J-Novel Club is a digital publishing company specializing in publication of Japanese light novels in English. They stream light novels in weekly installments before publishing the finalized e-books. By 2017, J-Novel Club has licensed 23 light novels, some completed, some still ongoing, and have published more than 40 e-books. They have licensed titles from the Japanese publishers Hobby Japan, Overlap, Kodansha, PHP Institute and Earth Star Entertainment. It was acquired by Kadokawa Corporation on April 28, 2021.
After coming to the conclusion that "there was a whole universe of content out there in Japan that's hardly available in the west at all", Pinansky began working on the business model for J-Novel Club in 2015 and "took inspiration from what the fans had started to do on their own, as well as the more traditional models for book publishing". J-Novel Club's overall purpose was "to create and grow a worldwide market for Japanese light novels translated into English." The original name for the project was 'K-Novel' because kei is Japanese for light (as in the K from K-On), but before launch the K was changed to J (for Japanese) to avoid confusion with Korean novels and 'club' was added when it was noticed that the .club top-level domain name was available.
J-Novel Club was founded in 2016 by Sam Pinansky and announced they would release light novels in weekly installments for their members before releasing the finalized books on e-book format. They launched with the titles Occultic;Nine, Brave Chronicle: The Ruinmaker, My Big Sister Lives in a Fantasy World and My Little Sister Can Read Kanji. Shortly after they announced 2 more light novels - Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash and I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse. On January 19, 2017 J-Novel Club announced they would be collaborating with manga and light novel localization company Seven Seas Entertainment who would start publishing print editions of 2 of J-Novel Club's light novels - Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash and Occultic;Nine. On July 3, 2017, Seven Seas Entertainment announced they would be publishing print editions of 2 more J-Novel Club light novels - Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest and Clockwork Planet.
On November 20, 2018, J-Novel Club launched an online manga reader and licensed 5 titles for that reader. The 5 manga titles include A Very Fairy Apartment, Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles, Infinite Dendrogram, How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom, and Ascendance of a Bookworm
On October 7, 2019, J-Novel Club launched their first Kickstarter project for Invaders of the Rokujouma!? print edition and successfully funded it with over $100,000 over its initial goal. At their Anime NYC panel on November 16, 2019, they announced a new Heart label that focused on shojo titles and also announced print editions of popular series in 2020 for Sexiled: My Sexist Party Leader Kicked Me Out, So I Teamed Up With a Mythical Sorceress! and My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! novels.
- Ascendance of a Bookworm
- Bibliophile Princess
- Cooking with Wild Game
- Demon Lord, Retry!
- The Faraway Paladin
- How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom
- I Shall Survive Using Potions!
- Infinite Dendrogram
- The Magic in this Other World is Too Far Behind!
- Marginal Operation
- Seirei Gensouki: Spirit Chronicles
- Sorcerous Stabber Orphen: Reckless Journey
- Sweet Reincarnation
- The Tales of Marielle Clarac
- The Unwanted Undead Adventurer
- A Very Fairy Apartment
- "J-Novel Club". j-novel.club. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- "FEATURE: Found in Translation - An Exclusive Interview with J-Novel Club". Crunchyroll. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- "An Interview with Sam Pinansky, Founder and President of New Light Novel Streaming Service J-Novel Club". Taykobon. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- "Saturday AM #58". sellfy.com. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- "I'm Sam Pinansky (aka Quarkboy), founder and President of J-Novel Club! Ask Me Anything! • r/LightNovels". reddit. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
- "J-Novel Club Publisher Launches to Release Light Novels in English Digitally". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- "J-Novel Club Licenses Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, I Saved Too Many Girls and Caused the Apocalypse Light Novels". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- "Seven Seas Collaborates with J-Novel Club to Bring Light Novels to Print | Seven Seas Entertainment". Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- "Seven Seas Licenses Made in Abyss, Nameless Asterism, Soul Liquid Chambers, Getter Robo Devolution Manga (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- Ressler, Karen (November 20, 2018). "J-Novel Club Launches Online Manga Reader, Licenses 5 Manga Titles". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
- Mateo, Alex (September 16, 2019). "J-Novel Club to Launch Kickstarter for Invaders of the Rokujouma!? Light Novels' Physical Release". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- "Invaders of the Rokujouma!? Print Edition". Kickstarter. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- Sherman, Jennifer (November 16, 2019). "J-Novel Club Licenses 13 Light Novel Series, Reveals Print Editions for Sexiled, My Next Life as a Villainess". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- "KADOKAWA Announces Acquisition of J-Novel Club" (PDF). Kadokawa Corporation. April 28, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2021.