2000 points e-book campaign for honto newcomers

I found this awesome campaign when I checked out honto’s web site today! For anyone who hasn’t purchased an e-book through honto yet, they are running the following campaign this week only:

banner_2000points_m

  • Spend 300 – 499 yen and get 300 points
  • Spend 500 – 999 yen and get 500 points
  • Spend at least 1000 yen and get a whopping 2000 points!

2000 points is unheard of! When I first bought from honto, I think I got 500 points for spending at least 1000 yen and I thought that was a great deal, lol. Points are the same as cash when you use them, so 2000 points is like getting 2000 yen to spend. Please note that most points usually expire the end of the following month, so if you are awarded points in September, you normally have until the end of October to use them or lose them. Here’s an example of how honto’s points and coupons work:
honto order

This is my e-book order today:

  • Total price before coupons/points: 2236 yen for 7 books
  • 30% off coupon for comics: (640 yen)
  • Points used: (432 yen)
  • Final total price: 1164 yen
  • Points earned for order: 100 points

As you can see, I’m only paying around half (1164 yen) of the total price of 2236 yen and I also earned 100 points to use by the end of September. 🙂

Registering at honto is a little tricky, so you can read how to sign up here: Without Restraints. As for reading the e-books, there are readers available for PC, iPhone/iPad, and Android devices. Installing the PC version is a no-brainer, just download from their site and follow the installation instructions. Unfortunately for iPhone/iPad and Android devices, I believe the digital reader is only available for download in their Japan stores. However, there are ways around that! For iPhone/iPad, you need to set up an iTunes Japan account… you can do that by signing up with a different email address from your regular iTunes account. I forgot the exact instructions, but if you Google how to set up another iTunes account, there is plenty of helpful advice available. For Android devices, I downloaded the TunnelBear app (easy-to-use VPN client) to access the Google Play Japan store.

Wow… 50% Off Coupon at honto

honto is really pushing the digital books coupons lately… or maybe it’s because I buy so many of them, lol 😉 Anyway, I used a 30% off coupon on digital comics the other day, and today I received a 50% off coupon on all digital comics, books, and magazines! Yay! It’s only good for four days though, through 11:59 PM on June 28th, Japan time.

Check out this coupon!

Check out this coupon!

So, hurry and check your email, if you are a regular honto customer… you don’t want to miss out on this special deal! 50% off is a rare thing.

Best Online Store for Manga (and other reading material)

Here’s the tl;dr version:

  • Best online store for paper and digital manga: honto
  • Several shipping options available.
  • Site offers plenty of coupons, discounts, and points which cuts down the cost of your order, more for digital books but they do offer promotions for paper books as well.
  • Helpful advice for registering at honto: Without Restraints
  • Digital readers are available for PC, iPhone/iPad, and Android devices; however you need to register at iTunes Japan or Google Play Japan to install their digital reader.

Here’s my detailed post for anyone interested in the long version:

This is obviously just my personal opinion, but I highly recommend honto for buying both print and digital versions of manga, light novels, magazines, and other books. I’ve been a customer for almost three years now and have placed over 40 orders (printed materials)… yes, that’s slightly over one order per month, lol. It’s always a good day when my order arrives each month. 😉 Out of the 40+ orders that I’ve placed, only one got mixed up in the mail and I got a full refund when it was returned to honto.

My most recent honto order.

The honto site has an extensive variety of manga, light novels, and magazines, both print and digital. Not everything is available digitally, but it seems like the trend towards digital is starting to catch on. Several shoujo and josei manga magazines, including Dessert, Bessatsu Friend, Be Love, Aria, and Kiss are now available in digital, yay! The digital version of Nakayoshi starts in June.

There are several different shipping options available, so you are able to weigh the shipping cost vs. the delivery time and decide which option works best for you. I started off with the cheapest option, shipping by boat, but I now use SAL instead. It’s about double the shipping cost, but a lot faster than by boat, which took around 6 – 8 weeks to arrive. On average, I pay around 1200 – 1400 yen to ship 6 – 7 manga/light novels and my order usually arrives in 10 – 14 days (I live in the United States).

I buy a lot of digital books as well… latest count is 539 books, lol. Well, some of them are free, promo versions, so the count is probably closer to 450. Besides saving on shipping costs, the digital books are usually cheaper than the same paper version and honto has so many discounts, coupons, and points tied to digital orders which can really bring the price down. For instance, several months ago, they ran a 99 yen special on light novels (digital), so I ended up buying over 20 books for the cost of less than $18. Right now, they are running a Golden Week special, where you can earn 20x the points each day from May 1 – 7 (different category of books is selected every day). If you purchased books on at least three different days, you will get another coupon for 50x the points to use later in the month. Normally, it’s 1 point for every 100 yen, so 50x the points adds up! 🙂 You can use the points you earn as “cash”… if your total order is 2500 yen and you have 800 points, you can deduct that from the total amount to equal 1700 yen. So what are you waiting for? lol

I heard that it can be tricky to register at honto, because you need a Japan address. I was a former bk1 customer, so when bk1 and honto merged, my account info carried over. Fortunately, there is a very helpful guide on how to sign up at honto, which can be found here: Without Restraints.

As for reading the digital books, there are readers available for PC, iPhone/iPad, and Android devices. Installing the PC version is a no-brainer, just download from their site and follow the installation instructions. Unfortunately for iPhone/iPad and Android devices, the digital reader is only available for download in their Japan stores. However, there are ways around that! For iPhone/iPad, you need to set up an iTunes Japan account… you can do that by signing up with a different email address from your regular iTunes account. I forgot the exact instructions, but if you Google how to set up another iTunes account, there is plenty of helpful advice available. For Android devices, I downloaded the TunnelBear app (easy-to-use VPN client) to access the Google Play Japan store.

Happy reading! 🙂

Library Wars (Toshokan Sensou) e-manga

I saw on ebookjapan’s website that they have Library Wars now! Yay! Only volumes 1 – 3 are available for now. I’m excited even though I bought the English-version, lol. Although, if the volumes come out faster than the English licensed ones, I might have to switch back to the Japanese version… headache and all (I got a headache from reading the first volume in Japanese and having to look up all the unknown words and kanji). They also have Ayakashi Hisen now (volumes 1 – 2). I already bought volumes 1 – 3 via Sokuyumi though, so I will just stick with that. It’s nice to see a lot of manga being added to ebookjapan. It was a little slow for awhile, but their offerings seemed to have increased again. They release their new e-manga every Friday.

More random stuff and Aoharaido – Ch 17 spoiler

I found out more info about the new bk1 – honto combined site… the new online store will ship outside of Japan, but only to customers who previously ordered from bk1. Apparently they are not accepting new international customers. Wow, that’s a bit surprising. I hope that will change in the future and they will open it up to new customers, and not the other way where they eventually stop shipping overseas completely. Will keep a lookout for any updates.

Kiss Yori mo Hayaku is ending in the August issue of LaLa, out on June 24. Tanaka-sensei tweeted about it the other day.

Received the Japanese raws for Aoharaido – Chapter 17… squee! lol. And yes, the gender of Kou’s friend is ambiguous… Kou refers to that person as his classmate (doukyuusei) and that person (soitsu and aitsu). Soitsu and aitsu are very informal terms and Kou did say that he and that person got pretty close after spending time at the hospital together (the person’s father was in the hospital during the same time as Kou’s mother). Hopefully we find out soon if Kou’s friend is a girl or boy… Sakisaka-sensei doesn’t normally keep us in suspense for too long. If the friend is a girl, then I can see the manga going on for awhile… Strobe Edge was 10 volumes and Aoharaido volume 4 just came out in April. Maybe Kou and Futaba will finally go together to that festival as a couple on their third attempt… that will be at least another 10-11 months of angst, lol. On a side note, I’m starting to like Touma-kun more… he’s so aware of his feelings for Futaba, unlike Kou who’s unsure and not very honest.

Random stuff

Just a few random news items:

• Aoharaido – Chapter 17 translation: The Chinese raws have been translated and you can read the translation here. Not sure how the Chinese raws are out before the Japanese ones, but I don’t mind! Kou’s disappearance over the summer break is explained somewhat but it’s still up in the air if the friend involved is male or female. Touma makes an appearance again.

• The e-manga version of Fruits Basket is now available on ebookjapan! I hope they continue to add more manga from Hana to Yume comics.

• Kiss Yori mo Hayaku (vol 11) will be released on June 5. Yay! I’m currently on volume 7… love this manga. I think the manga is ending soon after all… not in this month’s LaLa but I think there are three more months left. I will post again later when I get additional information.

Hana to Yume manga on ebookjapan

I just saw on the ebookjapan site that they now have several Hana to Yume titles, yay! I’m glad that they’re releasing more e-manga. Here are some of the series that have been added:

  • Kiss Yori mo Hayaku
  • Hanazakari no Kimitachi e
  • Ouran Koukou Host Club
  • Kaichou wa Maid-sama
  • Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou

Another option for buying e-manga

I buy my e-manga from ebookjapan and have been very happy with them… lots of manga and great customer service. But I started noticing that they’re not getting recent works from a few of the publishers… not sure if it’s because the publishers have started offering e-manga on their own?

I’ve been wanting to buy some of the manga from Sho-Comi, so I registered at the Sokuyomi site. It took awhile to figure out how to make a purchase, but I finally did it! I will post an explanation under the Stores section soon. The prices are cheaper than ebookjapan’s prices but there’s a time limit of 180 days to read the manga and they only offer the ability to read via Android and PC viewers. In contrast, there is no time limit for manga purchased at ebookjapan and they can be read on more devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, PC). Still I’m happy that to have found another way to purchase e-manga. 🙂