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.
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 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.
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- Mateo, Alex (2019-09-16). "J-Novel Club to Launch Kickstarter for Invaders of the Rokujouma!? Light Novels' Physical Release". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-12-13.
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- Sherman, Jennifer (2019-11-16). "J-Novel Club Licenses 13 Light Novel Series, Reveals Print Editions for Sexiled, My Next Life as a Villainess". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2019-12-13.