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Cellphone Novels: The Next Big Thing?

Cellphone novels are a hot trend in Japan, where mostly young authors are creating and distributing stories using their cellphones and designed to be read on cellphones. At least one novel has sold more than a million copies, and the cellphone portal Magic iLand has started a free library where users can download the free copies of the novels.

At this time, the cellphone novels are mostly written by and for young women, with a heavy emphasis on romance, but the audience is growing and other genres are emerging, and new software is planned to allow sounds and visual elements to be added to the cellphone books.

“A mobile phone novel boom is definitely in place,” said Magic iLand spokesman Toshiaki Itou. “And these are people who hardly ever read novels before, never mind written one.”

This is a definitely a trend we should be watching. It’s the convergence of two other trends– the ubiquitous cellphone and the same move from professional media and publishing to participatory, community-created content. In some ways, it’s like YouTube for novels but in a portable format. If it’s hot in Japan right now, it’s likely to be hot here in a year or two…

Big Books Hit Japan’s Tiny Phones — Article by Lisa Katayama on Wired News

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