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Old 12-29-2012, 02:00 AM   #1
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Most major Japanese publishers are not releasing ebook on Kindle Japan

I was curious as to how well the Kindle is doing in Japan. It doesn't look like it is taking off because the major publishers are not providing any popular ebook to the store.


Here's the Top 100 Best Sellers right now on Amazon Kindle Japan

GOOGLE TRANSLATION SO NOT VERY ACCURATE

http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/bestselle.../ref=sv_kinc_2

1. within 32 days # 100
How to make the body does not get tired
Sunny Hisanaga

2. within the top 100 for 11 days
Layman's diary opinions of customers of IT marketing Ichi-seki Nagae not ask
Nagae Ichi-seki

3. within 5 days # 100
1: one business trade swordsman swordsman
Shotaro Ikenami

4. within 50 days # 100
Smart notes that a genius and you
Tsukasa husband Doo Okada

5. within 37 days # 100
Is your writing, unclear why or how the 31 sentences of the expert texts not?
Takuro Yamaguchi

6. within 34 days # 100
Naturally attached to the body! 10 000 English Extensive Reading
HELEN BANNERMAN, NEVILL FORBES, VALERY CARRICK, FLORENCE WHITE WILLIAMS, AHIWIN other

7. within 51 days # 100
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
· K · Philip Dick, Hisashi Asakura, cover design (positron) Hiroaki Doi, Hisashi Asakura



And the bestsellers on Science Fiction are mostly English books
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/bestselle...c_3_2275259051

Same with Mystery & Thrillers
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/bestselle...c_3_2275259051

Pretty much the same with other popular fiction genre too.

Romance
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/bestselle...c_3_2275259051




Imaging how popular (unpopular) the Kindle would be if 95% of the English language publishers refuse to sell ebook to Amazon.....ebook might never take off in the West if they never license it. Or maybe has like 1% market share (instead of the predicted 30-35% today).

Now in Japan, it look like the publishers are thinking of physical book future only. And the best way to ensure this is to kill off the ebook by not licensing.

Without the contents, most Japanese would not buy a Kindle or a Kobo. It looks like Kindle in Japan will struggle unless more publishers get on board and right now, they don't want to.

Last edited by Top100EbooksRank; 12-29-2012 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:57 AM   #2
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I don't see e-readers becoming as popular in Japan as they are in the West. Most folks in Japan have their phones in front of their faces any time they are not working or in school. It was estimated in one of the Japanese newspapers that 35% of pedestrians cross the streets without looking up from their phones. On the trains, it would appear that 75% or more of the riders are reading (or doing 'something') on the phones. Virtually everyone under the age of 30 has their phone in their hand (rather than pocket or purse) at all times, walking, shopping, waiting, etc. So far, I haven't seen a single Japanese with any brand of e-reader.

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Old 12-29-2012, 03:07 AM   #3
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It's almost the same at the german Amazon store.

The difference is that german publishers try to charge ~20-25 US-$ per virtual book, which is the same as not publishing it at all..

So most german customers buy english electronic books (because they are much cheaper), some cheap manuscripts like this stuff you found on the japanese store, or they don't buy anything.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Stitchawl View Post
I don't see e-readers becoming as popular in Japan as they are in the West. Most folks in Japan have their phones in front of their faces any time they are not working or in school. It was estimated in one of the Japanese newspapers that 35% of pedestrians cross the streets without looking up from their phones. On the trains, it would appear that 75% or more of the riders are reading (or doing 'something') on the phones. Virtually everyone under the age of 30 has their phone in their hand (rather than pocket or purse) at all times, walking, shopping, waiting, etc. So far, I haven't seen a single Japanese with any brand of e-reader.

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that's because buying a Kindle or a KOBO is a waste because 95% of the book you want to read are not available for purchase.

no device will take off when 95% of the content (the reason for buying the device in the first place) are not available.

Would you buy a Blu-Ray player when 95% of movies that you want to watch won't come out on Blu-Ray?

The Japanese publishers want to kill the ebook market and they are doing a good job of it so far.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:04 AM   #5
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manga make up something like 85% of Japanese ebook market, but a lot of manga are missing from the Kindle store too

and those that appear on Kindle, it look like it is done through agency pricing.

Example: Vinland Saga

Sold by: Kodansha Ltd.
This price was set by the publisher

Historie

Sold by: Kodansha Ltd.
This price was set by the publisher

Space Brothers

Sold by: Kodansha Ltd.
This price was set by the publisher

Gantz

Sold by: Shueisha, Inc.
This price was set by the publisher

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Old 12-29-2012, 04:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Top100EbooksRank View Post
I was curious as to how well the Kindle is doing in Japan. It doesn't look like it is taking off because the major publishers are not providing any popular ebook to the store.


Here's the Top 100 Best Sellers right now on Amazon Kindle Japan

GOOGLE TRANSLATION SO NOT VERY ACCURATE

http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/bestselle.../ref=sv_kinc_2

1. within 32 days # 100
How to make the body does not get tired
Sunny Hisanaga

2. within the top 100 for 11 days
Layman's diary opinions of customers of IT marketing Ichi-seki Nagae not ask
Nagae Ichi-seki

3. within 5 days # 100
1: one business trade swordsman swordsman
Shotaro Ikenami

4. within 50 days # 100
Smart notes that a genius and you
Tsukasa husband Doo Okada

5. within 37 days # 100
Is your writing, unclear why or how the 31 sentences of the expert texts not?
Takuro Yamaguchi

6. within 34 days # 100
Naturally attached to the body! 10 000 English Extensive Reading
HELEN BANNERMAN, NEVILL FORBES, VALERY CARRICK, FLORENCE WHITE WILLIAMS, AHIWIN other

7. within 51 days # 100
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
· K · Philip Dick, Hisashi Asakura, cover design (positron) Hiroaki Doi, Hisashi Asakura



And the bestsellers on Science Fiction are mostly English books
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/bestselle...c_3_2275259051

Same with Mystery & Thrillers
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/bestselle...c_3_2275259051

Pretty much the same with other popular fiction genre too.

Romance
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/bestselle...c_3_2275259051




Imaging how popular (unpopular) the Kindle would be if 95% of the English language publishers refuse to sell ebook to Amazon.....ebook might never take off in the West if they never license it. Or maybe has like 1% market share (instead of the predicted 30-35% today).

Now in Japan, it look like the publishers are thinking of physical book future only. And the best way to ensure this is to kill off the ebook by not licensing.

Without the contents, most Japanese would not buy a Kindle or a Kobo. It looks like Kindle in Japan will struggle unless more publishers get on board and right now, they don't want to.
The reason why you're finding nothing but English SF and Mystery books in the links that you've posted is because you've linked the Kindle洋書 section which is Japanese for "Foreign (ie English) books". Naturally there aren't going to be any Japanese books there. Looking in the actual Japanese section there doesn't seem to even be a Science Fiction section but that's another point altogether.
I agree that Kindle and Kobo are facing an uphill battle to gain acceptance but I'm going to need to see a properly researched article with actual citations rather than simply "look at Amazon.co.jp's bestseller list" before I believe that they're a failure.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:24 AM   #7
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It's interesting if the Japanese are not big adopters of ereaders since both Sony and more latterly Kobo, are both Japanese.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:36 AM   #8
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It's interesting if the Japanese are not big adopters of ereaders since both Sony and more latterly Kobo, are both Japanese.
When I bought my Sony three... almost four years ago, I had to have it sent from the US. It wasn't available in Japan. It's only in the last year or so that you can purchase Sony models here.

It's not so much that the Japanese won't read. It's more that they will read but use their phones to do so.


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Old 12-29-2012, 07:36 AM   #9
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Canuck_in_Japan has it right. This is bad research. Wouldn't it make much more sense to compare the physical bestseller list to the electronic one?

Anyway, if anyone wants to compare the physical SF/horror/fantasy bestseller list to the e-book SF/horror/fantasy bestseller list, it's pretty easy to do so. However, currently the ebook SF section is kind of warped due to people purchasing Guin Saga en masse.

BTW, Japan has a retail price maintenance system for books (although not for ebooks), which means lack of discounts on physical books is the norm in Japan. I think any analysis of agency pricing in the Japanese kindle store should take into account existing retail prices and expectations.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:03 AM   #10
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It's almost the same at the german Amazon store.

The difference is that german publishers try to charge ~20-25 US-$ per virtual book, which is the same as not publishing it at all..
I don't see how you can claim that. Most current publications of the major German publishing houses are also available as ebooks. There doesn't seem to be a major difference between the ebooks available on Kindle and those available as epubs. The ebooks are usually also slightly cheaper than the paper versions, despite the fact that there is 19% VAT charged on ebooks instead of 7 % VAT for paper books.
Financially Amazon is probably making a killing as they are supposedly selling all their ebooks from Luxembourg. While they are selling the ebooks at legally fixed prices in Germany, they are only paying the reduced Luxembourg VAT rate of 3 %. Luxembourg is violating EU law by applying the reduced rate. A nice little sweetheart deal between a parasitical tax haven and a tax dodging multinational company. [sorry, rant over]

Perhaps Japanese publishing houses have no desire to help Amazon in getting the same dominant market position as they have gained in other markets. Keep Amazon small by freezing them out. Rather sell electronic content via smartphones.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:32 AM   #11
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BTW, Japan has a retail price maintenance system for books (although not for ebooks), which means lack of discounts on physical books is the norm in Japan.
While that was true 20 years ago here, today there are shelves and shelves full of discounted books in all the major retailers. They are feeling the crunch from Japanese buying their books from Amazon.jp. One of the largest book sellers in Osaka has reduced stock by about 30%. It's actually comfortable to walk around the store now, as it no longer feels so crowded. And finally English language books are priced almost reasonably instead of costing double the suggested retail price. However, the selection went from three rows of shelves plus two walls to one row and half a wall...

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Old 12-29-2012, 09:45 AM   #12
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I don't see e-readers becoming as popular in Japan as they are in the West. Most folks in Japan have their phones in front of their faces any time they are not working or in school. It was estimated in one of the Japanese newspapers that 35% of pedestrians cross the streets without looking up from their phones. On the trains, it would appear that 75% or more of the riders are reading (or doing 'something') on the phones. Virtually everyone under the age of 30 has their phone in their hand (rather than pocket or purse) at all times, walking, shopping, waiting, etc. So far, I haven't seen a single Japanese with any brand of e-reader.

Stitchawl
Much the same here in Korea. The only people I have ever seen with an ereader have been foreigners (all imported). Koreans have no idea what they are. I've heard however that ebooks are starting to take off here: people simply read them on their tablets and giant cellphones (as horiffic as this sound to Westerners familiar with the benefits of eink)
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:25 PM   #13
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I don't see how you can claim that. Most current publications of the major German publishing houses are also available as ebooks.
Yes books are available as electronic manuscripts in Germany, but in most of the cases for 90% of the price of the printed copy.

So there's no real reason to buy an electronic manuscript, just libraries buy them - which, on the other hand, might be the reason why the price is so high.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:23 PM   #14
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Gee this has been an interesting discussion.

I made the mistake of thinking that ereaders were de rigeur so to speak in the first world countries (at least) and it wouldn't have dawned on me that two of the most technologically advanced nations, in terms of electronics makers, wouldn't buy ereaders like some other countries do. (Japan and Korea)

I had previously read on this Forum re Germany's fixed sale on books .... but do Germans acquire ereaders generally? Or are they seen as somewhat superfluous because of the fixed pricing?
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:11 PM   #15
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Gee this has been an interesting discussion.

I made the mistake of thinking that ereaders were de rigeur so to speak in the first world countries (at least) and it wouldn't have dawned on me that two of the most technologically advanced nations, in terms of electronics makers, wouldn't buy ereaders like some other countries do. (Japan and Korea)
When I first moved to Japan 25 years ago, I expected to see computers hanging around people's necks! (At this time most American universities were only requiring new Business and Engineering students to bring their own computers.) But I went into the post office and the clerk used an abacus to total up my bill. The Admin Offic of the university I was teaching in was NOT computerized. When I wanted a student's address, they first pulled out a huge ledger book and looked up his name. That gave them a number... They then pulled out another huge ledger book, looked up the number and found the address... In the school library there were TWO computers for student use. All of my students used e-mail, but only on the mobile phones. Not ONE owned their own computer!
Of course, things are VERY different today.
But still, virtually no e-readers in use. Cell phones, tablets, mini-tablets everywhere, but no e-readers except in the stores.

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