A mobile phone novel typically contains between 200 and 500 pages, with each page containing about 500 Japanese characters. The novels are read on a cell phone screen page by page, the way one would surf the web, and are downloadable for around $10 each. The first mobile phone novel was written six years ago by fiction writer Yoshi, but the trend picked up in the last couple years when high-school girls with no previous publishing experience started posting stories they wrote on community portals for others to download and read on their cell phones.
Magic iLand is one such site. It began as a community portal where users could create personalized homepages from their cell phones. In March, the company launched a free novel library where readers can download text and link to blogs by select authors.
The Magic Library Plus has quickly established itself as the gold standard for mobile phone novels. Work published there is guaranteed hundreds of thousands of readers and lots of street cred. Since its inception, the library has added at least 10 new titles per month. It includes frequently updated reviews and instructions on how to write a mobile phone novel.
Last month, the site held the world's first mobile phone novel award -- with the cooperation of heavyweights like NTT DoCoMo, D2 Communications and video-rental giant Tsutaya.
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