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Old 12-30-2012, 01:09 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Lynx-lynx View Post
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)
Not sure quite what it is. They seem to have given up now, but until recently iRiver, Kyobo, Samsung, etc. were trying to push eink (and even mirasol) readers in Korea: people simply did not buy them.

One thing I suspect is that Koreans simply read fewer books (aside from textbooks), and more importantly those they do read they read at home, negating the portability benefit of an ereader. You simply don't see Koreans in public reading for pleasure: from what I can gather they see this as anti-social / isolating. It's really strange that in the omnipresent coffee shops here in Korea you'll never see a single person alone reading a novel (which would of course be typical of such places in the West). Rather they're all in groups either studying or talking or playing on their cellphones/tablets together: to be or do anything alone is very taboo. Same goes for parks, beaches, etc.

Edit -- Seems iRiver is still selling them. An iRiver Story HD can be picked up for ~$130, which seems reasonable although unsure if there's any way to load English firmware on the Korean models. Would be great if we could order the Kobo Glo from Japan here (only ~$100 from Rakuten!) but they won't ship to Korea. Paperwhite importers want ~$230 for an ad-free wifi model on Gmarket!

Last edited by stewacide; 12-30-2012 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:35 AM   #17
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Here in Sydney we have a train reading culture - as in sitting on the train and reading, be it on the way to work or school.

There are over 1 million train travellers each weekday and it's unusual not to see at least 75% of each double decker carriage full of people reading.

All devices are immediately obvious - ereaders, tablets, lap tops, mp3 players. newspapers, magazines and books.

I included mp3 players because people are often listening and reading using another device.

Cafe culture in Sydney isn't a real linger longer style, but for the duration of a stay it's not unusual to see people reading via one device or another or the paper or magazine.

I suppose you could say that Australians are heavy consumers of any and all technology, and definitely want any new product that is released anywhere in the world.

I think we still hold the world's highest mobile phone per capita usage, for example.

I suppose it means that as a country we are what marketers probably term 'early adopters'.

(Although I'm not personally in that category - but the country as a whole seems to be)

I'm still shaking my head about Japan and Sth Korea though .... how fascinating!!!
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:02 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Canuck_in_Japan View Post
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.
Thanks for the correction. I was using Google Translation on Chrome so I didn't catch that. My mistake. But that beg the question:

If English language have their own genre section, where are the sections for the popular genre from Japanese language? genre like

Fantasy
Sci Fi
Mystery
Thrillers
Romance


Look at the Top 100 Best Sellers on Kindle Japan and it is devoid of the popular genre fiction mentioned above.

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

Go the USA or UK Top 100 Best Sellers on Kindle and it is the opposite where genre fiction dominate.

What are some popular fiction books in Japan right now? Are they available as ebook?

Most likely, they have this instead on the side:

Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle


which mean the publishers are actively trying to kill ebook. The best way to prevent ebook from taking off is to withhold licensing.

Last edited by Top100EbooksRank; 12-30-2012 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewacide View Post
Not sure quite what it is. They seem to have given up now, but until recently iRiver, Kyobo, Samsung, etc. were trying to push eink (and even mirasol) readers in Korea: people simply did not buy them.

One thing I suspect is that Koreans simply read fewer books (aside from textbooks), and more importantly those they do read they read at home, negating the portability benefit of an ereader. You simply don't see Koreans in public reading for pleasure: from what I can gather they see this as anti-social / isolating. It's really strange that in the omnipresent coffee shops here in Korea you'll never see a single person alone reading a novel (which would of course be typical of such places in the West). Rather they're all in groups either studying or talking or playing on their cellphones/tablets together: to be or do anything alone is very taboo. Same goes for parks, beaches, etc.

Edit -- Seems iRiver is still selling them. An iRiver Story HD can be picked up for ~$130, which seems reasonable although unsure if there's any way to load English firmware on the Korean models. Would be great if we could order the Kobo Glo from Japan here (only ~$100 from Rakuten!) but they won't ship to Korea. Paperwhite importers want ~$230 for an ad-free wifi model on Gmarket!
Stewacide, if you're desperate for a Kindle/Kobo then send me a PM. I need my PayPal account topped up from time to time so if you like I could order/buy one from the store and send it to you for cost plus shipping.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:50 AM   #20
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Stewacide, if you're desperate for a Kindle/Kobo then send me a PM. I need my PayPal account topped up from time to time so if you like I could order/buy one from the store and send it to you for cost plus shipping.
Thanks for the offer but about a week too late. Am waiting on a new reader being sent to me right now all the way from North America. Looked into a re-mailing service from Japan but too much hassle to navigate for one item.

If it somehow gets lost in the mail I will PM you!
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:45 PM   #21
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For you folks living abroad, why not set up a US re-mailing service? I've been using mine for years, and it's more than paid for itself in just 'hassle factor freedom.' These days it seems that 85% of what Amazon sells won't ship to Japan, or if they do, they want 3x more than the item costs just for shipping. Now when I order from the States I have it sent to my US mailbox, often free shipping there, and they forward it to me here in Japan. Takes a week longer, but no more "Sorry, we don't ship internationally" flags.


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Old 12-30-2012, 08:03 PM   #22
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I even use re-mailing services when Amazon ships directly. They charge much more reasonable international shipping rates, I can consolidate several items to have them repacked and save even more. And usually I don't pay any import tax, while Amazon always collects that in advance. All this makes even more sense I am now a US Prime member and have free US shipping for most items.

Shipito and Usunlocked are two such services I use.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:21 PM   #23
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I even use re-mailing services when Amazon ships directly. They charge much more reasonable international shipping rates, I can consolidate several items to have them repacked and save even more. And usually I don't pay any import tax, while Amazon always collects that in advance. All this makes even more sense I am now a US Prime member and have free US shipping for most items.

Shipito and Usunlocked are two such services I use.

My re-shipper will also hold and re-pack. If I tell them I have several packages coming from different sources, and give them permission, they will open the packages, consolidate non-fragile items, and re-pack. Often something like a shirt will get packed in a large box by LL.Bean. My re-shipper will send it in a padded tyvek envelope and save me money. I don't need the large box that software often comes in... Just the DVD and paperwork. And as you say, import taxes are a thing of the past, except when I ship to Thailand. They collect import duties on EVERYTHING, even my old clothing!

When I ordered my Sony 505, Amazon wouldn't send it to me because they deal with Sony USA and have trade agreements not to send to Japan. But Sony Canada doesn't have such agreements, so I found a company that dealt with them (B&H Video) who mailed me my e-reader immediately.

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Old 01-04-2013, 06:32 PM   #24
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The Japanese publishers want to kill the ebook market and they are doing a good job of it so far.
I don't think the publishers are any more benign in the west, but eBooks in the west have one big advantage that they don't have in Japan.

That is Japan is the only place where Japanese is spoken and read in any sort of significant numbers. It is a closed market in the sense that there are no other countries that have an interest in publishing books in Japanese.

With English, Spanish, French, even German there are multiple nations, all with slightly different ideas of what is appropriate to publish in an ebook format.

Being digital, these books tend to cross the borders and create realities that western publishers have to learn to deal with. I don't know how many times I've read in this very set of forums how people in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, or sometimes even Canada have learned how to get around the geographic barriers the publishers set up to restrict sales in their countries.

I suspect, that sort of "Paid up Piracy" is a lot harder to do in a country where your country is the only source of books in your own language.

Hmmm! Now that I think about it, I wonder what the long term effects will be of both the "cross pollination" and of the linguistic isolation of some countries will be on global culture. More homogenization I suspect.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:48 PM   #25
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If English language have their own genre section, where are the sections for the popular genre from Japanese language? genre like

Fantasy
Sci Fi
Mystery
Thrillers
Romance

Genres aren't universal. The sci fi/fantasy genre in most non-English speaking European countries consists mostly of translated English-language works, with, occasionally, a handful of writers in the native language.

It goes the other way, of course - the Heimatroman genre isn't really popular in the US; and while manga has a certain popularity in the US (if it is a genre...), it exists mostly in translation.

It's interesting why this is so, of course.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:26 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Top100EbooksRank View Post
If English language have their own genre section, where are the sections for the popular genre from Japanese language? genre like

Fantasy
Sci Fi
Mystery
Thrillers
Romance


Look at the Top 100 Best Sellers on Kindle Japan and it is devoid of the popular genre fiction mentioned above.
There was genre fiction in the top 10 (!) since the beginning. One SF book (Gene Mapper) made into the top ten in the Best kindle books 2012 (in the literature category, more than half of the books were genre works.)

One of the two recent Japan SF Price winners are already available as an ebook (盤上の夜 ).

To list them up by genre, you should select a genre novel, check it's ranking, and from there you can find the link for the selling rank for each category.

For example, Scifi/fantasy/horror.

Yes, the selection is still too small, and it is frustrating, but publishers and readers are still experimenting with the format.

Plus, since most of the early ebook adapters are already using other sites, both Amazon and Kobo had to enter to a market where they have to win over potential customers from other bookshops.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:49 AM   #27
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Actually, All 6 readers That I have bought, here in Japan, I have had to import. Granted, There are Sony Readers in Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera in Sapporo. And, the Sony readers have been on sale for well more than a year....but as Stitchawl said....Japan is a keitai(Mobile Phone) country. I have seen an ereader on the subway and train, however, only one time each. I am usually the only one with an ereader unless, unless I am with one of my converted ereaderlites. My guess, is the Publishing companies have no desire for ereaders to make it big. They see the writing on the wall in other countries and want to soak up what they can while they can. The publishing ships are sinking in Japan....... Amazon..........
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