J-Novel Club, the publisher founded in 2016 to bring light novels to English readers and grow the popular format market, has announced a historic achievement, with the majority of the company now owned by the Kadokawa Group, one of the publishers largest and distributors of light novels and related content in Japan. Despite being founded in 2016, this represents an incredible milestone for J-Novel Club as a publisher and as a brand, as it seeks to continue the massive growth it has experienced in recent years in terms of quantity and variety of published titles.
With the acquisition of the majority stake, J-Novel Club will now be able to leverage two key Kadokawa platforms on BOOK WALKER, the online portal for digital and manga distribution in Japan and abroad for its library of old and new titles, along with Geex Plus, an influencer management agency established by Kadokawa to assist and leverage expanded marketing efforts to target audiences through popular social media influencers for anime, manga, and light novels. This is in addition to its current partnership with the North American publisher Yen Press, also partly owned by Kadokawa for physical releases of J-Novel Club titles. Here are key personnel statements on today’s development.
Earlier this year, Kadokawa formed an equity alliance with CyberAgent, Inc. and Sony to strengthen its games and animation businesses. The company’s goals are to strengthen the Global Media Mix Strategy to expand Kadokawa’s IPs around the world and to cooperate with CyberAgent and Sony for “mutual exploitation of each other’s business, experience and other strengths.” Kadokawa will issue CyberAgent and Sony 1,422,475 shares each, giving each company 1.93% ownership.
Kadokawa launched the BookWalker Global store and app in English in November 2014. BookWalker Global features light novels and manga, including simulpubs.