Spice and Wolf — The Solution!!

Well, Spice and Wolf has definitely been the hot button issue on the site ever since we unveiled the new cover a couple of months back. Reaction among fans was immediate and opinionated, and I promised at the time that we would look into a possible solution for those fans who felt that they simply couldn’t do without the original cover art.

It’s taken some time, but I wanted to thank everyone who bore with us while we worked through the approvals and notifications necessary to put our plan into action. I’m very happy to report that the behind-the-scenes machinations have been resolved, and we can now fill you in on what we’ve come up with!

In order to provide fans with an option to obtain the Spice and Wolf novels with the original light novel cover art, we have decided to do a special limited print run dust jacket (already under way) that we will offer for free to our online retailers. Those online retailers who choose to participate in this offer will be shipped the flat (uncreased) jackets to make them available at no additional charge to anyone ordering copies of the novel through their sites. This is strictly a voluntary offer being communicated now to our online retail partners, so be sure to verify participation with your retailer of choice when placing your orders if you are interested in receiving the jacket, the design for which you can see here:


As we’ve said in the past, our customers are truly important to us. We do listen to your feedback and make every possible effort to insure that you are happy with our offerings. While I am quite certain that not everyone will be satisfied with this solution for one reason or another, we are pleased to have been able to make these additional efforts on behalf of our Spice and Wolf fans, and we do not doubt for an instant that you will enjoy the book.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Update: Right Stuf has confirmed that they will be participating in this offer. We will update this entry to list additional participating retailers as we receive that information.

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well since i already have the cover from this month’s yenplus i won’t be needing this but for all the ppl that don’t have it yet i hope you guys are happy now i just hope that it doesnt have the fold that came with the yen plus cover


Thanks for trying, but I will no longer be buying.

Your solution after months is to instead of folding it and stuffing it in a magazine, is to offer it for free and hope the retailer doesn’t damage it accidentally? Tough titties to people that can’t order online eh?


I thank you , Hassler , for keeping your promise to resolute on a solution for the cover. There is one thing buggin’ me. I suppose that there are a lot of people that would try and order their copies of the book with the original cover. Exactly how many dust jackets have you decided to provide your online retailers with? Wouldn’t there be an outburst of fans that didn’t have the chance to receive their copy of the book with the original cover jacket? Have you considered additional printing of the original covers?


You guys have really outdone yourselves with this.

Really. I have to say, I am shocked beyond belief at the extent of which you guys went to please your customers. I can honestly say that I feel a lot better buying from Yen Press now that I know how dedicated you are. Next time I go to the mall I’m going to make it my #1 priority to buy a couple volumes of your manga.


Almost forgot, but, thank you Yen Press. For taking everybody’s input seriously.


Good but i pre-ordered Dec issue of Yen+. will you still have that JP Spice and Wolf cover with the magazine?

And I’m curious to know which retailers and if I have to cancel my pre-order with that retailer to get the new cover? I realize you will probably announce, which retailers soon. I will wait for that answer.


While the perfect solution for me would be the changing of the western cover to something with wheat/coins/cart/apples,i think this will do for me. Need to check if amazon will have that new cover. But if you ever release a new cover for the first volume, i will buy it =)
I hope the sales of this series increase so the translation continue to the end.


So is there a chance that you can put up a list of retailers that will be doing this cause I dont want to miss it by not being able to find the right retailer.


AWWWWWWWW! I LOVE U YEN PRESS! Your So thoughtful about the fans xD Thank you


So, when the time comes, will we see a partial list of participating retailers?


Thanks Yen Press! ^^ I hope it will be available on places like Barnesandnoble.com as well.


Its funny how we could still print out are own “jacket”. Oh well, atleast the fans roars of anger should quiet down, it works for me.


Will there be a list posted on your site of participating retailers once they are known?


Thank You!
I was very disappointed when I learned about the creases in the Yen Plus Magazine, so I’m very grateful to you all for making an effort to do this and make up for it!
I almost lost a bit of faith in Yen Press, but I can see you do still care about your fans.


Personally, I’ve no qualms with the alternate cover artwork, but I understood fairly well the point you guys were making and I can say with absolute certainty that regardless of its cover, because of how passionately both fans and Yen staffers have “pitched” Spice & Wolf thus far, I’ll be checking it out and giving it the attention it properly deserves.

It was essentially concreted for me when I read JuYoun Lee’s beginning letter to the fans in the latest issue of Yen+, further highlighting the marketability and sales impact aspects you guys already touched on online. If I could make one suggestion with regards to the topic it would be this:

What if that letter were posted on this site? Perhaps notifying Anime News Network to help spread the word, as well.

I sincerely love every one of you folks who – it’s been clear as crystal since your first title releases – love and respect these comic books and novels as truly and passionately as any “civilian” otaku out there. =^_^=


I’m sorry, but would be possible to know which are those “selected retailers”? It would be helpful instead of sending mass emails…If it’s not possible, that’s ok nevertheless.

Michelle Raschbacher

I think this is a great idea ^.^
Hope that i can get mine without any problems


When you say “online retailers” you mean Amazon? Because alredy pre-order the LN with them ;____;


Huh, this is great, now I might buy the book.

Any idea which retailers online are offering the covers?


Not the best solution, but better than the original cover at least.

Any chance of a listing of online retailers who will carry the dust jacket…thingy?


So, which retailers will have the slipcover? Could you possibly jot them down so I don’t have to send out a ton of e-mails to Borders, B&N, Rightstuf, etc just to see which one is getting it? None of those actually have a note on their page about it, it’s just the general synopsis.


Sankaku Complex’s comment on how ‘customers are truly important to us’: ‘But not important enough for them to change the cover back to the overwhelmingly preferred original, it seems’.

It’s just my opinion, but I feel that if you change the cover in order to appeal to the fantast market, you might as well change the names of every character to things like “Alderono” and include extra chapters about dragon sex.

Neutral Eyes

Well, as the saying goes, “You can’t please everyone,” and I’m one of those types. This solution is only addressed to the folks that had an issue paying extra for a dust cover, not those so utterly disgusted with the distasteful cover art that they cancelled their pre-orders entirely.

For me, and I imagine several others, it was never about “Gimme anime cover nao!,” but rather “You really couldn’t have picked something a little more relevant to the story?” And it is a great story, one that I feel isn’t properly represented by that cover.

I was hoping for some cosmetic surgery and here I’m being offered a band-aid. I would say that I hope this strategy works out for you guys, but I’d be lying a bit. I’d hate to see this kind of mutilation catch on with other light novel series.

Unfortunately, my pre-order will remain cancelled. For what it’s worth though, I’ll continue buying the Kieli and Haruhi novels, along with several other manga series from Yen Press! Torn between supporting a great story and opposing an ugly marketing strategy, I have to lean towards the latter.


I have a feeling that this is only going to be a list of the american online shops and nothing for the non-US costumers. I’m going to wait for the list, but I don’t have lot of hope for my copy of the dust cover T-T


Nicely done Yenpress, at least you listen to your customers unlike some publishers.
Well i hope that the cover will be available on amazon, i see no reason for amazon to decline this offer.

So ye, thank you Yenpress.


@Neutral Eyes: “Torn between supporting a great story and opposing an ugly marketing strategy, I have to lean towards the latter.”

Quoted for truth. And in addition, I guess this makes me one of the “opinionated” fans, but a slipcover just isn’t good enough. Free or charged, flat or creased, it doesn’t matter. I don’t like the way slipcovers look or feel, and I don’t want that horrid new cover at all, even if it is hidden under a piece of paper. If this is YP’s idea of a solution, then I guess I’m going to have to go with my plan of buying the Japanese versions for my shelf, and reading the free fan translations. I realize that the books with the awful cover have already been printed, and reprinting with the original cover is going to cost a bunch of extra money, but tough cookies. YP put themselves in this situation, and I don’t feel any obligation to try to bail them out.


For everyone asking if Amazon is going to have it or not, i think the answer will be yes they will have it.
Amazon is one of the biggest online retailers out there so the chances are they will have it.


I posted the spice and wolf picture in 2 places and now its everywhere, DX Makes me wonder if I shouldn’t had posted it.. =o

Anyhow, glad to see a special print of covers coming out. It still would be nice to leave the paperback as is and do a limited run of hardcover books with the same style of haruhi. (paper back has American cover, hardcover has original cover)


While this definitely will help some fans who did not want to pay extra cash for the YP+ magazine this by no means is a 100% fixed solution. Allow me to state what can be done next time to avoid this catastrophe:

1) Give the target audience what THEY want. This is no longer 1908 and Mr. Henry Ford saying, “You can have it in any color you want as long as its black!” Customers have the final say in todays market. No customers = Dead business.

2) IMO, all light novels should have their original covers printed no matter what. If you want to do an alternate art one that is fine but keep the original no matter what. Remember point #1. REMEMBER YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE.

3) If point #2 requires that you raise the cost by $5 (such as the hardcover Haruhi novels) then so be it. I would gladly pay $5 more for an “original” book then a terribly done Americanized one.

4) When all else fails. Just ask your audience. Ask them in your magazine, on your website, in facebook, twitter, and myspace posts. This is the age of being able to connect to any of your customers and seeing what is “good” and what is “bad.”

That about wraps it up. If just ONE person from the YP staff reads this then that makes it worthwhile for me. Here is hoping to see volumes 2 and on in their “original” condition.


The extra hours put into finding a solution shows Yen Press really cares about their fans, so for that thank you 🙂 I think as long as the cover art for future volumes aren’t as atrocious as this first attempt and/or there is an option for fans to get the original cover, Spice and Wolf will be smooth sailing.


figures that you make this announcement after many of us have already bought the december issue of yen plus


Thanks, Yen Press. Glad to see I’ll be able to get the slip jacket without a crease, and without spending an extra $8-$10.


something is fishy here, am i the only one who doesn’t simply take it on faith that it’s the truth when they say “we have a solution, but only for a limited number of people, and only if you buy online, oh and the solution is strictly voluntary on the retailer end, oh and we’re not going to tell you which retailers we provided with the solution” sure i believe they actually did something and aren’t just blowing smoke, sure i do

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