The Japanese are often early adopters for all sorts of technology and pop-cultural phenomena that get popular elsewhere later. Sometimes they just adopt weird things and leave the rest of the world to scratch their heads and wonder. I'm not sure which this is, but half of the top-ten selling works of fiction sold in Japan were written on the handset of the author's mobile phone.
In just a few years, mobile phone novels - or keitai shousetsu - have become a publishing phenomenon in Japan, turning middle-of-the-road publishing houses into major concerns and making their authors a small fortune in the process.
Usually they are written by first-time writers, using one-name pseudonyms, for an audience of young female readers - who, in Japan especially, consult their mobile phones so regularly that the habit could be mistaken for a tic. The stories traverse teen romance, sex, drugs and other adolescent terrain in a succession of clipped one-liners, emoticons and spaces (used to show that a character is thinking), all of which can be read easily on a mobile phone interface. Scene and character development are notably missing.
Koizora (Love Sky) by Mika has sold more than 1.2 million copies since being released in book format last October. The story, about a high-school girl who is bullied, gang-raped, becomes pregnant and has a miscarriage in a saga of near-Biblical proportions, will soon be made into a movie.
Don't laugh, these books are averaging 400,000 copies in sales when converted to hardcopy, even thought the whole thing had generally been read already by the purchasers in installments on their cellphone.
BAK btw my BFF told me to GAL so I stopped giving H&K HAGO Kthxbye. Where's my six-figure advance?