Internet writers, the websites and the publishing companies have experimented and discovered a new "triple-win" approach of doing publishing: an obscure writer publishes his/her work on the Internet, the readers flock to read it on the Internet and the book publisher watches what is happening. If the Internet novel achieves a high hit rate, there is a good chance that the published book may become a bestseller. Thus, a "hit rate novel" has just emerged.
Will this be the new publishing phenomenon? Ok, this is what's reported in the second-last para:
The reporter browsed through some websites and found that Internet-published novels are usually serialized. The most popular types are "romance+martial arts," also mysteries and science fiction, which are lacking in deep thinking. Jinan University Journalism and Communications Studies professor Dong Tiance said: "The major selling point of popular culture is its fashionable nature. High hit rates lead to a market, but this is a kind of fashionable cultural consumption with a short lifespan. It is not impossible to get some good quality works, but the overall quality of the novels would seem to be still quite infantile."
Related article here.
I tried to verify the news by checking if there were other websites that report on "hit rate novels" but couldn't find any other. Maybe this is the only English translation.
Preetam says the news is reliable, and that in China there's a flourishing trade in "blog-to-book" deals. He visits China and has quite a few contacts there, so I'll certainly take his word.
I'm not surprised such a phenomenon is picking momentum in China. When Tony Ferguson spoke on ebooks in China, he gave insights on the success factors behind the ebook production and consumption in China.
Recently, I was told by a colleague that PDAs are now sold with Chinese software as a default (when in the past you had to buy and install the Chinese reader software separately).
I wonder how much of the rise of the "Hit Rate Novel" is due to the large domestic demand in China (1.3 billion -- how the heck does one visualise that kind of number?)
And if demand is a critical success factor, does this mean this model wouldn't work for a country like Singapore? Maybe it would, for Singaporean authors who write in Mandarin. A good story is a good story anywhere, isn't it?
Tag: ebooks, e-publishing