Otaku USA Magazine
Kadokawa Acquires Majority Stake in J-Novel Club

j-novel club

Founded by Samuel Pinansky in 2016, light novel publishing service J-Novel Club has made some waves since its launch. Now, the latest announcement is here to reveal that Kadokawa has acquired a majority stake in the company, and aims to have it and Bookwalker work together by leveraging the latter’s English-language platform BOOKWALKER Global.

While J-Novel Club has been growing over the years, Bookwalker has been focusing on increasing the sales of digital books in the English-speaking world, and wants to continue to do so with this digital first strategy. Kadokawa is working toward “effective synergy” with this acquisition along with Yen Press—which Kadokawa jointly owns along with Hachette Book Group—to “strengthen their publishing business across all distribution channels and methods.”

Here are some choice quotes from those involved via the press release:

Samuel Pinansky (J-Novel Club)

“Since I founded J-Novel Club five years ago, the company has grown from essentially a one-man operation to publishing over 250 titles a year. In order to guarantee our future growth, I needed a strong partner, and I’ve found one in Bookwalker as well as Kadokawa. The possibilities for light novels to spread more and more throughout the world are nearly endless, and I’m sure that with this partnership we will be able to publish more and more of the content from not only our publishing partners we have worked with so far, but even more of the publishers and content creators we haven’t even started with yet! I can’t wait to get started.”

Ichiro Hashiba (Bookwalker)

“J-Novel Club was started around the same time as Bookwalker Global opened its services, and ever since we have cooperated in expanding the light novel market around the world. I’m very happy that with this new partnership, we can continue working together even more strongly toward the future. Going forward, we would like to contribute to Japanese publishers by way of spreading Japanese light novels to the rest of the world.”

Kurt Hassler (Yen Press)

“When Yen Press launched its light novel imprint, Yen On, in 2014, it represented a monumental shift in the availability and subsequent awareness of light novels among English-speaking audiences. What followed shattered all expectations, and JNC has since become a significant contributor in helping to fuel that expansion. We look forward to seeing how their partnership with BW unfolds and exploring opportunities to further broaden the market.”