Importing Nogami Takeshi’s bilingual doujinshi

Updated 2012 Jan 15: I emailed Nogami Takeshi asking if he could restock some books on MangaPal, and he actually wrote back and did! How nice.

I decided to make this collection of links to Nogami Takeshi’s bilingual Strike Witches doujinshi, to make importing them less confusing. Here’s a list of all books with a full English translation, and links to their item pages on MangaPal and Amazon.co.jp. Ordered by in-series chronology, they are:

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Why you do this?!: Light Novels and US Covers

In the US, light novels have an unfortunate problem: publishers trying to purge their light novel-ness, by changing the cover to something less “anime” looking.

The worst thing about these cover changes is that, even if the core finds them “horrible,” they might still be in the publisher’s economic interests. The cover just has to create more sales than it kills. Not many fans of a series, except for the most cantankerous, would refuse to buy a volume because of a cover change. So no matter how much fans rant online about the cover changes, if it helps even a few casual browsers pick it off the shelves, it’s a good business decision. Besides harming some vague concept of “audience goodwill,” of course.
It’s one thing when a publisher makes a mistake: they can realize, and change it on the future. It’s much worse when a publisher is doing the right thing, for them, but the wrong thing for you; there’s no fix coming there. On the other hand, as brick&morter book stores disappear, and LNs are bought primarily online, casual cover appeal gets less important. Despite that, most publishers still think we’re on the other side of the trend, as evidence by these (rather recent) cover changes:

Kieli, Yen Press:

Kieli: This is nicely representative. Instead of a beautiful picture, with attractice character design and a very mood-setting use of color, we get…a camera in photo-negative. And a cover like your average horror book, but with poorer design.

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