31 January 2011

The Text Novel

I have been vaguely aware of the term text novels for a while, but never taken it seriously. Then, while investigating self publishing platforms in China, India and Africa, I came across the Text Novel site 17K.com in China, reputed to be the largest website in the world

17K charge the equivalent of 3 cents per 1000 characters, with a maximum of 3000 characters per chapter, which sounds trivial until you realise that the most popular story has received 7.7 million hits – that’s a worthwhile income. I tried to upload my stories to the site, but it will only takes Chinese characters. That set me on the trail of Text Novel platforms round the world, with a special interest in India.

Why India? Because as the most populous nation on earth, with 39 official languages, English is widely spoken and read. While only a small percentage of the population have private computer access, half of those under 35 have mobile phones

So far, I have failed to find a specific Text Novel platform in India, but I did discover that Wattpad.com, a Canadian company, and one of the largest Text Novel sites outside East Asia has recently done deals with publishing companies in India.

The other Text Novel site to catch my eye is TextNovel.com. Both Wattpad and TextNovel are entirely free so can’t be used to generate a direct income. However, I write for the teen age group and guess which demographic group inhabit the world of Text Novels – you got it, the teens.

If the world of Text Novels is where my target audience hang out and read literature, however brief in nature, I recon this presents a good opportunity to build a fan base, funnel teens towards my website, and eventual sales.

So, if you want to read sections of Nina Swift: Gaia’s Brood as I write it you much visit Wattpad.com or TextNovel.com – You can even read them on your mobile/cell phone.


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