July 07, 2008
Selling "Twilight" in Japan
The Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer are marketed mainly as "light novels" in Japan. Each book is broken into a three volume set, but numbered sequentially as a unified series.
This is common practice to make paperbacks more portable, to make them "read fast," and, yes, to maximize margins.
The light novel typically uses the A6 (4 x 6 inch) format, and has a glossy color cover. The content is genre fiction, with a dozen or so pen and ink illustrations. Furigana are included to help with the pronunciation of difficult kanji.
The large green characters across the cover of the first volume read: "Twilight 1" (Towairaito). The Japanese title translates as "The man I loved is a vampire." All the books follow this design and have individual titles (so far there are nine volumes).
What with the pining and the angst, the mysterious and/or supernatural boyfriend(s) who seem to live in a world of their own, and the "ne're the twain shall meet" theme, the Twilight series is a good fit for the Japanese young adult romance market.
UPDATE: Twilight was first published in two A6 volumes (4 x 6 inches), with the original cover art. The three-volume sets, illustrated by mangaka Ryuuji Gotsubo, are in JIS B6 (5 x 7.25 inches).