Cell-phone novels (keitai shosetsu) represent an emerging genre of literature in modern Japan. Often written by nonprofessional authors using only first names, cell-phone novels are crafted in a diary style with short sentence structure, simple melodramatic story lines, and mild characterization. Cell-phone novels are often first distributed via cell-phone text messaging and then are published as hard copy texts. The first cell-phone novel appeared in 2003, written by a young online writer using the name Yoshi. Deep Love, the story of a teenage prostitute in Tokyo, became so popular online that it was soon published as a book, with 2.6 million copies sold in Japan, then spun off into a television series, a manga, and a movie. Subsequent cell-phone novels incorporate elements of sex, violence, and young tragic love. Websites featuring low-cost downloads have expanded authorship, although payouts to authors come only after the novels become published works. In 2007, five of 10 Japanese bestsellers originated as cell-phone novels.

Historical dictionary of modern Japanese literature and theater. . 2009.

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