I've spent a good part of the last 30ish hours dealing with an issue caused by ordering a ebook via Amazon prior to joining the site. Not only did it initially give me a poor impression of J-Novel Club, sorry but when you're mad it's easy to blame everybody, but has made me wary of advising anyone to order any of the books via outside sources. I did manage to return the ebook without being charged after a great deal of trouble.
I will say, I've since read most of the book which was the cause of the issue via the site, and have been happy with it aside from a few grammatical errors.
I'm curious why there isn't an option for free members to actually purchase books via the site. Had I not became interested in a second title on the site, I would have never joined and my impression not changed. I definitely would not have been ordering any of the other titles.
I understand that it's possible for paid members at either level to purchase credits to get the books, but think that most people are probably in the same situation which led me here. I was simply looking for a book to read on my night off work, and didn't feel like driving to the bookstore to do so.
Even with the long explanation of why I think it would be advantageous to this service, I think some sort of option to allow free members to purchase books would at least increase prospective members if not increase return sales without the hassle which I've endured from the outside vendor.
I can't imagine that the credit program could be adjusted for this because of them actually accruing on the user account, but even a basic checkout seems like it would be of benefit. There's also the fact that the outside vendors are selling to fit their proprietary reader which may turn away someone not wanting to use that software.
@pleco_breeder I'm curious what the problem was with Amazon?
To answer your general question, the thinking is that I wanted to keep the premium epubs as kind of exclusive, for the people who support both on the subscription and the ebook side. I opened up the credits to normal members (at a higher price), but opening it up to just anyone would lose the incentive it creates to sign up.
Once people sign up, they'll read things that they wouldn't normally and try a wider variety of books, hopefully spreading around some of their purchases to titles that aren't the top ones.
If we just open up purchasing the premium ebooks to anyone, then we lose that incentive.
I also don't want to be seen as directly competing with Amazon/Bookwalker, etc as an ebook store, as it can have negative impacts on how they deal with us as a company.
@sam-pinansky I initially bought "How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord", actually looking forward to the manga, but have read other LN series prior to manga in the past. Anyway, I actually received a partial file. Not sure how the whole thing works, but would have expected it to not even open, similar to how a rar partial file won't open. Was only able to read a portion and thought the book was VERY small. Wasn't impressed with the size, but enjoyed the reading. When thinking about something that didn't make sense, I decided to re-open and figure out why the timeline didn't match. At that point, while trying to open it a second time, it crashed out. I contacted Amazon, and was told I'd be contacted within 24 hours. During that time, I had already posted a review of my experience regarding the small size and lack of content. Members from this forum, including one that seemed rather knowledgeable about the inner workings of the company itself, jumped in to correct my evaluation about the size of the files. I'll be honest, I'm still skeptical about the size of the weekly uploads being 40 pages, but the book size (of the complete file I finished reading on the site) was a lot more than I had given credit for in the other review and more inline with the price point than I'd originally given credit for. I did finally manage to cancel out the order via Amazon, but had already finished the complete book on the members site also.
Initially, after all the hassle with Amazon, I had no intent of subscribing, and was really just trying to understand this service better, as well as checking out a couple of the samples. Truthfully, I was just going to have friends still living in Tokyo mail me physical copies of whichever books I found interesting. However, I was still looking for something to occupy my night off work, since the Amazon copy was a flop, and had been assured on the anime forum that there was supposed to be A LOT more material in the book than what I'd gotten via the order there, so I decided to join after finding something which interested me.
Even though I used my coupon from the first month already, I still haven't even started reading the book. I got too tied up with finishing the first book of "How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord", and of course the issue I was having with reading the file.
I will say that I'm glad that I joined the site, and I did post in the other forum to explain in part what had caused my initial impression. Similar to a retraction of sorts.
Not a lot of the Japanese style books, let's face facts that an American would never write something like "I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse", are readily available, and it's one of the things I actually miss.
@pleco_breeder Are you referring to volume 1 or volume 2?
Volume 2 is only available for preordering at this point (the part you can download for free is just a free preview). But I'm concerned if you purchased volume 1 and only received a partial file for some reason... That doesn't seem to have happened to anyone else who bought v1.
@sam-pinansky It was volume 1, but I'm thinking the file may have corrupted. As mentioned, I was able to read part of the file the first time through. The second time I opened it, the kindle reader on my computer crashed out. This is all just conjecture as I'm not overly familiar with the technical aspects, but figuring how a partial file would have opened the first read through has had me stumped.
@pleco_breeder Very interesting! Hope it doesn't happen to too many people.
With Amazon you can redownload your books as many times as you need from your "content and devices" section in your account thankfully at least.
@pleco_breeder oh I should mention that I was the one who responded to you on the funimation forums and also I am the owner and founder of J-Novel Club so I’m just doing uh... proactive customer service you could say.
If you have any more problems you can always email support@ as well.
@sam-pinansky Kind of figured it may have been you, but wasn't sure. You're profile on this site, mentioning super string theory, and a username like quarkboy, in conjunction with a knowledge of the business side of this site, did have some interesting clues.