Thursday, March 7, 2013
Kadokawa Offering Y100 E-Books As New Venues Open Shop
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Publishing companies are rushing to release books in electronic format now that dedicated shops by Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. have finally opened for business in Japan.
Kadokawa Group Holdings Inc. (9477) on Thursday will publish a nonfiction book about how Amazon.com helped ship goods to victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake two years ago. The book, available only in digital form, will sell for 100 yen.
It usually takes about six months to produce printed books. But the new e-book is hitting the market in just two months because the format does not require printing and other conventional steps.
Gentosha Inc. released March 1 the first installment of a new novel by Yukiya Shoji that comes exclusively in digital format. The company for the first time published a work in five installments, taking advantage of the fact that e-books can be easily divided into sections.
The firm offered the first section free of charge to garner interest, while other episodes -- all to be released by month's end -- will sell for just 315 yen apiece to attract as many readers as possible.
Publishing houses are avidly releasing books in electronic format to tap the growing market.
Kodansha Ltd. disclosed that its e-book sales reached 2.7 billion yen for the year ended Nov. 30 and expects the figure to jump 30% to 3.5 billion yen this fiscal year. The company has been releasing new books in both print and digital formats since last June, supplying some 1,000 titles to e-book shops in one year.
Surprisingly, the popularity of e-books is not hurting printed-book sales as much as expected, according to the firm.
(The Nikkei, March 7 morning edition)