I definitely learned several lessons when ebookjapan decided to flip the tables on us, the kind of people where you don’t live in Japan, don’t have a Japanese phone or isn’t familiar with ways to circumvent region-restrictions for apps – but still want to buy and read manga. Or if you like to read them for free (legally!).
Decided to write this (in a whim) because my posts were all about ebj, which feels rather nuts now that they turns their backs on me.
My heart is set on BookWalker as well as Kindle (some of my books are already there, for Kindle-exclusive purchases, sales and etc.) but don’t @ me because my stuff are scattered everywhere and I’m trying to keep it as much as I can on one platform, in this case, one or two.
If you have an existing BookWalker Global account, then you’re all set. All you need to do is to click on ‘Japan Store’ and you can browse and buy Japanese titles already.
Do note that due to publication rights and contracts, some titles are simply unavailable for those outside Japan to buy.
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BookWalker (Japan) has fiction, non-fiction, manga, light novels and even self-published (doujin) titles available for purchase.
Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, BookWalker coins and WebMoney. They announced Amazon Pay via Japanese or overseas Amazon accounts as an accepted payment method on April 22, 2021. They will still charge in Japanese yen.
Non-Japanese self-published titles can be sold on the Japanese side of BookWalker but not the Global store at the moment.
Your BookWalker account is able to sync with both content that you purchase from the Japan store and Global store. Purchases can be read on the browser or on iOS and Android devices. They also provide .apk files if that’s your cup of tea.
Each at 836yen a month (tax included, but 840yen if you’re subscribing via Apple/Google Play).
The available content probably rotates from time to time (I’m staring at you Angelique by Yura Kairi!) so keep your eyes peeled if there is something that you want to read in particular, just like Kindle Unlimited :’3
If you prefer to buy a light novel read all you want subscription without using a debit/credit card but still living in Japan, you can drop by any brick and mortar bookstore in Japan to get yourself a prepaid card.
They come in 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions. The cards can be a kind of collectible too with the different artwork on them.
This prepaid card is only applicable for light novel, not manga read all you want subscription.
They also note that bookmarks and notes while reading on unlimited plans do not sync across multiple devices. A fix is planned but no timeline on that.
I know there are other sites to use but I’ll rest safer knowing that people who live outside Japan are welcomed rather than shunned.