Online-novel News and Views, Stories from around the web

In China, you can actually do this and make a living

For the long-time readers of this blog, you know from time to time we get hints that digital fiction actual works somewhere.  Light-novels are a viable format for publishing in Japan.  Cell-phone and web novels thrive and even can be lucrative in China.  In this piece, online novelists in Hong Kong get a shoutout. One thing I find particularly intriguing is the mention of a publisher, Sun Effort, whose catalogue focuses specifically on online novels.  Also think this is a first as well for a web/online novel as “Red Minibus” was turned into a live-action film with a debut on the international circuit.   So there we go, Hong Kong has charted the way. Now if we could only get a small piece of their success in the English speaking world 😉

Sparkler Monthly Creator Contest

Sparkler Monthly is running a low-key but interesting creator-driven contest. This contest asks creators to share how you as a creator share what you do with your audience.  Entries can be in any format (drawn, sung, video’d) and will be accepted through the end of June.  Good luck!

Jukepop community overhaul

In this latest blog , Jukepop announces a new facet to their comment/review feature.  Jukepop (Serials) initially began as a vote-driven site. In more recent months, they’ve added a comment feature for various stories.  Now, comments have become front-page territory as the main JP page not only shows updates but comment activities of authors and readers. It’s an interesting move and certainly will reward activity by authors and readers for simply “being present” on the community.

I’m sure those who benefited from the previous layout (i.e., Top 30 stories being top  real estate) will not be too thrilled but this shift in the other direction might actually at least let us evaluate the level of activity on Jukepop and encourage people to “delurk.”  Hopefully at some point, however, they adjust the layout so that the feed is not the center of attention  vs. the actual stories or randomize the feed. The idea of a feed can be abused easily by authors seeking to constantly have front-page real estate and can take away from the books that the site features.

Wattpad Fanfiction Writer gets a Deal with Simon and Schuster

In one of the more interesting acquisition stories out there– the series “After” written as a “One Direction” fan fiction has gotten picked up for both a book deal and movie deal.  It’s not the first Wattpad work to go both book and movie but it certainly is the first time I’ve heard of a fan fiction being optioned without little scrubbing as those of us in the fanfic community term it.  Basically the statement in this Time article is that the story will go on with just the band member names being removed.  I wonder how One Direction fans feel about their fandom being used to leverage promotion for the book, particularly since the content is purportedly “Fifty Shades of Gray” inspired.

Other news stories:

Have a story? Want to write a story?  See the Submissions link!


News post – More newspaper serials, chats and more

Just a reminder that this upcoming Sunday 12NoonEST/4pmUTC is the #serialchat on Twitter! If you have yet to sign up for Twitter or don’t get this hashtag business you might want to look at this site.  Also, not too late to sign up for Wesewrimo  at! 

Another newspaper summer serial

On July 22 Bellingham /Whatcom county launches the  ‘Memories of Light’ serial science-fiction story.

Installments will update every Monday (here) until the story finishes on August 26.   According to the article they ran another serial in 2010 (archived) featuring local settings.  This is, per their copy, their first sci-fi story to focus on a future version of their community. Hope the serialsparks some good discussions within their community.

From the blogs

This week we had a guest blog from CASanders on his own foray from the traditional print model  into serials that included a look at his process.Melanie Edmunds, author of Starwalker, blogged about her approach at her own writer blog.  Both of these authors don’t write episodic installments (rather their work can be compiled and have a strong narrative voice/plot evident throughout).  So I find the commonalities of “having an outline” or “stepping points” interesting.   It seems in line with my own “process” which mainly is to have the main guideposts in place before you wander too far into the story.

One thing also worth noting from CASanders’ blog is addressing the issue of “what brings your reader back” in each update.  It’s not necessary to have “cliffhangers” but it is necessary to spark the curiosity of the reader and raise the “stakes.”  In other words,  the author’s job is create a desire on part of the reader to want to find out what the author and his bag of characters are going to do next.

A webfiction author’s death highlights the hard side of Chinese webfic

China may have a thriving webfiction/web novel phenomenon, but it doesn’t mean payoffs for popular authors. The China Daily article talks about the death of  author “Sollong” and how he struggled to make ends meet in spite of his apparent online success.  This article offers some interesting numbers — suggesting 90 of 100 don’t make a single penny off their online fiction.  Of the remaining 10 – they suggest one can make “enviable salary”, 3-5 can make a wage, and the rest are making pocket money.

Do serials, e-publishing kill your chances at publication?

One of the ever present and recycling questions on the Wattpad forums is one asking if posting on Wattpad means you’ll absolutely take yourself out of eventual eligibility for print publication. Bibliocrunch’s #indiechat hosted Wattpad author Brittany Geragotelis who pretty much proved that isn’t the case. Take a look at some of the press for Brittany and then take a gander at the #indiechat twitter transcript.

Another article this month about Beth Reekles and her Wattpad book going to print also demonstrates that there are sometimes unusual and new paths to publication. The Publisher’s Weekly blog on author Nikki Kelly also shows how enterprising authors can use success on Wattpad to approach agents and publishers.


Breaking: ChromaticPress launches for serial comics, prose

I have mentioned TokyoDemons in a past blog where I talked about serials based on light novels.
This morning their two co-creators announced they are moving TokyoDemons intp a new online publication alongside projects from other creators to Chromatic Press ( a new publishing company they have launched with several other familiar names in the anime/manga fandom.

Per their website

“Chromatic Press is a new, independent publisher of original comics, prose, and audio dramas in English for women and men across the globe. Based on a digital version of the “manga magazine” format used to publish comics in Japan, Chromatic titles will be serialized in the online, multimedia magazine Sparkler Monthly starting in the summer of 2013.”

Looking at the list of names associated with this new project is pretty exciting. (Hey, I was around when Mixxzine became Tokyopop. This is pretty cool stuff seeing some of these folks taking matters into their own hands.)

While my understanding is that Chromatic Press has specific creators they are currently in discussions with, they may consider other proposals for new, yet-to-published work. I contacted Lianne Sentar of TokyoDemons and Chromatic Press to ask about how to proceed.

If you are seriously interested, email with your name, a short description of your previous experience (web or otherwise), and then a link to examples of your work or to a professional page online.

ChromaticPress will contact the writer/artists more information about an actual pitch.

Please note they can’t consider writers/artists who don’t have online portfolios or a published backlist to pre-screen at this time.

Weekly Discoveries – October 12-18

Thought these were good tidbits to float to the reader that didn’t quite merit separate articles. Hopefully there’s enough good news to post each week, but we shall see. 🙂

1) Muses Success is starting a new enhanced profile pilot in which you can add a banner to the top of your listing.  Already tested it. Think it’s cool to see the folks working hard to upgrade their site.  See their blog post for more info.

2) Comic Rocket social media staff and I had an exchange technically earlier this month (not this past week) about illustrated serials being eligible for submission to their tool/site.  If you think your site meets the definition of “illustrated”, please contact them about adding your story to their site.

3) Tuesday Serial is posting transcripts from their session with one of the Plympton authors Yael Goldstein Love, entrepreneur Jerry Fan, and frequent guest blogger and serial fiction author Claudia Hall Christian. The first of the five posts can be read at .

4) BIG NEWS: Plympton supporters had a hint this was coming but Twitter gets in on the online fiction action!