Web literature turns a page (in China at least)

Apparently some people are making millions from Web Fiction in China.

Admittedly it's a bit more organised than we are but still...

It's time to move to China! ;D

Not so new, though.


Beijing Bestsellers: Angels and web fiction

Posted by Joel Martinsen on Saturday, August 6, 2005 at 1:30 PM

Why heck haven't we done something like that yet?!

Because people on our side of the world don't want to read.

That was a joke. Sort of.

Not really.

No, you hit it on the head Sarratum, unfortunately.

I sense a great deal of bitterness in the forums lately in posts like this. What's up with that?

We is a bitter lot. :p

M.C.A Hogarth - I think a lot of people are just getting completely crashed out on the total lack audience they have. It's not the lack of money or comments it's the fact that we can't seem to get readers at all. In spite of the fact I know I'm gaining new readers my numbers aren't rising so I'm losing people too.

And everything we do to publicise ourselves seems to only reach other writers, or costs money.

These people aren't bitter, they're desperate and frustrated because they don't know what to do.

Staying on topic, or sort of, has anyone really looked into Maho I-land or its ilk? I've been toying with reviewing Koizora and researching 'keitai shousetsu'/web fiction in Japan.

I became aware of the Chinese success with web fiction sometime last year--about the same time I noticed a surprising number of hits from China (not a huge number, any hits from China at all surprises me). I actually had a few readers from there for a little while. I may currently have one.

It would be interesting the research the sources of their success. They've got a very different media environment there in that they have pirated copies of a lot of western entertainment while simultaneously experiencing massive censorship and government control of local/national media.

I know that they end up going to bloggers for relatively uncensored material, but how online fiction fits in is something I don't know. For example, I assume that traditional publishing is largely government controlled (or censored), but I don't really know.


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Posted by Joel Martinsen on Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 2:57 PM



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Posted by Joel Martinsen on Monday, June 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM

These are the links I still have on Chinese digital publishing. I had more, and somewhere in the Danwei archives is a great series on censorship and govt action on both content and piracy. There is another one somewhere on webserials in general.

Individuals are a bit limited. I have one friend who speaks and writes fluently in Cantonese, but as she points out, the ideal way to deliver translations of a piece is to have a Chinese language site, so translating is not enough, tech savvy is also necessary.

Maybe Pandamian will be able to look at translation and a duplicate site in at least one of the major Chinese languages in the future. Certainly they have access to more tech savvy Chinese speakers in that part of the world. Just the numbers! - from wiki - Mandarin (about 850 million), followed by Wu (90 million), Cantonese (Yue) (70 million) and Min (50 million) speakers, and Madarin is closer to 1.4 billion when it's viewed as a whole. All these people are just as anxious to get access to good fiction as the west is, maybe more.

The major houses started looking into China as an open market as far back as 1990, with HM&B actively seeking authors with stories that would cross cultural boundaries easily way back then. It went quiet again after a brief flurry of excitement.

It is one of the many places where web based fiction in all forms would greatly benefit from some kind of cohesion.