Cell phone novels a spreading trend

First cell phone blogging, now cell phone novels.

A trend which started in Japan about 10 years ago called keitai shousetsu (or cell phone stories) has spread like wild fire in the Asian region thanks to ease of accessibility to technology and advanced features in multimedia phones.

Where ten years ago you actually had to grab a pen and paper, now you can just type it all up on a cell phone, post to your website and your readers can download the novel by installment.

CNN eve did a story on the phenomenon back in February this year

Yukiko Nishimura, a Linguist at Toyo Gakuen University in Japan has heralded this trend as a new genre, defending this genre as literature ,¨Some critics argue that mobile phone novels are not literature.. I think they are¨, she says.

Nishimura even held a few lectures to prove it at the 4 day conference that started June 19 on Computers and Writing backed by the University Writing Program at UC Davis.

Interesting topic but are the novels any good?

Usually they are just about teenagers falling in love¨, says Aya Tanaka, a spokesperson for Goma book publishing house who have adapted many a cell phone novel into paperback, "But it is kind of like popular comics, it is what the teenagers want to read, and for the publishers,

Above, English cell phone novel site Mobamingle

it is quite a big market and it does sell."

Sell they do, what with cell phone author Yume-Hotaru´s (pen name meaning "Dreaming Firefly" in Japanese) hit the top selling books list across the board in Tokyo bookstores with their popular cell phone novel ¨First experience¨, about two orinary Japanese teenagers coming of age story. Although it is still a billion yen industry, critics say the trend is now cooling:

¨Last year few mobile novels appeared on best-seller lists while new stories published online have lost their characteristic edginess, said Chiaki Ishihara, Literature expert and cell phone story researcher at Waseda University in Tokyo.

Ishihara even predicts that in a few years time it will be just another trend that had its used by date.

What are your thoughts?

Check it out for yourself

Japanese cell phone novel site:


If you want to give it a try..



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