May 26

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Mobile phone novels boom in Japan

The Economist is running a story on the rise of a new type of mobile phone novel in Japan:

"With sales of books in decline, a new market has come as a godsend to Japan's publishing companies. Sales of mobile-phone novels—books that you download and read, usually in installments, on the screen of your keitai, or mobile phone—have jumped from nothing five years ago to over ¥10 billion ($82m) a year today and are still growing fast."

The article makes a point that we've previously remarked on regarding YouTube, the fact that the medium changes the preferred format. Existing novels didn't work. A new type of novel was developed that suited the medium and the audience. However, bestsellers from the keitai have begun to bleed back into traditional media, with one author landing a traditional book and movie deal.

(via O'ReillyGMT)

tags: publishing  | comments: 6   | Sphere It

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Comments: 6

  Roy Schestowitz [05.27.07 04:06 AM]

This trend (or transition) is, in my humble opinion, well overdue. The benefits of electronic delivery (sans DRM) are on the rise, the readers become younger (tradition curtailed), and people spend more time with their PC or gadgets. Just recently:

  dave mcclure [05.27.07 06:25 AM]

yeah, saw that article too and thought it was fascinating.

even moreso if you've ever spent time in japan & realize how *many* people spend so *much* time on the subway there... everyone has their head down checking out their keitai (mobile phone).

  Alex Krupp [05.27.07 01:14 PM]

I remember reading about this a while back. I wonder how long until someone first publishes a book in the US via twitter.

  VN [06.11.07 04:04 AM]

about litterature on mobile, I had an idea. I write short stories and I read it weekly on the Belgian radio RTBF. Those novels are podcasted on my website

I was thinking about other platforms, like mobile phone. One could listen to my stories on the phone. I don't know any exemple in Europe. Do you?

Regards from Brussels

  Steve Gater [06.12.07 04:20 AM]

Charles Dickens and many others made a fortune out of serialising his novels (as well as performing on tours). This format committed him to repeated tight deadlines and whipped up great expectation (pardon the pun) from his huge following. If this trend can do the same to encourage reading of young people that's great news.

  Jon Eastwood [08.03.07 10:11 AM]

There is a company in Ireland called WithU Media that are attempting to start up this sort of thing in english-speaking countries. I've been asked to write for them, and it should be kicking off early next year. Exciting eh?

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