More Jalup cards? How far can I possibly go ? That’s a question I often ask myself. It’s why there was such a big gap between Jalup Hero and Master and then again between Jalup Master and now. This deck series from the beginning has been all about experimentation. I had no idea what would and wouldn’t work. It has only been through the help of all of you that have led me this far. When I get requests to continue, sometimes it leaves me unsure what to do.
Not counting Kana Conqueror (232) or Kanji Kingdom (2300), there are 6,250 connecting Jalup cards. Quite an odd number to end it on. Why not go for an even 10,000? If only it were so easy…
How Jalup runs
2018 was an extremely busy year. I learned how to program for both iOS and Android, and then created respective mobile apps for each from scratch. I continued my 1-2 new posts a week (with occasional delays), as I have for the past 8 years. There were Instagram lessons. Wakarukana updates. And a never-ending inbox where I try to answer every single question or concern I get.
Most people don’t realize this, but Jalup is pretty much a two-person show. It’s myself and my wife. We do everything. Of course we love it (okay I love it, and I somehow convinced her to love it haha). However, I have to occasionally take away time from Jalup to do outside freelance work, because Jalup itself isn’t enough to support us. Trust me, I would love to devote myself 100億% on Jalup, without worrying about anything else. But you know… reality and stuff.
Why am I explaining this? I just want people to know that Jalup is not some giant company. We’re not even a small company. We’re two people. When I get complaints that I’m not handling the way things Apple would (yes, really), I’d prefer if people put things in perspective.
But Adam, Jalup is so expensive! You must be Apple!
Jalup is a pretty niche site. Serious language learners who won’t settle for anything less than fluency, looking to sacrifice short term gains for long term ones. For those who fall into this category I offer years of learner material, that took years to build, that will actually be used from start to finish. But this niche significantly limits my audience. That’s fine. Because I was a member of this niche, and that’s the type of person I can assist best. I’ll never be a more casual platform like Duolingo, and I’m not trying to be. But a much smaller audience means I have to charge more.
But Adam, just do a subscription service! Like Netflix!
Ignoring all the reasons I don’t like subscription services (like being disadvantageous to long-term users, or encouraging non-commitment into studying Japanese) there is a bigger logistics issue. Everyone wanted a super fast/offline native app, loaded up with all Jalup content immediately. Offline subscriptions are hard to pull off. Giant companies like Netflix or Spotify have systems in place that allow offline downloads despite being online subscriptions. But this is more of an after-thought feature. They have infinite resources and the ability to fight piracy. I have a box of Pocky on my desk. See the problem?
I know despite this, people will be dissatisfied. But luckily for them, there are plenty of great alternatives to Jalup out there, and I encourage people to try them. You can still enjoy the free Jalup blog, which I have done for 8 years with nearly zero ads.
Did that sound ranty? Here’s a picture of a kitten to get back on track :)
Continuing the Jalup Series
You’d think all of the above would lead to a reason why I don’t plan on continuing the Jalup series. But it has been the opposite. I do want to continue it. It’s always been about if/how I can make that come to fruition. The higher the level the deck, the less people interested. Niche turns into super niche.
It takes around 3 weeks to get the basic Anki deck out, and don’t even get me (or my wife) started on how long it takes to get the linking done for the apps. I actually had a friend from Jalup once offer to help with card linking, until he proclaimed “how dare you try to convince me to join you in hell.” (Joke!) Only a dozen or so people will actually buy the latest deck as a separate purchase. And Jalup Maximum? Have you noticed the strange trend where there is way more content (revised and with audio) then there was a few years ago, and it is actually cheaper now?
That’s where the pre-order system comes in. I’ve done it with the Expert decks (for both content and audio separately). It’s a way for those who want a continuation to support it and Jalup. If I had the resources, I would see the complete Jalup series as the following:
- Jalup Beginner
- Jalup Intermediate
- Jalup Advanced
- Jalup Expert
- Jalup Hero
- Jalup Master (Manga based)
- Jalup Champion (Manga based)
- Jalup Legend (Book/Novel based)
- Jalup Emperor (Book/Novel based)
- Jalup Supreme (??? based)
10,000 cards!? And I even have corny titles for the later levels. But this is getting way ahead of myself.
Jalup Champion Pre-order – A Slight Change
Without the help of people on this pre-order, the series will 100% not continue. I tried to think of ways I could reward the amazing people that are making sure to see this succeed and have found something I think will be a nice bonus.
When you purchase a Jalup Champion pre-order, in addition to getting the deck when it is released, you will have the option to choose the series where the vocabulary comes from. You will leave your top three choices for manga that you would like Jalup Champion to cover. For example, you might write:
- Dr. Stone
- Full Metal Alchemist
- My Hero Academia
After getting all the pre-orders, I will go over the top three lists, and see which manga are requested by multiple people, starting from there. If you happen to make more than one pre-order on the same stage, your preference will receive priority. And if on this stage your selection isn’t chosen, there is a good chance on one of the next ones it could be. However, only around 2-4 manga are chosen per stage, so unless there is a lot of overlap, I won’t be able to cover everyone.
In making your selections:
- Do not include manga that is highly violent or overly sexual
- Try to focus on series that have wider appeal
- Don’t go crazy with the most difficult manga you can find. On the opposite, don’t choose manga that is too simple, as there won’t be enough to pull out of it.
- After you purchase a pre-order, you can either let me know your choices by e-mail and/or leave them in the comments section of this post. By leaving them in the comments, you may get other people interested in choosing the same manga.
If you follow the above with your selections, they are more likely to be chosen.
How the pre-orders work
A pre-order is for 250 Anki cards without audio. The older Jalup Master Stage 5 will officially become Jalup Champion Stage 1 (in order to keep things simple). So pre-orders will start now for Jalup Champion – Stage 2.
For the growing number of you on the Jalup App, you might be wondering what good is an Anki deck, especially one several levels ahead of your current level. Assuming things are successful with the pre-orders, they will eventually be added (and linked…) onto the Jalup App. Expert was finished and released recently on iOS and Android. Currently Jalup Hero is slowly being linked (about 100 cards in) for both versions. After that comes Jalup Master, and finally Jalup Champion! Yeah, it is still far off.
Here’s the process:
- Make the pre-order purchase (you’ll get a one page receipt). Multiple pre-orders by one person are allowed if you want to give an extra boost.
- Around three weeks is spent building and editing the new Anki deck.
- You get your cards after it is finished!
- Pre-orders for the next stage of Jalup Champion (Stage 3) will be set up
If the pre-order number isn’t met, the series will end, and everyone who made a pre-order will be 100% refunded (think of this as an all or nothing Kickstarter campaign). There are no refunds though if pre-orders go through and I begin working on the stage.
Thank you again to all of you awesome supporters out there. You make everything I do here worth it. Even if there aren’t enough people interested to proceed with Jalup Champion, everything else (the apps, the blog, etc.) will continue moving forward as normal.
Pre-Orders for Stage Two of Jalup Champion have been met and development will begin on Feb. 8, 2019. Thank you to everyone who has supported this and made this a reality!
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