Monthly Capriccio

A blog dedicated to the ezine "Monthly Capriccio," a monthly light novel magazine.

The Inner Circle 2009/10/03

Nothing says indie publishing like dojinshi. Since we’re essentially an indie ezine, I was wondering what people would think of a light novel dojin circle. I know that a dojin circle usually creates something, but we don’t necessarily have to create anything. Although I think a light novel dojin cirlce would be the best way to do a relay novel. (A few people were interested in that idea.) As you can probably tell, I’m just throwing ideas out there, seeing what people would like the most. If you have a great idea for this, feel free to let me know; I’m open to fresh ideas.

I would really like to hear from other light novel enthusiasts who aren’t really interested in writing light novels, but still love to read them. There seem to be so few of us, and I would like to talk with them. A group or just an informal society of people who happen to love the same thing talking to each other would be the perfect way to get us all together. Discussion would probably have to take place in a group though Google groups or something, but I definitely think it’s worth a try. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just find each other in a single place? It would really make me glad to be able to read other peoples’ impressions of light novels and the light novel industry.

Anime and manga have thousands of forums dedicated to them, so can’t we light novel enthusiasts have at least one venue for ourselves? Maybe gathering together is a better way to improve the light novel industry. No action without unity, right?

Even if this proposed group never became more than a society for people who were passionate about the same things, it would be fine with me. I can’t help but think about the possibilities of a dojin circle. In Japan, dojin circles have produced some amazing work both of existing and original characters. I feel really inspired just thinking about all of the things that dojin circles are responsible for because as you know, the power of fans and fandom is amazing.

Tell me what you think. What’s the best way to gather together the light novel fan base? How can we get more people interested in what we love? Do you think that we enthusiasts have the potential to affect the light novel industry in the US?

 

Is Self-Publishing the Only Way? 2009/09/19

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how light novels can become a profitable media in the US.  A lot of publishers have failed with the light novels, resulting in them dropping titles altogether.  If a translated light novel from a popular franchise with anime and manga tie-ins can’t be successful in America, what success does it have if an American (or any other individual) wants to publish their own original light novel?  Is there any hope?  Is there a real market for light novels at all? 

I am inclined to believe that there is.  In spite of all the failures that publishers have had with light novels in the past, I want to remain hopeful.  Afterall, it is still a work of literature.  As long as people like to read, there’s a chance for success.  I was reading an advice article about self-publishing. As it turns out, self-publishing is ideal for niche audiences. That’s perfect for us light novel enthusiasts who are but a niche of a niche. To me, published is published. I don’t care that a major publishing house didn’t help produce it. I just want people to read the work, and I want to see to it that more people actually know what a light novel is.

So, is self-publishing the only way to go about this? Maybe not, but right now, I think self-publishing is the best approach. There’s nothing wrong with self-publishing. If anything, it says that the author is hardworking and dedicated to the work that he or she wants the world to see.

I have another purpose for the self-publishing model. In the style of a Japanese light novel magazine or even a Japanese manga magazine, once the stories have been serialized in the ezine “Monthly Capriccio,” they will be collected into individual volumes, physical books, or e-books, if you prefer. As physical books, they can be sold to the both the people who read this ezine and to general lovers of fiction everywhere.

Maybe you don’t want to go through the hassle of a major publishing house and have them tell you no because your work doesn’t fit their business model, but at least you’ll have self-publishing which has a POD (print on demand) model so you don’t have to worry about losing any money. Just print when people want to buy your work. To me, that is where light novels have the greatest chance of success regardless if the author sells 700 copies or 70,000.