Mobile Books Taking Off In Japan

It’s been quite a while since Deep Love, the first book to be written for a mobile phone and a phenomenal success. The industry is growing, especially in Japan where community-based Web site Maho i-Land lets budding writers turn out stories with a cover page and chapters… “The now-bustling Maho i-Land has six million members, and the number of mobile novels on its site has jumped, to more than a million today from about 300,000 before the flat-rate plans cut phone bills in half. According to industrywide data cited by Japan’s largest cellphone operator NTT DoCoMo (NYSE: DCM) Inc., sales from mobile-book and comic-book services are expected to more than double, to more than $200 million from about $90 million last year” reports the WSJ. The books aren’t yet literary masterpieces, being mostly written by amatuers and usually influenced by comic books the young writers grew up reading. “That means lots of dialogue and really short paragraphs that fit nicely on a small screen. Huge empty spaces between sentences can convey that the characters are deep in thought.” They’ve got a quite a following, and it’s only likely to get bigger as the quality of the novels improve and people learn to read the new genre, which takes a bit more imagination than books with more space available for description and plot…


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