Premium Credit Membership
I think there are some users (like me) that are not interested in the prepub releases but in the premium ebooks and would still like to support J-Novel club on a regular basis (instead of bulk buying). For those I'd like to suggest a membership that gives you premium credits instead of prepub access.
So for example you become a J-Novel Club Member with member's forum access but instead of getting access to the prepub releases you get one premium credit each month. The same can be done for the Premium membership - two premium credits each month instead of prepub access.
Of course it's also possible to create a new kind of membership - getting premium credits with it just needs to be slightly cheaper than the other ways.
wow... this actually sounds reasonable to me, unlike the people that want premium content to be available for everyone. There's a reason it's called premium after all.
And I can get that some people aren't as interested in the weekly releases, I was like that at first, only ever bought the Kindle releases. Then that catch up on April I think came around (or was it May?)... that month got me hooked on the weekly release format and never left. You should try it. It's good. And now I feel like a drug dealer >w>
I don't think that's a good idea.
The price for Premium Books is as follows:
1 credit = 6USD (Premium Members)
1 credit = 7USD (Normal Members)
Outside J-Novel you can buy the normal book for 6.99USD.
J-Novel won't make a profit if people would be able to buy the Premium Books for a price that is less than the normal ones. Right now 6USD or 7USD is still okay because members pay an extra fee 4.95USD to be able to buy Premium Books.
If you do a little math, being a Premium Member and buying 4 extra credit will give you a total of 5 books that costs 34.95USD which is the same amount as buying 5 books outside J-Novel Club. A Premium Member can only break even if they buy 4 extra credits which nobody would do every month. This means that J-Novel would profit extra for the Premium Books which is okay since they are better than the Normal Version. This is also the reason the price of Premium Credits are 7USD for Normal Members. It's to make the Premium Books expensive and encourage people to become Premium Members so they can buy it for only 6USD.
If membership that only gives Premium credits happens then that's no different that just buying the book outside JNC for 6.99USD or the price for Premium credits will became greater than 7USD which in turn make it more expensive.
@paulnamida I'm the same way. Before, I would never have dreamed I would actually enjoy reading a novel in weekly pieces over the course of 2 months, but now I wait in anticipation for each series I'm following each week. It's really fun tbh. Now I wish Yen Press had such an option, since waiting 4-6 months in between LN releases is ridiculous.
This probably is not applicable to this case, but I know, for charities and non-profits, I've always heard that they prefer regular small donations in lieu of a one-time big donation.
The numbers would have to be adjusted and maybe a system of "partial credits" needs to be considered, but I think it's good to entertain more options. Sure, maybe in the end they decide it's fine for people to "bulk up" periodically and buy 1 month of premium plus credits, but the process is still worthwhile.
@bartzbb then how about if he's suggestion stands, but we just increase the price of a premium token to a more reasonable price? I really liked his suggestion.
Creating credits-only subscriptions seems no different from just making free users able to buy them (other than forum access), so it seems more logical to simply do the latter. AFAIK, things are the way they are mostly to make more people try prepub system.
You are wrong to assume JNC earns same for $7 sold on Amazon and $7 sold on site. Amazon takes 35% + extra for download traffic if the book is sold on one of big markets and 70% on smaller markets (price of JNC books is a bit higher there). Everything sold directly on this website is processed through stripe which takes 2.9% + 30¢ per charge (or just 3.6% in japan, dunno which applies to JNC). Other retailers may charge less than amazon, but still much more than stripe.
To make it fair for the other members the price would really have to be increased. Because if it's only 7USD a lot of members will shift to that subscriptions since there are a lot who prefer to read the book as a whole, including me. But personally I'll still stick with the current subscription because it's truly a bargain if you think about how it normally goes in Japan. From what I know, books that have Store Exclusive Bonus need to be bought from each stores separately or are limited edition and here we just get it for a price of one. If that's not a bargain then I don't know what is.
Of course I know that. Amazon and the other retail store are also running a business which means they also need to earn their keep. I just stated those things because I don't know specifically how much JNC gets. What I just wanted to point out was that if the suggestion does pass the estimated amount should be higher than what Normal Members and Premium Members pay. I mean it would be unfair for it to be priced 7USD when Normal Members who pay 4.95USD a month has to pay 7USD for a premium and the same is true for Premium Members who pay 10.95USD a month and pays 6USD for an extra credit. If JNC decides to price it at only 7USD then the value of the product would deecrease and they would lose some income since it's originally FOR MEMBERS ONLY. And as a sign for becoming a member is the 4.95USD membership fee.
I'm not saying this is a bad suggestion. What I'm just making clear is the price of the book if the suggestion did pass so that others who would read this thread would also understand the consequences and not just blindly agree to it. I mean not all of us here are rich who won't care what the price is as long as it's convenient for them and some of us are just students, including me.
This became quite an interesting discussion and I think the important points have been mentioned already. I just want to clarify two points in case they were misunderstood:
- My intention for such a membership is like @myskaros explained - it might be better for JNC to have a more predicable income with memberships instead of "random" bulk buyers
- I said "getting premium credits with it just needs to be slightly cheaper than other ways" and was a bit unclear here. The "cheaper" referred to the monthly premium credits you get and not to extra premium credits you might buy - those should stay at the usual prices. That limits the amount of "cheap" premium credits you can get.
I agree with you that it would be better to have more predicatble income for JNC. As of now the only sure income they get is the 4.95USD membership fee and the 6USD premium credit fee that goes with the Premium Member Subscription.
Buts as I have said Premium Books are for Members only. So whatever subscription JNC decides to add there will always be a membership fee. For this suggestion it might be less than 4.95USD since there will be no access to prepubs but the price for premium credits for them should at least be higher than the 6USD because if it's the same many Premium Members would definitely change to that subscription which will make JNC lose a sure 10.95USD a month.
It would probably look something like this.
Premium Members = 4.95(Membership w/ Prepub) + 6(Premium credit)
Normal Members = 4.95(Membership w/Prepub)
Suggested Subscription = ??<4.95(Membership w/o Prepub) + ??>=7(Premium Credit)
My reasoning for why the Premium credit should at least be ??>=7USD is because this subscription is only a subscription for the ability to buy premium credits so their benefits should only be that and not more than Normal members who also has the ability to buy credits and are paying more for the membership fee. And let us not forget that these are Premium Books that are DRM-Free which you can't find in any publisher that releases Light Novels, has Higher Resolution Images, and lastly Bonus Content that can only be bought here as a Member. If these Premium Books were sold outside JNC there value would be around 8USD or more. Even JNC is taking a risk here since many Japanese publishers don't like the idea of DRM-Free and isn't that the reason there are so few Kadokawa titles here. So they need to up the price for DRM-Free books to show the publishers that customers prefer that or limit it so that only selected few can buy it by requiring them to being a member.
It may look cheaper if your only buying 1 or 2 books a month but if you're going to buy in bulk the current Premium Member Subscription is the cheapest. When I mean in bulk I mean buying 3 or more books a month.
I'm not interested either in the prepub system, as I stated in a previous post.
I finally opted to the bulk purchase method: 11$ premium membership + 10 credits at 6$ = 71$ (6.45$/credit). But ideal would be a way to regulate this.
OK, so these are currently the subscription plans:
- Regular membership ($4.95/month)
- Prepub access
- 0 credits per month
- Additional credits ($7)
- Premium membership ($4.95 + $6 = $10.95/month)
- Prepub access
- 1 credit per month (basically you pay for regular plus "forced" to buy one credit)
- Additional credits ($6)
How about this option for discussion? I just kind of threw this idea together on the fly.
- The I hate prepubs (name not finalized) membership ($8.95)
- Available in 3-, 6-, and 12-month plans, no monthly
- Switching to a different plan still requires you to ride out the remainder of your paid e-book membership first
- Not sure if these stipulations are necessary, either the no monthly plan or the early cancel lock
- No prepub access
- Which means no access to catchup months
- 1 credit per month
- Additional credits ($7)
- Available in 3-, 6-, and 12-month plans, no monthly
In other words, prepub access is "worth" $3/mo. This new option would earn JNC a little bit each month, and readers have the option to skip prepubs but still "must" buy a credit each month.
Benefits for this type of subscription plan:
- Support JNC with a subscription
- Don't pay for a product you don't want (i.e. prepubs)
- Priced in a way that still encourages Premium membership as a better package deal
Thoughts? I think JNC has already stated that they're fine with people bulk purchasing credits via one-month Premium, so I left that alone as the "best" option and just brainstormed a viable "credit-only subscription" instead.
- Regular membership ($4.95/month)
This is what I'm talking about. The likely price would be something like you said and it will be cheaper to buy 1 or 2 books a month with the I hate prepubs (name not finalized) Subscription. But if your buying 3 or more books the current Premium Member Subscription is still the best and the cheapest.
Currently members would only buy 1 or 2 books a month since there are still a few titles here but when the time come when 5 or more volumes are released a month the I hate prepubs (name not finalized) Subscription would be more expensive.
To simplify my point it would be like this:
- Premium Membership Subscription = Bulk Buying
- I hate prepubs (name not finalized) Subscription = Single Buying.
I love that you just copied the entirety of my temporary title into your post
Cuz I just loved how straight forward the name that you gave it.
Edit: Plus calling it Semi-Premium is the normal thing to call it which sounds boring. I call it Semi- because a true Premium should have all the capabilities of the others and has more benefits.
@coneone i think I'll just have to apply this method too then.
It just feels like I'm missing out on something great without those premium contents.
Prepubs membership (basic membership as it is)
eBook membership (new category)
Premium membership (both lower levels combined, current premium)
Dunno how it'd work financially to split them like that or what the price points should be, but I think that's a pretty clear naming scheme rather than semi-premium. As an Easter egg have 'I hate Prepubs' hidden somewhere, lol
Yeah, the I hate prepubs (name not finalized) membership sounds like a reasonable plan, just two suggestions:
- the "more months" plans (6 and 12) should be slightly cheaper than the $8.95 (like the yearly current memberships), otherwise they'd be pretty pointless
- It should be possible to upgrade to premium membership by paying a prorated amount similar to upgrading from the current membership to premium membership, in case you get hungry for prepubs later like @LegitPancake and @paulnamida and then find yourself locked on I hate prepubs (name not finalized) membership for many more month.
You make a good point mentioning the current monthly releases of premium ebooks. I think the amount of available premium ebooks and the monthly releases will have an impact on the I hate prepubs (name not finalized) membership. If there are only "a few" available, premium credits hold less value. With the hopefully increasing numbers in the future it will look more attractive to users.
And yes, I mostly like the premium ebooks because they come without DRM too and additional bonus material is always welcome of course.
@pegasolo Sure. Mostly was just to have a concrete idea to discuss instead of talking in theoreticals and people getting confused about what was actually desired. Numbers and details would obviously be adjusted if this were going to be a real thing.
BTW, the yearly Premium cost is $10/mo, so even if the I hate prepubs (笑) doesn't get a discount, it would still be cheaper. Of course, if you want to give it a discount, by all means, but, again, these aren't real numbers, it's just for clarity of discussion.
Personally, I have the opposite preference, I don't really want e-books but give me all the prepubs, so I'll just be content with my regular membership over here
With the current amount of series right now I just buy Rokujouma every month and occasionally buy books from Grimgar, Arifureta, and Realist Hero which I finally caught up to the latest release of both Arifureta and Realist Hero. Next time I buy in bulk it would only be Rokujouma and Grimgar unless there's an update for the other 2. I'm also thinking on buying Paladin but I'll have to wait until JNC starts updating again on January.
Even if the only bonus contents are just textless illustrations it's still okay with me because they're DRM-Free. I just don't like using the e-Readers that are required by DRMed e-Books and also the format of how the text and images looked like in the e-Book itself so I prefer just extracting the text and images and creating one myself and using my own preferred reader to read them. It's something I bought with my own money so I should have the freedom to use it however I want rather than being restricted to read them only on certain apps with their not so good format.