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.

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News Roundup, ending May 22

Oh Amazon Worlds, legitimate licensed fanfiction?

I will link you to Passive Voice’s post on this because I think the comments are important. Look for the two attorneys on the blog (Marc Cabot and Passive Guy) as I think they’re raising the rock on what might be a rather problematic aspect of this otherwise amazing move by Amazon.  First, I think it’s great for authors who want to break into something to DO FANFIC. Absolutely.  Instantly forgiving audience should you cater to the wants/needs of the average fanfic reader.  Yes, Amazon takes its share of the sales. Yes, Amazon’s fine point needs to be analyzed since while you maintain your copyright to what you created, who knows whether you have to be exclusive. We’ll see.

But for a long time I’ve felt like fandom has had no real understanding of copyright and licensing and the ramifications should the licensor also have the ability to enforce their license.

I’m not an attorney but long familiar with debates about copyright/licensing as relates to IP goods.  My question is if Amazon Worlds licenses properties A, B,C, can they enforce /issue cease and desists against sites that host that content?  See, even if it’s available freely, it still infringes and second, while the author doesn’t benefit, the SITES that have ads for stories related to A,B, and C do.  That ad revenue may, in part, really belong back to the intellectual property owner whose property is being exploited on the web.

So – maybe I’m just overseeing things here, but I’m wondering if this move is intended to redefine the landscape of fandom engagement and harness a bit of the fandom into an arrangement that benefits the original holder.

However – for those fans like me who actually really do want to play nicely… I”ll admit this is interesting. I want to find readers. And there are fandom writers who leveraged their success on and made it into the publishing world.  I wouldn’t mind a piece of that action either. Sadly, I would guess Amazon will deal mostly with Western fandoms and not the Japanese ones I adore… but here’s a hint. *COUGHANIMELICENSEPLEASE*

Survey Says Chinese Youth Unsatisfied with Online Literature

A somewhat provocative piece suggests that online chinese fiction might be increasingly unpopular. This in contrast to the article about profitability of online novels in China which a few years ago several us discussed over at

Its’ quite possible that this survey is skewed to start with. We don’t know much about the population sampling. We also don’t have cross-tabulations comparing frequent reader beliefs vs. those who don’t read “frequently,” whatever that may mean. So – like the lone commentor suggested – who knows what to think of this “key finding”?

Story Notes – Episode Endings vs. Chapter Endings (and a change in Ep 5)

Camille Laguire hits upon some really interesting points about crafting serials. The cliffhanger sometimes isn’t literal in a way, but sometimes about setting yours readers up to have to mull and think through things in the time between installments. I really like these more subtle points about writing serials and wish readers would chime in about which serials they like and why. I do think that serial attract a different kind of reader, and that is the one who sort of enjoys the suspense behind “waiting.” I think also the best serial writers are known by their readers to be tricky and likely to surprise them. It makes the waiting all that more full of interesting analysis!

And that’s it for now 🙂