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a month ago (May 27th, 2020) by Adam

Where We Are and Where We’re Going

Hey everyone. We promised you a nice, big blog post, and it’s about time we did that. It took a bit longer than expected, as we were waiting on some final information, but we’re finally ready to give that update. It’s a big one, and it covers a lot of things, so let’s dive right in.

Visual Novels

First, let’s get you all caught up on the status of our VNs:

  • Irotoridori no Sekai – 88% translated, 66% edited
  • Nukitashi – 100% translated, 25% edited
  • Happiness! – 99% translated, 61% edited
  • Love Among the Sunflowers – 68% translated, 68% edited

Progress is currently going quite smoothly on these. VNs take a very long time to complete (Nukitashi, for example, is some 1.2 million characters, or the length of approximately 10 light novels), but they should be beginning QA before you know it. We hope to have these ready and available for you all to enjoy soon.

Light Novels and Manga

Now then, here’s the big one: our book releases. There has been a lot going on with these—some things good, some things not so good—and we’d like to give you a rundown of what all is going on in that regard.

To make a long story short, we had several sample print batches made and none of them came out correct. We spent quite a bit of time working to get them all up to the quality standards our books, our partners, and our readers deserve, but before we could get everything just right, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, bringing everything to a complete, grinding halt. Moreover, the prints that we do have of our existing titles are currently inaccessible at our California location, so we currently can’t ship anything we have in stock either.

Though there’s no concrete date for when the pandemic lockdown will be lifted, we’ve been looking into options that would allow us to get back into action as soon as it is. We’re looking to have everything prepared to ship out right away so that you don’t have to wait any longer than you already have. For the time being, though, as terrible as it is, it’s out of our hands.

So, the next question is obvious: “Will you still be doing digital releases?” The answer to that is yes, absolutely, we’re working to bring you as much as we can. Even so, certain series may run into issues resulting from the pandemic—some digital releases are tied to physical release requirements and/or events, for instance. All of our teams are still hard at work behind the scenes to prepare releases, and we are working with each of our partners in hopes that we can continue to have digital-only releases at an accelerated rate while printing is at a standstill. Fortunately, we’ve already been able to release the second volume of Why Shouldn’t a Detestable Demon Lord Fall in Love?!, and we’re looking to release more soon, so stay tuned.

Looking Ahead

We are actively working to improve in several areas that we, with the input of both those who work with us and our customers, have identified as having the most room for growth. Here are a few of the things we’re doing to make ourselves the best we can possibly be:

  • Migrating to new project management technology to better organize every aspect of everything we do.
  • Redistributing tasks to get things done better and in a more timely fashion.
  • Restructuring slower workflow areas to allow for better performance.
  • Streamlining the licensing/approvals process as best we can.
  • As always, hiring more people for future projects—see https://solpress.co/jobs to apply. We’ve sent out quite a few translator and editor tests over the past month, which we will be following up on soon.

There is a ton of stuff going on behind the scenes to help improve the company. It’s a lot of work, and not all of it is going to be completed quickly or have visible results right away, but all of it is necessary to get us to operating where we want. You should start seeing improvements come together very soon.

To further our efforts with our book publishing, we are, regrettably, going to be phasing out of visual novel publishing. As of right now, we intend to finish all announced projects, but we currently do not have any plans to pick up more VN licenses (with the exception of sequels if demand is sufficient). There is simply too much uncertainty surrounding their publishing in terms of things like releasing on Steam, which is by and far the largest VN distribution platform available, in an already niche market. Couple that with the extremely high cost of licensing, production, and additional fees, and it simply does not bode well for our long-term goals and release schedules.

As much as stepping away from VNs is a necessary move for us, everyone at Sol Press loves the medium, and we have hopes that we don’t have to stop publishing VNs entirely. If at all possible, once we get things sorted in regards to publishing our light novels and manga, we’d like to keep our toes dipped in, so to speak, and pick up the occasional VN. Doing so will depend on numerous factors, so we don’t want to make any promises that this is something that will happen, but we’re all such big fans that we definitely don’t want to drop the medium as a whole. We’ll work to keep you updated on what happens in that regard.

Last but not least, we’ve got a new community manager to help with keeping you all in the loop on what’s going on. He’s still getting into the swing of things, but he should be more than helpful in relaying any information he can to you all. He’ll keep you up to date on anything and everything he can.

Final Thoughts

We’ve said before that we’re working on things, but thanks to input from staff and consumers alike, we think we’ve finally identified what we can improve to have the largest impact on bettering our company all-around. We’ve been putting in a lot of work lately, and don’t plan to stop improving ourselves anytime soon. There’s a lot that’s coming your way, with even more planned for the future, so keep a close eye on where we go from here.