Mobile Novels Take Over Traditional Books in Japan
They say kids these days don't read. In Japan, however, teens are back into reading novels big-time with one major difference: They're reading them on cell phones.
Mobile novels (called "keitai" in Japan), books written for the cell phone screen, have taken off with startling success in the east. These serial-based novels are delivered in read-on-the-corner byte-sized chunks on a regular basis to hungry young subscribers. Most are written by young authors in their teens and 20s, and are penned in a comic-like shorthand script.
Several titles have seen huge success, especially when compared to how traditional novels have been selling lately. One such novel, written by a 27 year-old woman named "Chaco", receives over 25,000 readers per day. When a book company begged her to turn the mobile novel into a real book, it sold 440,000 copies. Meanwhile, a relatively new online community for cell phone novels called Maho i-Land has over six million members.
Possibly more shocking is the fact that the authors of these books usually write them using just their thumbs and cellphones. Talk about a bad case of BlackBerry thumb!
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