How much are you willing to pay for a Light Novel? (2020)


  • Premium Member

    Different publishers offer different light novels at different pricing. It makes you wonder how much is a light novel actually worth, and why can one publisher afford to sell something cheaper or at a higher price despite the competitors. It might be even interesting to know for a small publisher if it is worth to invest more if the audience is willing to pay more.

    Out of curiosity I like to see what my fellow light novels enthusiast - You - think about current pricings on the market and why you think it is worth it, less or more of what you can currently get.

    • Maybe you think some other publisher seems simply greedy compared to others? (example ranking: Seven Seas, Yen Press, Sol Press, JNC e.g)
    • Maybe you had a bad experience where it feels it was simply too much for a light novel. Too short of a story or whatsoever?
    • Maybe you are like me, who would like to pay more gladly in appreciation, if there are more incentives aka bonus contents?
    • Or maybe you think light novels should cost less, considering how short and cheap to distribute (digital) they are?
    • Should the pricing be dependant on the length of content?
    • What is important to you to make the pricing feel fair?

    What are your thoughts on the pricings you see at the market? I for myself would pay gladly 10 USD and more, as I did by buying my favourite series twice, if the (bonus) content is enjoyable. Aside that, I cannot deny I bought some light novels at higher prices compared to JNC, simply because the other publisher asked that much.

    @serah said in How much are you willing to pay for a Light Novel?:

    To clarify - I do not make a difference between digital and paperback here. That is mainly due the German standard that there is little to no price difference due laws. To give this topic a standard base line, let us assume the price listing is for digital content.

    For paperback only owners: add +4 to each vote option.


  • Staff

    My answer is it depends.

    I don’t mind paying $10 for J-Novel Club’s Beatless but that is a very big book with a lot of pages.

    On the other hand I won’t buy anything digital from Seven Seas or Sol Press because I do not believe their prices are justified to be that high.

    So all in all I will pay a fair price and in my opinion a fair price is $8 or under for anything under 300 pages in length.

    Edit: This only applies to digital e-Books, for paperbacks I will pay over $10, and for hardcovers I pay over $20.


  • Premium Member

    I'm happy to pay around $11 for Spice & Wolf paperback because they are quite long books and have some colour illustrations at the start, but I wouldn't be prepared to pay that much for a regular digital LN unless it was a series I really liked.


  • Premium Member

    I basically buy 95% digital, so more than $8 is too much for me. For paperback, I don't mind paying more though.


  • Premium Member

    To clarify - I do not make a difference between digital and paperback here. That is mainly due the German standard that there is little to no price difference due laws. To give this topic a standard base line, let us assume the price listing is for digital content.

    For paperback only owners: add +4 to each vote option.

    If you feel curious about the German custom, there seems to be an English wikipedia article available:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_book_price


  • Premium Member

    @serah Oh really? The price points in your poll made me think this was ebook centric - damn I wish Australia had those laws, though they'd likely just make the ebooks more expensive than cut the price of the tree ones. The "Australia Tax" on anything tech related is brutal.

    Anyway, I went for 9USD as that is roughly equal to 13AUD at the moment, which seems to be about the upper limit for most LNs on Amazon AU regardless of publisher. I pre-order most non-JNC stuff so tend to get things around the 11AUD mark in reality.


  • Premium Member

    @smashman42 I feel with you. I know from a gamer mate from near Canberra how brutal Australian taxes are on entertainment products. So ridiculous, especially since I do not understand any reason behind those taxes (thinking of: lowering taxes => more sales => more tax income and happier people => more productivity etc.).



  • This post is deleted!

  • Premium Member

    @serah It isn't actually a real "tax", it is just what Aussies call profit gouging that for some reason is really bad here but no-one in the govt does anything about it. See this old article for reference for an infamously bad example of it.

    If they were just currency conversion plus our Goods and Services Tax of 10% it'd be fine, but mysteriously things end up being about 50% more after conversion.


  • Premium Member

    I only follow a couple of Seven Seas' series, so I don't mind paying the occasional $10 for a (digital) light novel. Also, I'm of the mind set that I'm getting more for my money buying a light novel at that price vs. one of their manga volumes (which they charge the same price for).

    I can do a manga volume in less than an hour, but a light novel I usually can get 4-5 hours of enjoyment out of it. I refuse to pay $10 (nearly $11 with the sales tax where I'm at) for digital manga that's mostly pictures and not much text when most other companies sell their digital manga at $6-7. Thankfully I don't follow many of their manga series either.


  • Premium Member

    I'm willing to pay up to 10$ for digital or 15$ for physical, which is typically the highest I've seen. I don't necessarily consider these good value price points, but I have very few other vices in life, so I do spend more than might be reasonable on things I do enjoy. I do often get LNs on sale though (I like buying them in bulk when Rightstuf has a sale), so I probably pay about 8$ on average for physical?


  • Premium Member

    I voted $7us
    and almost all my light novel purchases are epub/JNC premiums
    if there was a physical copy that I wanted in particular - my value of it would be subjective. How beautiful is it? how many pages? any special features? (i.e. particularly good illustrations, pinup/pullouts etc?, signed by author/illustrator)

    I might gladly pay $12.95 for a Bookworm volume, but feel like I could buy a Danmachi volume used for $4 and be ok with it not being new

    bottom line: if I'm buying just to read...$5-7 US
    if I'm buying to collect?? $12-15 US (I might go up to $20 if it was a souvenir, like at a signing while travelling to Japan)


  • Premium Member

    I 'm usually kinda greedy but when it come to books I don't care as much about price, most LN I buy are around 7€ (in most case a bit less) which seems fair, and as long as it's under 9€ I won't look too much into it.
    That said as much as I like the series and while I will continue to buy it, it does feel a bit too much for a serie like Reincarnated as a sword to cost more than 8€. And on the other hand I wouldn't mind series like Grimgar, Mushoku Tensei or Bookworm being a bit more expensive.


  • Premium Member

    Put an $8, but add taxes to that since I'm in Europe. Digital-only as well.

    I can be picky depending of the price: I'm open-minded with JNC and Yen Press series and can buy just to try them out, but only will pick-up Seven Seas books if I really want to read them. $8 is pretty much my threshold there.

    It's a bit more of a problem with manga, since they are a bit more expensive compared to time spent on them (doesn't sound right to value entertainment based on the time they consume, but hey, I've to pay for it.) On the other hand, I dread 7S having manga series I want to read.


  • Premium Member

    For the few series I pick up early in digital and then collect in paperback, I'm willing to go up to $8, but I'm not particularly happy about it. I wish there was an option to pay up front for a physical/digital pre-order that had a significant discount like Amazon often does for their eBooks if you own the Audible version. Most paperbacks I try to hold out for a sale and get for less than $10, and ideally closer to $8 like I often could when I was pre-ordering everything nearly a year in advance.

    For J-Novel Club I subscribe as Premium to get the $6 credits and pre-pubs of series I'm iffy on, but their physical releases I've been picking up so far even if they're close to/at MSRP. I'm a little concerned about getting Haruhi'd on price if I wait due to the limited nature of their printed books. I also feel like their books are the highest quality among the publishers, which makes me feel better about paying a little more than average.


  • Premium Member

    @serah said in How much are you willing to pay for a Light Novel? (2020):

    To clarify - I do not make a difference between digital and paperback here. That is mainly due the German standard that there is little to no price difference due laws. To give this topic a standard base line, let us assume the price listing is for digital content.

    The german price for ebooks recently got fixed but is not bound to the physical release as it's another product.

    Not everything about price binding is good. You have to pay the same price for a 20 year old book or a new one (if it's still the same version but newly printed). To sell old books cheaper as a store you have to resell them (make them used) or damage them (so you can sell them as defective copies).

    This also only affects works printed in germany or designated specifically for the german market (no imports). So you can get an american light novel without the price binding. Also due to currency conversion and pre order you get foreign books even cheaper if the store has a "cheapest price while preordering" policy. The funny thing is that alot of american light novels in germany get more expensive after the release (but within reason) were as the same books get cheaper in america and ordering there is cheaper (even with shipping and import fees).

    But back to topic:

    As long as the quality of the work is higher I have no problem with paying more. But sadly american books often have bad editing and quality checking. I was really sad when I noticed more than three spelling errors in the spice & wolf anniversary collectors edition first page of volume 1. You see the collection is from 2016 while the original first volume is from 2009 (well buts that's yenpress). SevenSeas also has many spelling errors in their series. But maybe that's just because books are so cheap nowadays that nobody cares about quality. Heck yenpress isn't even able to print the spine of their books correctly so that in the same series some volumes have height differences for illustrations, text and logos displayed on the spine.

    As a side note I buy ebooks from YEN and SS from different platforms. Some series are cheaper on Kobo others on Amazon and so on.


  • Premium Member

    “Willing” or “likely”? There’s series I’ve given a shot at a lower price point (Gear Drive) that I wouldn’t have paid more for.

    I’m willing to pay $10 for some series, but they generally have to be high-quality and/or lengthier (or ideally both).


  • Premium Member

    For LN E-Book / Epub which has "normal" page count I would say anything under $10 is good for me.
    as for Dead Tree version as long as its under $25 I still willing to buy it, if its more then I would look for the E-Pub to know the story and only buy the dead tree version for collection (read: If I have the leeway money) or waiting a good discount to come around. for example most of Yen Press LN that I buy are around 200 IDR or 15 USD after discount.


  • Premium Member

    The only place I buy digital books from is JNC. All the other publishers I buy the physicals, including JNC's physicals. JNC's price doesn't really change, although having to pay a membership to be able to buy them directly from them is annoying.
    With the physicals, I'm fine playing the normal retail price + conversion to AUD and that usually comes around $18-$20 in AUD. But since I preorder everything from Book Depository, I get 10% of that, and I can sometimes wait till a coupon code for another 10% on top of that.


  • Premium Member

    7-8 USD for digital, which is around 10 CAD.

    I don't buy physical due to both storage space and price. Physical LNs are like $20 CAD after tax in Canada.


Log in to reply