online novels

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!


Catching up on the remaining 2013 News stories | Call for completed works

Site News

I apologize in advance for what will be some instability in the look of this site.  This blog is hosted on the backbone and makes use of free themes. Finding one that incorporates all the widgets and menus I’d like to build into the site can sometimes be a bit messy.  I may upgrade this blog in the next few weeks but please be patient if things seem to move left to right back to left over the next few weeks.

On to more interesting things, on January 1,  I will be hanging a page off the top menu for serials completed in 2013.

While there are ways to access/find complete serials on  Webfiction Guide or, I still think that the completed works aren’t highlighted enough within this community of writers and readers.  For this first attempt, I’ve made a call to the existing communities where authors who have contributed content /input into this blog participate.  So look forward to yet another post this week 🙂

Now on to the rest of the news! blogs cover Wattpad and other self-publishing efforts

Suw Charman-Anderson regularly covers the self-publishing world for the site and unfortunately I neglected to post this last month when she decided to talk about Wattpad. 

Make sure you watch her posts — she also covered the unveiling of the  new look at Smashwords  and their partnership with Scribd.  This should be of particular interest to to those of you looking for eventual outlets for your compiled serial.   Mark Coker’s blog  brings insight into the deal’s benefits for authors:

For Scribd’s subscription ebook service, authors will earn 60% of the list price on all qualifying reads, and here they’ve added a cool twist.  With subscription services, the author or publisher earns credit for a full read when the reader reaches a certain trigger point, measured by the percentage of the book that is read.  The first 10% of the book is a free sample, similar to a retailer.  Excluding the sample, once the reader reads an additional 20% of the book, a full sale is triggered and the Smashwords author earns 60% of the list price, up to a maximum of about $12.50 per read…

Harlequin makes good, signs deals with several Wattpad Authors

Wattpad’s partnerships with the traditional publishing world seem to prove the adage that perhaps publishing online isn’t a kiss of death, after all.  Harlequin is among the best known of romance publishers (although to be fair, they also have their fair share of critics for some of their deals they cut with authors.)    But this overall news is positive . Instead of four final selections,  six authors are signed for books . The winning book titles are listed at the Wattpad blog.

Huffington Post continues it’s ongoing love/hate with serialized formats

Huffington Post’s cadre of bloggers do occasionally pay attention to serialized fiction (see tag: ).    I think, however, compared to other formats it hasn’t been as well covered . Still there are a few references from this past month worth looking through. You have the overall positive comment from Mark Siegel, “The New Serial Revolution” which really talks about fiction and comics, among other works.  And there’s the sort of impatient content consumer argument outlined in John Branch’s dissection of “serial television.”

Good Business Advice

In her post, Crowdfunded Anthologies: Concerns For Writers, Victoria Strauss translates a lot of the knowledge the crew at “Writer Beware” has acquired over the years about predatory /careless practices by publishers.   Anthologies are starting to become increasingly common as Kickstarter projects for several reasons — some altruistic and some perhaps not so much.   She poses several interesting ethical dilemmas/questions as do some of the commentators. Excellent read.  And the blog is an excellent resource if you as an indie or new writer isn’t quite sure if something is on the up and up.

Discoveries — Serial sites /Publishers

News Roundup + Transcript for #serialchat on Twitter

Jukepop Serials solicits reader/writer input to select new serials

Jukepop has set up a new area on their website for “aspiring Jukepop authors“. Per their website copy: The serials in this section are from candidates who are hoping to become JukePop Serials Authors. We are asking the community to help us decide! For Aspiring JukePop Authors to become JukePop Serials Authors, they need +Votes from our readers and Endorsements from our authors. If a serial receives enough +Votes and Endorsements then it will move into JukePop Serials’ main catalog.    I think this is an interesting idea so long as the existing community giving input does have readers and not only writers.

Sparkler Monthly Issue #1 Live

Chromatic Press’ monthly serial came out this past Sunday.  Among the five available features for preview are two prose serials, two comics, and one audio drama.  Subscription to this first issue allows access to downloadable formats. Future issues will retail $5USD and proceeds go directly back to the creators.  Of the five, actually, I enjoyed the audio drama the most… although maybe that’s because I like the idea of scifi and horror/suspense being mixed together? Haha.  In any case, light novel “Tokyo Demons” which I’ve discussed in the past will now continue in Sparker Monthly.

Wattpad news of note

  • Another Wattpad/Nikki Kelly article  in Publisher’s Weekly talks about her path to publication.  Kelly is an experienced creator who (I would guess) was quite strategic about what she posted on Wattpad.

Editor-in-chief Liz Szabla at Feiwel and Friends has just acquired worldwide rights to the Styclar Saga, a YA paranormal trilogy by Nikki Kelly, in an agentless deal. Earlier this year, the 27-year-old Londoner serialized her first book, Lailah, on the online writing community Wattpad with impressive results: the novel has had almost two million reads, more than 15,000 votes and upwards of 3,000 comments. Feiwel and Friends will release Lailah in hardcover in 2015.

  • New York Time’s talks with Brittany  Geragotelis (“Life’s a Witch”)  in “Reveling in a Bookstore’s Smell“. More of a slice of life piece than a work blog.

Twitter Chat!!

Thank you to all who jumped into the #serialchat this past Sunday.  The transcript (loosely organized by topic) is posted here: .

As a follow-up please note we are planning two weeknight chats in August-September.  Please coordinate with

  •  Kira @epiguide: European timezones + North American afternoons
  • SGL @whirlyshirly: North American  chat, Late August –  9pm EST/6pm CST

We will post blog times HERE as dates /nights/ times are confirmed.

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 🙂