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There's some novels like "From the New World" which are excellent novels and award winner, but never make it over here. They still fall into the "otaku" subculture but appeal to broader audiences, too.

As consumers, has some sort of crowd-funding or the like ever been attempted to get these materials translated? How can consumers express their desire to bring this material overseas?

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    To the best of my knowledge, no crowdfunding effort for a Jap -> Eng novel translation has succeeded. Japanese content creators are notoriously wary of crowdfunding (especially when the funding is by international fans), so the number of successful "otaku"-related localization projects that have succeeded can probably be counted on two hands (there's Little Witch Academia, Kick-Heart, Time of Eve's addon projects [Inverted Patema, etc], all of Animesols, and maybe a few others). – senshin Nov 20 '13 at 22:08
  • Oh, also, I'm not sure whether you're aware of this, but From the New World actually had a sort of pseudo-crowdfunding effort by Vertical Inc. (the links from their site are gone, so see this blog post instead) in which they tried to get a few thousand people to informally commit to purchasing the novel if it were to be translated. They failed, of course. – senshin Nov 20 '13 at 23:15
  • @senshin they do have a translated version of volumes 1,2,3 being sold so not sure what's up with it. – Prix Feb 19 '14 at 5:14
  • @Prix That's the manga, not the novel. – senshin Feb 19 '14 at 11:09
  • @senshin ah that's my bad :) – Prix Feb 19 '14 at 11:13
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As of now, yes! Some Visual Novels (these count as novels in my book) have been successfully crowd funded out here. A few examples of that are mostly done by the Sekai Project.

For example, World End Economica was already funded and has been translated and released. The original KickStarter can be found here. Sekai Project is working on a few others, too. These include:

So, the answer is a resounding YES now! With Clannad on the horizon, we might see even more of these reach out into the English tongue.

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The best way to do convince distributors this works reliably is to make sure that it does by backing similar projects whenever you see them. As noted above there are a number of projects that have been successful like LWA2 and kick-heart. If someone like Trigger keeps running kickstarters and making upwards of half a million dollars, well, the rest of them will catch on.

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