We receive inquiries from publishers almost every day.” Film and comic book originals…Why are works from a “novel submission site” so popular? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

We receive inquiries from publishers almost every day.” Film and comic book originals…Why are works from a “novel submission site” so popular?

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The popular “otherworldly reincarnation” stories, “villainous daughters,” “broken engagements,” etc., etc. The place where popular comicalization works are born.

The number of “web novels” created by the general public is accelerating.

Not only novels and manga that can be found on manga apps, but also anime, TV dramas, and even movies based on web novels are on the rise. The Japan Academy Award-winning movie “Kimi no Pancreas wo Yoroshiku wo Eikoku” (I Want to Eat Your Pancreas) and the rumored sequel “Watashi no Shiawase na Kekkon” (My Happy Marriage), which has grossed over 2.7 billion yen at the box office, are also based on web novels.

We asked Sachi Hirai, CEO of Hina Project, Inc., which operates the major web novel site “Shosetsu-ka Naro” (Let’s Become a Novelist), about the current state of the web novel industry, which is now in the midst of a meteoric rise.

Currently, there are more than 2.5 million registered users, and the total number of users who have ever contributed a novel to the site is 430,000! One of Japan’s largest free novel submission sites, “Shosetsu-ka Naro” (Let’s Become a Novelist)

Web novels” have evolved differently from cell phone novels. Novels on the web” (in Japanese)

After the spread of the Internet, the novels written by amateurs and aspiring writers were “keitai shosetsu” (novels written on cell phones), which were based on the “gara-kei” (mobile phone) culture. Many people may remember the many famous works such as “Koizora” and “Deep Love” that were produced.

Although the former excitement has faded, the keitai shosetsu has not stopped, and live-action film adaptations continue to be made, such as the movie “Karada Sakujo” released last year and “Kaehatsu Uso Nikki” released this year. In addition, “Ano hana ga saku hoka de monde, ano kimi wo mia ni metatara (If I meet you again on the hill where that flower blooms. is also scheduled for release this December.

Most of the “Isekai Tensei” and “Ryojo-Reijo” manga apps are based on web novels.

This time, we will focus on “web novels,” which appeared a little later than mobile novels. This genre started when novels were posted on the web from personal computers, and in some cases, it is considered the same as keitai shosetsu. However, it is generally considered to be a “different genre” because of its different origins, genre and text structure (there are various theories).

In web novels, fantasy works such as “otherworldly reincarnation” and “villainess” are abundant, and in recent years, they have become a popular genre in manga applications as well.

Needless to say, the reason for this is that the level of works written by amateurs and aspiring authors who love novels, if not professionals, has been rising.

As if to prove this point, Sachi Hirai says, “We receive inquiries from publishers and labels every day.

Inquiries from labels come in almost every day

Novel House Naro” was launched in 2004 as a personal website. It is one of the largest novel submission sites in Japan, and has grown on the strength of its ability to link data from PCs and cell phones, allowing submission and editing on both.

Many works adapted from web novels into books and comic books are sold in bookstores.

In 2009, the site underwent a major renewal to improve services for readers, including a bookmark function that allows readers to immediately read the next installment, and the number of registered users increased dramatically. Currently, the number of registered users exceeds approximately 2.5 million. In addition, a total of 430,000 users have submitted novels to the site at least once, and more than one million works have been published.

When a novel is published as a book or a comic book, more and more visitors come to the site to enjoy the story spoilers and the differences between the original work and the book.

As a result, the number of PVs has increased each time more works are published in book form or as comic book adaptations. The current average monthly PV is about 2.1 billion views” (Sachi Hirai, hereafter).

Novel House Naro” is a hangout for people who love novels, but its business style is extremely simple.

Our company’s main business is the operation and development of a free novel submission site. The only source of revenue is advertising revenue, and we do not engage in mediation.

However, we receive inquiries almost every day from people who say, ‘We want to publish your work in book form, so we would like you to connect us with the author. We are involved only until we connect the author with the label. After that, we don’t have a hand in what happens after that.

The entrance to the store is lined with books that have been published or adapted into comic books by “Shosetsu-ka Naro” (Novelist’s Letter).

The “otherworldly reincarnation” genre, which has become synonymous with “Shosetsu-ka Naro” (Novelist’s Naro), was born in the ’10s. At about the same time, the “villainous daughter” genre was gaining popularity among women.

In the beginning, the genre was strongly influenced by light novels, but in the ’10s, “Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu” and “Tensei Takeru wa Slyumu Datta Mono” and other “Isekai Tensei” helped raise the site’s profile, and since then it has become a parallel genre with the villainous daughters genre. Recently, we have again joined with light novels.

Recently, I feel that the site is once again merging with light novels. I also think that subcultures such as anime and games that are popular at the time also have an influence.

Hirai has been following the web novel scene since its early days, but because of the rapid turnover of works, “I honestly have no idea what will be popular next,” he says. The same is true for books and comic book adaptations, and there are no particular criteria such as the characteristics of works that are most likely to be approached by labels or the number of readers.

Labels have a variety of colors, so there is no genre that is easy to be chosen. If a work becomes popular enough to be ranked in the rankings, there is a chance that anyone will be approached. However, just because there is an inquiry, it does not necessarily mean that the work will be published.

The “mechanism” as a place where gemstones continue to be created

In addition to the fact that the groundwork for the creation of new works is being prepared, there is also a tailwind blowing from other directions that is helping to boost the web novel boom. One of these is the various contests held throughout the year.

Autumn History” has been held as a new official project since 2010.

Since last year, “Shosetsu-ka Naro” has been holding an official project called “Autumn History” in an effort to boost the historical genre on the site. Since the hurdles for participation rules have been lowered and the contest is open to a wide audience, more than 150 works have been collected during the approximately one-month application period.

In addition to such maniacal projects, many contests are held in collaboration with publishing companies and other organizations that promise commercialization of works in addition to prize money.

While the publishing industry is working to discover new writers, we should not forget the existence of “scoppers” who dig up good works that have been left dormant on the site.

Scuppers” are influencers who love web novels, discovering good works that have been buried but not ranked, and introducing their personal recommendations.

Our immediate task is to create an environment that makes it easy for readers to access the works they want to read from among the many available works, but this is quite a difficult task. …… So the scopers help us a lot.”

Novels are one of the many creative genres that are relatively easy to tackle, and there are a certain number of people who are willing to try their hand at it. There are many websites such as “Shosetsu-ka Narou,” where new novels are created every day.

When someone submits a novel, the next boom or famous work of fiction emerges from it, and it develops into something new, and people who read it submit new novels. I would like to continue to watch over such a “creative loop.

Click here for the ” Shosetsu-ka Narou” website.

  • Interview and text Motoko Abekawa

    Motoko Abekawa is a freelance writer mainly for the web. She is also involved in the production of books and corporate PR magazines. She does not specialize in any particular field, but rather works on a wide range of topics that interest her, including history, comedy, health, beauty, travel, gourmet food, and nursing care.

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