Kadokawa Acquires Majority Stake in Light Novel Publisher J-Novel Club

J-Novel Club announced that a majority stake in the company has been acquired by Kadokawa.

J-Novel Club was first established in 2016 as a Japanese light novel publisher focused on the digital distribution of translated e-books. Kadokawa currently owns Bookwalker, which is primarily offering a similar strategy of providing digital books to global readers. Further, Yen Press is jointly owned by Kadokawa and Hachette Book Group, which will also expand the depth of this new acquisition.

Moving forward, J-Novel Club will work with Bookwalker to deliver light novels to the company’s users.

Founder and future Managing Director of J Novel Club Samuel Pinansky says in a statement, “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.”

Bookwalker CEO Ichiro Hashiba shares, “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.”

Yen Press Publisher and Managing Director Kurt Hassler also chimes in and says, “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.”

We’ll keep you updated on future published works from J-Novel Club.

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Azario Lopez

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