What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

English Books in Japan

pipokun

先輩
Joined
4 Feb 2005
Messages
2,355
Reaction score
46
2007 Animax Awards
The competition is among Pan-Asian countries, though.
Scripts
Comics
Novels

Actually there are tons of literary awards in Japan.
Akutagawa Prize is the most famous one. So far Hideo Levy was nominated, but no non-Japanese writer won the prize.
Good luck.
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
Everywhere you hear stuff about how bad Japanese people are with learning English and about all the spelling mistakes they make, etc. Personally I don't think they can be that bad at learning it,
Do you have any experience teaching Japanese students? I have. More than 8 years' worth, from high school to university to adults. Trust me, you don't know what you're talking about.

As for selling English books here, what age level are you hoping to shoot for? There are a smattering of kiddie level books (mostly filled with pictures), and then there are the novels that people have mentioned being bought by the (mostly) non-Japanese.

Why do you think books like Harry Potter and The DaVinci Code are translated into Japanese and mass-marketed here? The Japanese cannot read well enough in English!

I've taught high level high school kids, and their reading ability in English is still pretty poor (with some exceptions, but most of them spent years abroad). To mass-market English books here takes more than a good title and plot, too. Think about it. Do you even know how books back home get marketed? Do you know the ins and outs of dealing with agents and publishers?
 

Nuala

Hell's Finest Daughter
Joined
15 Jul 2004
Messages
1,725
Reaction score
38
I should probably know this by now, but I was wondering if bookstores in the Tokyo area carried a good amount of books written in english. Gotta know that, will be going there sooner or later.
 

Iron Chef

Villain
Joined
26 Feb 2003
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
77
Major chains like Junkudo and Kinokuniya in my area stock a small section of English references. Mostly periodicals, popular magazines, teaching aids, textbooks, etc. Occasionally you can find some novels, autobiographies, works of fiction, etc. but the supply is limited. Personally, the best source for English books I have found so far is the seconhand section that stocks them at my local International Association's plaza. Most of these were brought over by others from back home, ordered off the web, etc. then left behind/donated for free.

http://www.junkudo.co.jp/
http://www.kinokuniya.com/
 

Glenski

Just me
Joined
20 Aug 2003
Messages
4,808
Reaction score
405
Haven't lived in Tokyo in ages, but whatever books you do find will certainly be double the prices of the USA. Amazon.co.jp prices are higher, too, but at least you can get free shipping with orders over 1500 yen. Not all English books that are available on Amazon.com can be found on Amazon.co.jp though.
 

JerseyBoy

Back in town
Joined
31 Dec 2005
Messages
510
Reaction score
9
By looking at pricing for English books on Amazon Japan, I think it is about twice as much as pricing in USA. Is it mostly due to the shipping cost? Many book retailers in Japan use the airfreight service from USA to Japan and books are very dense and heavy. So, the shipping cost is not that cheap even though those companies get the very good airfreight rates from the shipping company.
 

Sparky

The Canadian
Joined
7 Dec 2006
Messages
86
Reaction score
4
You also have to remember that Japanese book distributors only distribute absolute main stream books i.e Stephen King, Harry Potter.... So if your book is unknown or you are an unknown author your book will be limited to the 5 or so really large book stores in Japan! Which is what makes me tingle because I can't go to a book store and browse new books because there are never any new books haha.
 

GaijinPunch

遠いから行きません
Joined
25 Nov 2004
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
33
By looking at pricing for English books on Amazon Japan, I think it is about twice as much as pricing in USA. Is it mostly due to the shipping cost? Many book retailers in Japan use the airfreight service from USA to Japan and books are very dense and heavy. So, the shipping cost is not that cheap even though those companies get the very good airfreight rates from the shipping company.

Actually, Amazon.jp brought the prices down. Before they opened up (pre 2000) the costs were even higher. And yes, it's due to shipping. Shipping books, even by the cheapest methods, is obscenely expensive.
 
Top Bottom