New Japanese Publisher, "LINE"
As far as I can tell, LINE, the messaging service, is now in the Light Novel publishing field. This is in addition to their Narou style web novel portal.
Their books have started appearing on regular digital storefronts in Japan, Bookwalker and Amazon. Some of them are from big names too.
They got the author of "Self-Proclaimed F Rank" and "My Best Friend's Sister is Only Annoying to Me" on a Zombie title:
"Academic City of the Dead".
Author of "So I Can't Do H" on:
"Devil x Chicken Bravely Soul". (Don't ask, that's the English on the cover... I don't know, lol).
The artist behind Killing Slimes is on the art for this (pretty evident from looking at it):
"Dungeon The Station: Shinjuku Tokyo Labrynth"
If you're curious, here is the full line of... LINE titles published so far since they started releasing in August. They have two labels, the regular "LINE Bunko" and the "LINE Bunko Edge".
I guess the question now is which English publisher will hit them first. J-Novel Club or Seven Seas.
I get the inkling they'll be opening submissions for other languages, just like what they're doing with Webtoon.
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@caramelwithoutthesalt And I'd prefer if more Japanese Publishers were open to licensing to Western Publishers. Frankly, we should be happy if we see more stuff licensed from greater varieties of publishers because exclusivity based on ownership leads to situations where Kadokawa is mostly licensed through one company that can barely handle what they already publish.
So I'm sure J-NC and SS may find titles they think would sell, but that doesn't mean forming relationships with new publishers for the sake of being new isn't a bad thing. It mutually supports the industry since they'll get a new revenue stream right off the bat by licensing out internationally.
They've got a lot of interesting titles in different genres (seem to be testing the waters), so I wouldn't mind a relationship being established early (though, wait and see approach seems good to take with some of the more serialized stuff).
In addition to LN, they have some more regular literature novels, so those would be less of a commitment if they're self-contained novels.
One of the lit ones that looks kind of interesting and releases on the 4th next month.
It's about a woman who is trying to decide between her career and having a baby + quitting to take care of the infant. A fantastical thing happens overnight where she wakes up in a world where men give birth and are more expected to be the at home caretaker, and her husband becomes pregnant.
I'd be very curious to see how that reversal is handled and what the story has to say on gender expectations from society / how delicate the story treats that subject matter.
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I could see Sam trying to work with them, them being new doesn't really matter since JNC has licensed several series with only 1 or 2 volumes out.