Books · News · Ramblings

eBookJapan merges with Yahoo! Bookstore

eBookJapan (eBook Initiative Japan) have merged their operations with Yahoo! Bookstore, according to a press release.

The new ebookjapan has launched its website and app since the beginning of March. Its predecessor is still up and functional* where existing users can migrate to the new website.

*They no longer accept new users.
Wishlists, adding titles to auto-purchase, new reviews and newsletters are no longer available. (Info found here.)

ebiReader, the reader app is unable to support purchases made on the new website.

Here are links for the new reader on various platforms that I can find so far. Purchased titles are still available to view on browsers, if not on the app.

Windows reader
App Store Japan-only, workaround required.
Play Store Workaround required.

A 50% off coupon for your first order (up to 500yen off) and a points giveaway are already underway on the new website.

Free manga serialisations using the ticket system (replenishes twice a day) are available. This feature is seen on LINE Manga and other apps.

Overseas-issued credit/debit cards may or may not be viable. Checks on their social media replies show that they cannot guarantee that it will work. I have not tried this.

I will follow up with an updated post on the interface of the new website and app.

This news definitely rocked my confidence in buying Japanese ebooks.

Region restrictions are tricky if you don’t know any better. Shipping costs skyrocket if you plan to import your favourite series.

Japan sure makes it hard for us to hand them our money to consume their content. There are alternatives but this feels like a slap in the face.

It hasn’t been roses and sunshine for the ebookjapan team either.

Complaints on social media vary from

  • Delay in reflecting purchased books on the new website after migrating.
  • Poor design choices (white background)
  • The choice to merge and operate under Yahoo! Japan
    • The app isn’t available overseas through official channels for those outside Japan. ebookjapan is cutting off overseas readers.
  • Certain titles are not available on the app. Buying through a web browser is a method to bypass it. (A Twitter user brought this up but did not mention the title/publisher.)

These are some of the concerns raised by Twitter users.

Fingers-crossed on what the new ebookjapan will bring to readers in Japan, if not overseas!

Thank you for reading and consider supporting me on Ko-fi!


9 thoughts on “eBookJapan merges with Yahoo! Bookstore

  1. Oh man, thanks for the information! I’ve only ever had one purchase on eBookJapan so far, but knowing the news makes me uneasy. Digital purchases are so easy to make but you never know when your access to it might ever be cut off…I guess I should still probably stick to physical copies as much as I can. Shakes fist at my ever-dwindling shelf space.

    1. I have about 300 volumes and saw Twitter users who commented that they have 500 or even thousands of volumes on eBookJapan. Microsoft Store announced its closure not long ago as well. Very disheartening. 😦 Haha, my shelf space has been on the negative for a long time now. Haven’t decided on which site to make a new home of though. And you’re welcome, Kaede! Been working on it the past month or so xD

  2. Siiiigh. Japan always makes things difficult for its overseas audience. We’re even willing to pay! :(((( I have problems with the country’s customs so I opted for ebooks even though they can be canceled anytime. But I still wish they would consider that not everyone lives in Japan.

    1. From physical to digital, Japan makes it hard (sighs) Aww, I’m so sorry that your country’s customs are tricky.
      Yeah, a merger with Yahoo! Japan, an entity that is most unfriendly to those who live outside Japan, when their own policy was like, ‘yeah, those outside Japan can still buy from us’. (shakes head)

  3. I recently attempted to make a purchase with my ebook japan account, along with my yahoo japan account as well (from the get go I used that account I’ve had since 2006) but only just managed to get an ebookjapan account like last year. Everything was going smoothly until the transition that you mentioned with Yahoo Japan, but didn’t have much trouble changing because I already have an account with yahoo jp. What I wanted to mention, is that they no longer accept foreign credit cards, not for all transactions mind you since I only made in app purchases, but through the purchase of coins. Now these coins are used as credits, even though you pay for it with your foreign visa card. but there’s only a few quantities they allow for purchase. It’s not as if it’s limited, but it’s annoying that if you wanted one book, you’d have to spend a little bit more than what you anticipated because of these coins. I’ve only done one additional purchase since the merging of these companies, and they appear to have kept my credit card on file so I’m hoping that they actually let me purchase straight from my card this time.
    Thank you for the additional information about them no longer receiving new registrations. and the fact that we can no longer get notifications on new publications on specific authors or works…. I was desperately trying to look for that feature in the new app…. Which is difficult to obtain itself. You have to create a PlayStore Japan account as well…

    1. Yeah, overseas-issued credit cards are pretty much up in the air. Some people say it works and for some, it just doesn’t 😦
      Thank you for mentioning the credits system! I haven’t made any purchase so this is really helpful! I also referenced your comment (with proper credit!) on my posts.
      The new ebj app is just nowhere near in terms of functionality of the eBi Reader (sighs). Both iOS and Android apps can be downloaded (from outside Japan), you just need to go through a few hoops 💦 Let me know if you have any questions.

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