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Old 2012-12-10, 12:27   Link #1
RRW
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Web Novel/Comic To Official Publication

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So i just notice that there is Number of LN and Manga that started it's life as Web Novel/Manga

In novel side we have Sword Art Online & Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei for start.

In manga side we have Onepunch-Man & Horimiya and possibly many more

Of course when they do receive official publication they will get "upgrade". Like better art for veteran artist (instead random author sketch). they also have chance to make some editing here and there.

Point Of Discussion

What causing this? Is it because popularity of internet?
What does this mean to Japanese media in general?
Does this mean it easier for new author to post their work and hoping to get publication?
Is there any quality difference between Media that started from web compare to "normal" media?
Do you think this is positive or negative thing?
Do you think Japanese company will continue to use this method to find new book?


DISCUSS!
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2012-12-10 at 16:17. Reason: Switched to images tag because it was stretching the post window
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Old 2012-12-10, 16:16   Link #2
relentlessflame
 
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The Internet has lowered the barrier for entry to publishing, allowing people to self-publish their works and make them available directly to the public. And it stands to reason that some people will get discovered by traditional publishers through this process. If someone's popular enough online, there's a good chance that a portion of that audience would be willing to buy a book, and it also opens the door to a different audience who never checked it out online.

In the past, if you wanted to get discovered by a publisher you had to make connections, submit manuscripts, and just keep on working at it until you get a break. Now, you can work on your own to build an audience, and that audience becomes much more connected to the person than they might otherwise. If they get picked up, they often carry that fanbase with them (so long as they find ways to stay engaged with their fans).

I don't think there's necessarily a difference in quality, but works that began online may have a slightly different approach or feel than traditionally-published works because they weren't subject to strict editorial control when they were first released. Sometimes that gets adjusted somewhat in the process of preparing something for print, but often some of the quirks are allowed to stand (because they want to appeal to the existing online fans as well, who will appreciate a certain authenticity; if it's made too "slick" right off the bat, it won't feel like the same work).

Anyway, I'd say it's a necessary thing because the role of the traditional print publisher is going to continue changing. While I think there will always be some place for printed books, I tend to think that this sort of self-publishing will continue to become more prominent over the next decade. It's not even all that hard for someone to arrange to have their own books printed and professionally bound these days. So publishers have to find ways of adding value. Right now in Japan, they can bring a considerable amount of resources in terms of marketing and merchandising that an author on their own may not have. (Consider, for example, the huge success of the SAO anime and all the related merchandise that was and is being launched.) But as authors realize the value of their own works, they'll demand more say and control in how their works are marketed, and will hopefully end up keeping more of the proceeds as a result. That's all a bit scary for publishers (who in some cases treated their writers as basically labourers, and kept most of the proceeds for themselves), but I'd say that it'll happen whether they want it to or not.
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Old 2012-12-10, 20:50   Link #3
Coldlight
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The upcoming anime Maoyuu Maou Yuusha also had its origins as a web novel. From there it got a light novel series and 5(!) different manga adaptations published, and next season - an anime adaptation.
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Originally Posted by RRW View Post
Do you think this is positive or negative thing?
Do you think Japanese company will continue to use this method to find new book?
I think this is definitely a positive thing. If such ventures continue to be successful enough, companies would continue to use this method to find new stories to publish and/or animate. Stories that would have otherwise remained in the realm of the internet.
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Old 2012-12-10, 22:35   Link #4
larethian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RRW View Post
Images
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?

So i just notice that there is Number of LN and Manga that started it's life as Web Novel/Manga

In novel side we have Sword Art Online & Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei for start.

In manga side we have Onepunch-Man & Horimiya and possibly many more

Of course when they do receive official publication they will get "upgrade". Like better art for veteran artist (instead random author sketch). they also have chance to make some editing here and there.

Point Of Discussion

What causing this? Is it because popularity of internet?
What does this mean to Japanese media in general?
Does this mean it easier for new author to post their work and hoping to get publication?
Is there any quality difference between Media that started from web compare to "normal" media?
Do you think this is positive or negative thing?
Do you think Japanese company will continue to use this method to find new book?


DISCUSS!
To really discuss this, we must first understand the origin of the works in question.

For SAO, initially, what happened was that Kawahara wanted to submit it to Dengeki for an award in 2002. But because he exceeded the page limit, he gave up on submitting and made his own personal website to post his manuscript. The positive feedback was what made him continue writing SAO, albeit in a haphazard way. In 2008, he tried again with Accel World. He got the prize. It was only at that point in time, his editor from Dengeki took a look at SAO and got it published. So his start was not due to popularity from the Internet but because his work in Accel World was recognized by the publisher.

For Mahouka, the author originally tried submitting it for the 16th Dengeki novel award. He exceeded the limit by 50%, then condensed it to something he personally felt was of much lower quality due to the condensation and submitted it. True enough, it did not win anything. In the end, he continued writing it purely as a hobby and it was serialized in an online novel website called "Let's become a Novelist", which is made up of a large community amateur hobbyist novelists, some of them who got serialized as well. Mahouka became number 1 in page view rank soon after and stayed as no. 1 till it got officially serialized by Dengeki. The editor who saw his work in "Let's become a Novelist" remembered his submission and contacted him. Clearly, for Mahouka, the strength of his work lies in his setting (possibly his weakness as well at times), especially in the theory of magic, and the limitation set by the Dengeki award did his submission injustice. Kawahara Reki (author of SAO), who also wrote a recommendation commentary for Mahouka, agreed on this point as well. While the 'popularity' of his work certainly contributed to him getting 'scouted', it's still debatable on whether he got serialized because of solely his popularity or because the editor liked what he saw. Certainly, his 'internet' popularity will contribute to the push for his serialization, but 'internet' popularity alone may not necessarily translate to sales.

And you forgot about Maoyuu Mao Yuusha , which began as a series of dialogue-based story made up of posts on 2ch (2channel, not 2chan=Futaba). Though I'm not too sure about the details of how this got to be serialized as a novel publication in the end, since I don't read this.

However, these are just 3 of the more famous successful light novels that originated as 'web novels'. There have actually been in fact a substantial number of published novels that originated from "Let's become a Novelist" as web novels, some of these are in fact mainstream literature, or even 18+ literature. However, most of them are flops and hardly known. FYI, there are also published literature that originated from cellphone novels.

So, I would say that publishing on the web increases an author's chances of getting 'known' and 'recognized', ultimately whether he/she gets a serialization and whether it sells or not still depends on the author's skill and the appeal of his/her story.

As to quality, whether you are talking about literary style or coherence in story writing, in terms of light novels, there's nothing to compare, since light novel publications have few restrictions in that area, and given that there are also quite a number of mainstream novels published under light novel labels these days, whether they originate from the web or not, they can span from super amateurish literary style to pro writing. Ultimately, it also depends on the editor in question.

As implied by one of my above paragraphs, publishers looking at other mediums like internet, or cellphone novels to scout for the next promising winner is nothing new, though not all publishers engage in that practice. For light novel labels, the usual practice is still to hold award competitions and test a winning work via 1 volume. Though the recent big wins in the light novel market might prompt them to give closer scrutiny than before to the works of these amateur or hobbyist novelists.
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Last edited by larethian; 2012-12-11 at 07:26. Reason: i meant to say 'we must first understand'
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Old 2012-12-12, 08:28   Link #5
browndogss
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yeah,i think so, The upcoming anime Maoyuu Maou Yuusha also had its origins as a web novel.thank you
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