Friday, August 31, 2007

China loves online novels

Excerpt from Wired... In China writing and reading novels online has apparently become the hobby of an estimated 10 million youth and appears to be helping the print versions of popular online works sell by the millions. Magic Sword--now ranked as one of 100 most popular web site in the world--is a literary website featuring the KILLING IMMORTALS series, said to sold over a million print copies. To help spur print sales, "publishing companies often require the author to keep a novel's ending exclusive to its print version."Another site, Source of Chinese, "is known within the Chinese publishing industry for its financial muscle and commercial aggressiveness, and commands 80 percent of the market, with more than 80,000 authors, according to Luo Li, the company's business and publishing manager."The article notes: "On the internet, where production costs are close to zero, length equals profit. VIP readers pay a couple of cents for every thousand characters (a print novel generally has 250,000 characters). Contracted authors are paid seven to 12 dollars per thousand characters, depending on their clout. Zhang Muye gets 12 dollars per thousand." (Muye is the author of Ghost Blows Out the Light, viewed more than 6 million times on the web, with 600,000 print cpies sold, and a film version on the way.) Wired