What can lead to a LN having a Spike in Popularity?


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    @hamsterexastris said in What can lead to a LN having a Spike in Popularity?:

    JNC probably has a better shot at making it work than more traditional publishers.

    How so? Are traditional publisher not in advantage due to their resources compared to a recently founded company?


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    @serah JNC has two advantages: their primary product is digital, and they already have their own infrastructure for content distribution. Listing a volume that happens to be a video instead of text is (comparatively) a pretty easy thing to do, especially if it’s just download instead of streaming.

    For the other publishers, their primary product is still print. If they wanted or needed to release the drama CDs physically, they’d need to figure out a way to do so. (Probably bundled with volumes, since I doubt bookstores will want to carry DVDs, but that carries its own pricing issues.) If they wanted to do a digital version, they’d need to create an ecommerce infrastructure first; right now they’re not doing direct sales, they’re only selling through other vendors.


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    @hamsterexastris I cannot really follow your argument. But that is due to my understanding how easy it is to get audiobooks via audible - the amazon company. Is that not used by publishers as well in the U.S. to distribute audio plays?


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    @serah Yes, there are audiobook distribution channels out there. But selling Japanese audio to English-speaking customers with no subtitles isn’t going to go over well sales-wise.


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    @hamsterexastris ah... that is what you mean. I thought we were talking about audio plays which are translated and performed by English speaking voice actors.


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    From talking with Sam, Bookworm isn’t even a top seller for JNC yet. When it first released, it was outsold by the generic non-isekai The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan by a lot. Even after the anime boost, Sam has said their sales have only now started to equalize, although Bookworm may soon surpass it. Which is kinda weird to me, since Magicmaster doesn’t have very many Amazon reviews, and it’s Kindle sales rank didn’t seem to get very high.

    Also hiring English voice actors would be so expensive as to be unprofitable for Drama CDs. Even Rokujouma’s recent Kickstarter, which had a tier for the Cds digitally and in Dvd for with subtitles, but they never had a tier for English actors (although the anime never had a dub).


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    @legitpancake said in What can lead to a LN having a Spike in Popularity?:

    From talking with Sam, Bookworm isn’t even a top seller for JNC yet. When it first released, it was outsold by the generic non-isekai The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan by a lot. Even after the anime boost, Sam has said their sales have only now started to equalize, although Bookworm may soon surpass it. Which is kinda weird to me, since Magicmaster doesn’t have very many Amazon reviews, and it’s Kindle sales rank didn’t seem to get very high.

    That... is hard to take... I mean, I read the first volume of "The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan" and I do consider it a rather bad light novel... I mean... "generic" is the best to describe that one (or at least the first volume of the series) in addition to the rather heavy background story telling... It was even harder for me to digest than "Reincarnated as a Sword"... so seeing it outsold Bookworm is rather a ridiculous fun fact.



  • Generic sell...


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    @serah Magicmaster gets better after volume 1.

    Remember, even Rokujouma was super generic trope filled in vol 1.

    Note: I'm not saying Magicmaster is Rokujouma level or anything, just using it as an example.


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    @serah said in What can lead to a LN having a Spike in Popularity?:

    @legitpancake said in What can lead to a LN having a Spike in Popularity?:

    From talking with Sam, Bookworm isn’t even a top seller for JNC yet. When it first released, it was outsold by the generic non-isekai The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan by a lot. Even after the anime boost, Sam has said their sales have only now started to equalize, although Bookworm may soon surpass it. Which is kinda weird to me, since Magicmaster doesn’t have very many Amazon reviews, and it’s Kindle sales rank didn’t seem to get very high.

    That... is hard to take... I mean, I read the first volume of "The Greatest Magicmaster’s Retirement Plan" and I do consider it a rather bad light novel... I mean... "generic" is the best to describe that one (or at least the first volume of the series) in addition to the rather heavy background story telling... It was even harder for me to digest than "Reincarnated as a Sword"... so seeing it outsold Bookworm is rather a ridiculous fun fact.

    Yeah, that's facepalm-inducing given the relative quality of the two. I guess Bookworm still needs more exposure. Need to get more people in the anime/manga/LN communities who are drawn first to the more generic isekai series based on blurbs to give it a chance, and also need to try and get people who are readers but who aren't part of the typical anime/manga/LN communities to try it. This is one of those series that I think has the potential to do well with people who are big readers of western fiction but not in the anime/manga/LN communities if you can just find a way to get it in front of them.


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    @yumenokage I keep imagining how it would be, if schools uses light novels to get young pupils to like reading, instead of so called classics...


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    @serah I was one of those weird children who actually liked most of the classics we were assigned in school, although even I would gravitate more towards the more popular fiction when choosing books on my own. For me it was mostly fantasy, although I also read some sci-fi, more general fiction, and nonfiction. As a kid I also really liked Roald Dahl's works like Matilda, the BFG, and the Witches and things by other authors with a similar feel, and I still think they're pretty great and want to introduce them to my own kids if I ever have any.

    I do think there are some merits to keeping some of the classics in schools, especially when getting to higher grades, as a number of them teach important lessons and others are referenced frequently in general society. However, 99% of the time developing good reading fluency is going to be far more important, as it can't be overstated how much of an impact it will have on their future education, life opportunities, and general ability to access vital and other information in our modern age. As the amount of books that can be reasonably covered in school isn't nearly enough for kids to develop good reading fluency, you really need to convince kids to seek out more books in their own time. This being the case, schools definitely do need to do better about introducing kids to more popular works so that they learn how reading can be enjoyable early on. For some kids it might be Harry Potter, and for others it might be other things. Whatever gets them reading more.


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    @yumenokage a very well statement. I could not agree more.


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    @serah said in What can lead to a LN having a Spike in Popularity?:

    Does Ascendance of a Bookworm currently enjoying a popularity spike or something like that? It might be just my impression, but a significant amount of new registered users seem to be mainly just after this series.

    Hi. That's why I registered. Don't know any of the other series yet and it's no guarantee I will be interested in them anyway. I'd read some of the series a while back and around December learned Jnovel had chapters for vol5 up already and didn't want to wait to read it.

    I do read it too, but I cannot see anything too special about the series, compared to other very good light novels or my favourite one.

    What other series are you comparing it to? Hard to describe any differences without knowing.

    In fairness it might not even matter; sometimes people just like/don't like certain things.


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    @justaidan Oh well, I am reading quite a lot with plenty of variants. The first thing which comes to my mind worth mentioning is about the Alchemist who seeks a quite life for being a remarkable entry in the last year. My favourite is "How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom". You can check my latest reading list here: https://forums.j-novel.club/topic/1996/currently-reading/76?page=4
    It is already outdated, though - I added very recently The Holy Knight's Dark Road and Cooking with Wild Game to my reads.

    It is hard to describe differences even with knowing them, though. Some titles are more easy to read, others have especially good stories, and so on. Aside of the fresh plot there is really nothing too special about Ascendance of a Bookworm for me. If I knew more about what you like about Ascendance of a Bookworm, I could probably tell what other title might be your liking to pick it up / read during catch up campaigns with JNC. In comparison to the many others Ascendance of a Bookworm is just one among many, in my opinion.


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    @legitpancake We will probably never know exact sales but the number of reviews on Amazon does give us a way to compare how different series are doing. Going by the first volume we can see that Magicmaster got 29 reviews compared to Bookworm's mere 6. That means that we can probably assume that roughly 5 times as many people checked out Magicmaster compared to Bookworm. However the scale may be tipping back in Bookworms favor if we look at more recent books, volume 3 of Magicmaster currently only has 7 reviews while Bookworm part 2 volume 1 has 30 reviews. I think this is honestly the first time I've seen later volumes in a light novel series have more reviews than earlier volumes. I guess the anime must have really gotten people invested.


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    @eternal-wanderer You must be looking at the paperback for volume 1, which is for whatever reason separated from the Kindle version, which has 48 reviews.


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    @legitpancake my bad then I didn't realize they were separated.