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


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    There are too many light novels. As a student , i am trying to support as much as possible but also i am using pirates , fan TL etc. For now , 5$ for JNC is worth to have it. On the other hand , when i see some nice series i cant handle to buy all volumes released in here. So pirating become a thing as well. I had twitch subs in 2 steamer. I canceled one and become sub in here. When time comes maybe i will cancel other and being sub for another comp. like JNC but not for now.

    As your question's answer , well $5 for JCN so nothing more than right now.

    But i am getting monthly paper book from some places (amazon , local sites etc) but ofc if i am real fan of those series. For now , only Overlord in that list. We'll see what will happend after i am done to buy that series.



  • I don’t mind paying 10+ for something that will entertain me and that’s that. I figure if I pay a ridiculous amount for food I enjoy I will do the same for other things.


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    Normally, I only but my LN from JNC, so $6 is the norm, but I'm also reading The Devil is a Part-Timer! and that runs about $8 per volume. What really drives that number up though are the paper versions of Sword Art Online and Sword Art Online: Progressive. I didn't even take the amount spent on the Kickstarter for Invaders of the Rokujouma.


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    @hopebestman going off-topic for this, I like to mention I appreciate whenever someone gives such a brave reply about them "pirating digital content". From the posts and topics I have seen with the forums, most here seem not to mind it if it is reasoned morally on the good side. While not saying this to encourage pirating, I believe strongly - if you have had the money, I am sure you would be more than willing to pay the proper price for what you appreciate so much. And that matters, in my opinion.


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    $10 US is my limit for LN ebooks. I will pay $13 for some other English language ebooks from favorite authors like Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (Liaden series) or David Drake (Leary series) but those are usually 3-4 times as long as a LN so it's actually a better value.

    I accept paying twice as much for LNs as traditional English language novels since it's a niche market and requires both license fees and translation work.


  • Member

    Depends on the light novel and whether it's digital or physical formats but $20 or less per volume is preferable. More if it was a series I'm nuts about.


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    6 to 8 dollars for me. But a major issue I have is when a publisher charges the same amount of money for a paperback book and an eBook. From my point of view, they should have a price differential that is approximately the same as the difference in the marginal cost of production for each format.


  • Member

    @serah Thank you. Also i dont want to encourage pirating but times could be hard. Its all spent money for something you love. I start for that when i was playing video-games. AAA games usually 60$ its tooooooo expensive for me , so i pirated. However , even i finished the game already , when i see a discount 7-8 months later , i bought the game. So its just supporting how you can. I dont want to exept "because i dont have money , i cant enjoy things". Ofc , stealing etc wrong but i believe we can find a middle way for those things. At least digital stuff.

    PS:Also being anonymous helps for speaking like that :D


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    @jcochran
    Marginal/ differential cost isn’t as much as you think. Once the formatting in done, printing a paperback is relatively inexpensive (of course this depends on how many are printed) I have read somewhere that the printing/materials cost for a typical (USA) paperback is well under $1.00. Ebooks on the other hand have a much higher upfront cost (more editing to support multiple formats and platforms, software licensing costs etc.) but the incremental cost is effectively zero. I don’t know where the “break even “ point is but we’re splitting hairs. ePub and paperback costs should be about the same


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    @jon-mitchell that sounds pretty cheap compared to my experiences. Mine are based on the numbers of prints you order. And usually volumes below 10k are quite expensive. Newcomers who contract print services by their own often have to pay about 10 EUR per book for the little number of books they order. That compared to the ebook publication costs turns out usually quite a lot.


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    If a series is available to buy physical that’s what I’ll buy, J novel club is about the only company I buy from consistently with digital and those are 6 USD. I do buy most of cross infinite worlds stuff but their releases are few and far between.

    As to physical the most I’ll spend is $25 AUD but most come in around the $17-$22 AUD range.


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

    Newcomers who contract print services...

    apples and oranges

    I'm assuming that we are talking about commercial production here. JNC or Yen Press etc. Their production costs, not a individual/ newcomer. (And I apologize in advance, my information is all from the USA market, I don't know how it works elsewhere)

    When someone goes to Amazon or wherever and orders a 'mass market paperback' for example a print/paperback of Harry Potter in the trim size of approx. 4" x 7", it might cost $7.00 +/-. The portion of that $7.00 that was the cost of printing and materials of the physical book (Scholastic, the publisher, the amount they paid to produce the hard copy) is tiny. It might even be less than the cost of postage to mail a copy. Scholastic's cut of that $7.00(out of which royalties are paid) is much more than the print/materials cost of a paperback. In the days of brick and mortar bookstores it was standard practice for the stores to tear the covers off of unsold paperbacks and return them to the publisher (and scrap the books!) Publishers didn't need to pay out royalties on books that didn't sell- and the printing cost was such a small portion, they could afford to just throw the books away! (I had some connections, back in the day, and would do a lot of reading of cover-less paperbacks before they got shredded)

    when I look at online marketplaces I usually see ebooks have parity w/ hard copies of newest releases and older titles the ebooks being cheaper. This isn't because of the cost of printing. Publishers often need to pay higher royalties/make back the cost of licensing a book/ (and among general publications, pay back author advances) in the 'first print run' or the period that the volume is 'current' - it's part of the contract /licensing costs. They also build profitability models (factor in cost of editing/typesetting/marketing etc) and combined with sales projections determine cover price/ how many books to print.
    Hard copies are still the majority of books sold. Then however long it takes for that 'first print run' to lapse, after publishers have made back their investment, they might lower the cost of the ebook.

    this model is why popular 'new' (think "New York Times bestsellers" etc) books often come out in (only) hardcover first- the publishers want a more expensive price to cover their royalties/author advances so, the latest "game of thrones" might be $24.99- not because a hardcover costs $15 more for the publisher to print, but because that are covering initial investment, and the buying public will pay more for the perceived value of a hardcover book (yes NYT bestseller ebooks often have same price as the HARDCOVER on initial release) - the 2nd printing/ or paperback first printing has a lower cover price, and the ebook price goes don to match.

    the model for (English) LN is different - that first printing was in Japan, the original publisher (presumably) already made back their initial investment- and licensing for translation in USA/whatever is 'gravy'. JNC or whoever will have a different 'break even' point but still needs to sell a quantity of books to cover the initial investment of licensing/translation/royalties/typesetting/editing/marketing etc - and the cost of printing a physical book (and I assume they only print what they believe will sell in sufficient qty to cover added costs) are a small % of the cover price


  • Member

    Umm, hello. I don't mind the cost, but I was trying to buy some novels and they are unavaiable for my country (Mexico). ToT



  • @eliza-rain J-Novel Club books?

    Also, on what platform?


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

    @jcochran
    Marginal/ differential cost isn’t as much as you think.

    Pardon me if I have difficultly believing this due to the mention of a German law elsewhere in this thread where the price differential between paperback and epubs is legally mandated to be minimal.

    The only reason I can think of for such a law is as a protection measure for a pre-existing industry. And if the fixed costs + marginal costs for both epubs and physical books are roughly equal, there would be no reason for such protection.


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    $10 digital is my limit, but I don't really see them go for more than that. Considering American comics are $4 for 20 pages, even $10 isn't a bad price IMO for my entertainment dollar.

    That said I just moved abroad and living dirt cheap, so I may just try to follow my few favorite series, keep my JNC subscription and not buy many else until my backlog is fully caught up. I mean $10 is now more than the cost of my room for a night...


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

    Pardon me if I have difficultly believing this due to the mention of a German law elsewhere in this thread where the price differential between paperback and epubs is legally mandated to be minimal.

    my discussion points were only in regard to where I have any experience (The United States)
    The majority of books sold in the USA are still physical (by a wide margin)

    there are costs associated with Epubs that do not apply to physical production and visa versa.

    I believe there is a misconception that when you buy a paperback, that a significant portion of the cover price reflects the cost of paper/printing. In a commercial application (think Yen Press/ Hachette, Scholastic in the example I used upthread- not print on demand/ self publishing) this just isn't the case

    Now JNC isn't Hachette, and I can't speculate as to what the printing/paper cost is on a volume of Bookworm, or whatever. I see a 'cover price' of $14.99, and first volume available on amzaon (US) for $8.99 w/ free prime shipping, or kindle edition for $2.00 less - Since amazon has to foot the bill for postage and warehousing/other costs, and they are not in the business of not making money, some of what's left is profit to amazon and some is their cost of acquisition of the book from JNC (just like how when a kindle edition is sold, some of the $6.99 is amazon's cut, and some is JNC's) - all things considered does anyone really believe that the per unit cost (spread over the volume of a print run) is a large portion of the $7-9 that these are being delivered to consumers? It wouldn't be a viable/ sustainable business model. I can't believe that that much has changed at the wholesale level from when I had ties to the biz. 10% of the cover price to be the cost of printing would be HIGH in the industry

    (And for mom and pop corner bookstores, it isn't viable, they have to sell books for more than $9.00 to cover their costs, and most likely their inventory is more expensive to acquire - amazon has more buying power - that is a different conversation about the death of independent bookstores, not the cost of production of paperbacks vs epubs)


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

    I believe there is a misconception that when you buy a paperback, that a significant portion of the cover price reflects the cost of paper/printing. In a commercial application (think Yen Press/ Hachette, Scholastic in the example I used upthread- not print on demand/ self publishing) this just isn't the case

    Actually, I may have misspoke about issues involving marginal price. I have had a bit of experience in retail and from that, learned that the real issue is the number of hands something passes through. For the items I dealt with, for each set of hands, the price roughly doubles. So if a manufacturer produces a product for price X, the chain goes like
    Manufacturer -> wholesale distributor -> retail distributor -> customer where each link in the chain doubles the price, so the final customer pays approximately 4x what the manufacturer charged for the product. And with that model, it's definitely true that the marginal price for a book is a minor component of the total price. But on the flip hand, ebooks don't need such a long distribution chain and as such can be priced lower by eliminating one or more links in the chain and still keep the same profit margin for those links that remain in the chain.


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    @jcochran
    Amazon killed that model to a degree. They are acting both as wholesale distributor and retail outlet for many of the products they sell. In addition they erode the profit margins to such a degree that retailers get pressured to match the cost (and many can't so they go out of business)

    for all practical purposes (I Think) JNC would be the Manufacturer
    they contract out production of physical books and ship to Amazon/ BN whatever
    (I don't know if they are using a middleman/distributor like Ingram )

    so if I go to a retail outlet, i.e mom and pop book store, I might pay cover price ($15.00 us) ---the reaction is wow! it's cheaper to order from amazon... this might be true for any product; books or broomsticks (and that's why indie bookstores are rare nowadays)
    this isn't because of the paper