the numbers proved the opposite, they're shrinking the time gap on the vast majority of their series.

  • Premium Member

    I’ve found Yen to be ok, (Danmachi and some others) quality of EPUBReader generally very good in layout/ illustration/ readability

    One peace (shield hero) I’ve found more editing errors /Typos that should not make it to published work and production value not as slick as YP

    Both of the above purchases via amazon/ kindle app

    JNC finished works are less ‘fancy’ but that may also be a choice to ensure readability across more platforms/ and might also have something to do with not having DRM

    I’m very happy with pre-published and serialized stories as prepubescent

  • Premium Member

    @eternal-wanderer said in How do you feel about English light novel publishers:

    J novel club

    I'm very happy with JNC: prepubs, catch-up months where I can try a series' volume 1 before buying, premium editions.

    The only thing I can think of that would make me happier (besides licensing everything I've voted for in the request sub-form :) ) is a way to "trade in" the Kindle books I bought from Amazon before discovering JNC so that I don't need to re-buy premium versions.


    I do wish they could manage something closer to JNC's release schedule but otherwise I'm happy with the titles of theirs that I own.

    Sol Press

    Also known as "Slow Press." I have Strongest Gamer 1-2 and 80,000 Gold volume 1, but who knows how many years it will be before they manage to publish volume 2? I wish JNC had gotten the 80,000 license instead of them. Luckily they didn't get Potion Loli or Abilities Average.

  • Premium Member

    Yen Press is fast enough for me.
    I buy the majority of their series and can barely keep up with their release date.

    It sucks that they take so long after announcement before the first volume drops though.

  • Premium Member

    Slow Press 2019 release schedule for LNs (AKA Sol Press):

    April - 6
    May - 1
    June - 0
    July - 0
    August - December: * nothing announced *
    2020: * nothing announced *
    In the year 2525, if man is still alive: * nothing announced *

    Sigh. I'm glad they didn't announce any new licenses that I care about at AX.

  • Staff

    @harmlessdave said in How do you feel about English light novel publishers:

    In the year 2525, if man is still alive: * nothing announced *

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  • Seven Seas and Yen Press were the two publishers that I am familiar with if looking at the physical releases they have available here in our local bookstores. For someone who had limited budget, I really didn't mind their release periods. So far, the Yen Press copies I had of A Certain Magical Index had almost no glaring errors that I noticed (probably because I bought a reprint already).

    With JNC, I like the prepub style of getting licensed works out as early as possible (in parts) and then finalized version at a later point for re-reading or for collection purposes (digital and if it's selling enough, a physical copy even). To be honest, I never heard of JNC until I was searching for more information about Iori Miyazawa and ended up seeing one his works being licensed in English by them.

    The others, not really interested in the titles they've announced or already released or never heard of them.

  • Premium Member

    J-Novel Club -

    Probably releases the most series I read. Love the DRM-free Epubs. Literally the only reason I became a subscriber. I like how experimental Sam can be. Localization practices are pretty consistent although sometimes I'll be bothered by something. But that goes for any publisher. Has a decent method of communication with translators and editors even if they don't respond to you after the ebook has come out...

    What I want to see from J-Novel Club would be:

    • Site Update - General overhaul to fix stuff and make it more user friendly. This includes like a better release calendar that's a bit more compact or readable. Being able to grab series links without all the search garbage in the URL. Link to their physical volumes, list Premium Bonuses on volume pages, and so on.
    • More Longer Series - Considering the release rate, I'd love to see a lot of longer series like Only Sense Online to get licensed since catching up with fan-translations which have died would go very fast.

    One Peace Books

    Considering how they pretty much dropped Mikagure Suite and no Spear Hero volume 2 (Don't even know why they licensed volume 1 so early before it's even relevant to Shield Hero LN readers.), have little to no faith in them as a publisher. Plenty of localization issues at times I think.

    What I want to see from OPB:

    • Work on the damn series they licensed and prove that they deserve to have any trust.

    Seven Seas

    Fairly standard publisher. Has a good head on their shoulders to be able to straight up decouple their digital and physical releases. I do have issue with their number of defunct licenses and some of their "Experiments" on what to license more of isn't very consumer friendly. (Boogiepop) Has probably the second best in interactions with fans outside of Sam from J-NC doing Curious Cat answers.

    What I want from SS:

    • A lot of longer series. So happy they got Mushoku Tensei and I think they could continue to get longer series like J-NC and catch people up fast on the series.
    • Completing some of their licenses that have gone defunct.
    • A place for submitting translation/editing issues with their digital releases that is more than a form on their page which you're unlikely to get a response from.

    Sol Press

    The somewhat abused by the community new publisher. Didn't have as a successful launch as J-NC and still has some struggles at releasing stuff. At least they're still releasing stuff though. They've managed to complete their first two licenses. Now they just need to get a good public work flow going for readers to know when volumes are coming out. I'm impressed with them finally taking the jump to licensing an R-18 LN. I figured some publisher would have to grab it at some point and I think they belong most with Sol Press who already publishes VNs.

    What I want from SP:

    • Better release schedule. It's a huge pain to not know what is coming out when. I typically plan my reading for each month based on what is coming out each week/day but I never know when Sol Press will be releasing anything since they don't announce anything at any decent time.

    Yen Press

    Has plenty of good series. But they need to seriously work on decoupling Physical & Digital Releases since they have a number of titles which are so far behind where the anime or fan-translations have left off that a large part of the fan-base is probably dying. (Looking at Mahouka) Controversial localization issues like Mr. Kirito and weird inconsistency with Mahouka. Honestly, I'd rather YP stuck to completed series as if they catch up to JP releases, new volumes come to a zombie crawling across the ground speed. (It's not an easy problem to fix.)

    What I want from YP:

    • De-couple Digital and Physical Releases. They publish a fair number of longer series so when they get delayed, it's a huge set-back for people who are waiting for new volumes of series. This includes stuff like Mahouka and then Sword Art Online Progressive. The reason they get mocked as slow is because of the fact that they have licensed so many titles which have previously been fan-translated which official translations are still 3 years+ away from catching up.
    • Better community relations. - So the head editor didn't show up at AX from what I could tell. That's a step in the right direction. Just need them to be more receptive to feedback beyond slandering their readers as pirates. (That's some CR level of stupid.)
    • Actually take feedback on translations/localizations. Some series are fucking messes. Danmachi has a bunch of random romaji like Kenki and Mahouka can be inconsistent.
    • License completed series. If they don't have to worry about catching up with JP releases, then the fans won't have to worry about it either. They aren't as fast as J-NC or SS about release speed, but they can be consistent.

  • Premium Member

    @aruseus493 Yen Press actually went back and fixed Mr. Kirito in the newer versions.

    Silica calls him Kirito now.

    They seemed to have stopped blanket translating -san as Mr/Miss now in their newer series.

  • Premium Member

    J novel club

    Few complaints, have some good series I’m also glad they’ve started to do print releases. Plus they licensed Bookworm so massive ups for that. Though I feel they have gotten less reliable in terms of both weekly part releases and moving on to the next volume lately.

    Yen press

    Good licenses and baring some obvious and well known delays have a very steady 4 month release cycle for their LN.

    Seven seas

    Good licenses and decent release schedule. Really disappointing quality of print releases, easily the lowest of any of the physical release companies.

    Sol press

    Horrendous company, delays on all releases and even months after release their LN aren’t available on all platforms (saving 80,000) has been coming to IBooks soon since April.

    Cross Infinite

    I like their novels and really interesting that they are going straight to the source and publishing WN. I hate that they have a tendency to drop series after one volume, to the point that I’ll no longer purchase their LN if I see it’s part of a series I only get the one shots. They absolutely have to start releasing 2nd volumes or I’ll lose all faith in them as a publisher.

  • Premium Member

    @catstorm Seven Seas does have better looking physical editions now than before. Mushoku Tensei, Restaurant in Another World and Skeleton Knight all look waaaaay better than their earlier. A smaller size and better typeface. The actual printing isn’t as good quality as JNC or Yen but acceptable to me.

  • Premium Member

    @the-green-death I don't agree. New Seven Seas releases are awful. Smaller size doesn't provide any advantages due to how bloated it made the books (and really, MT covers deserve being printed at the size where one can actually see details) due to huge waste of paper space inside. They even increased font size compared to their "bigger" books. Print quality is also terrible, especially on colour illustrations.

  • I like both Yen Press and J-Novel Club just fine. They both have several series I enjoy. Their releases aren't always error free, but what I've encountered with them hasn't been egregious; generally a few typos in a single book, and not every book has that problem. I'm aware of the issues others have had with Yen Press, but I'm only speaking of my own experiences.

    As for Seven Seas, after Monster Girl Doctor's first volume, I only buy digital from them. The amount of issues with that book Some of their other releases weren't much better, as both Perfect Blue and The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku had plenty of typos throughout. At least with a digital release they can push out an update without my having to buy a new copy. I suppose if I had experienced what No Game, No Life's initial release was like, I'd be wary of Yen Press. That happened with me with Seven Seas. Which is a shame.

    I like otome games, so Cross Infinite World tends to scratch that particular itch. I'm wondering when they'll release follow up volumes for some of their titles. I assume they're waiting for more material, but who knows.

    I've only read one book from Sol Press, so I can't really speak to the quality of their releases (I remember 80,000 Gold being fine). Sol Press strikes me as trying to do too much at once with not enough personnel to handle everything. Their licensing of Busy Wizard is an interesting one; maybe they'll pick up other R-18 works.

    I haven't read anything from One Peace Books. It looking like they dropped a series (or two) doesn't exactly give a good impression.

  • Member

    I started reading LN first with YP series like DanMachi and NGNL specifically in digital format, but all of a sudden one day all the YP ebooks were taken away from all the marketplaces in India. I am very angry with YP due to this as I now have incomplete series in my ebook collection and have to scrounge the internet to get the pirated copies of those ebooks.

    I am very happy with JNC for most of the part. Only complain I have about them is about the site which doesn't look appealing to me

  • Premium Member

    @rasray All of Yen Press' light novels are for sale digitally on Kobo in India, if it's any help.

  • @rasray Have you tried bookwalker global? As last resort, you can use a EU/US proxy to fake your current location.

  • Premium Member

    I'm just happy to get any titles that I have any interest in translated. Problem is they are translating so many of them I don't have enough time to read them all. I'm also more into digital now than hard copies due to the fact that I've run out of space to put all the hard copies to all of the series that I'm reading. This includes manga as well as light novels.

  • Member

    @legitpancake Thanks for the info, I just checked them but they are way too overpriced at $14 for each book.

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