Shueisha selling e-novels in English

JIJI

Shueisha Inc. said it has begun to release English-language translations of novels by Japanese authors at Sony Corp.’s North American e-book store.

Three titles — “Poppoya” (“Railroad Man”) by Jiro Asada, “Shonen” (“Call Boy”) by Ira Ishida and “Natsu to Hanabi to Watashi no Shitai” (“Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse”) by Otsuichi, the pen name of Hirotaka Adachi — are now on sale at Sony’s Reader Store, officials of Shueisha said Monday.

The publisher plans to release around 10 titles a year under the Shueisha English Edition label. It also intends to publish digital novels through various channels, including Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Store, the officials said.

Shueisha decided to launch the titles on its own after failing to sell the translation rights to publishers in English-speaking countries, due partly to different business practices.

Among other domestic publishers, Hayakawa Publishing Corp. plans to launch translations in English of Japanese science-fiction and mystery novels as early as this autumn.