What’s old is new again: Japan’s Line rolls out mobile novel service



It was just back in April that Line announced it was venturing into the mobile e-book industry with its Line Manga service. Now the company is digging even deeper into the publishing industry, adding ‘Line Novel’ to its repertoire starting on June 4th.

What’s interesting about Line Novel is that all publications on the platform will be written by well known authors, exclusively for this platform. These exclusive novels are to be provided for free. Updates about the new releases will be shared on the Line Novel official account @linenovel.

To make this initiative, Line partnered with major Japanese publishing house Kodansha, a familiar face for Line from their partnership with Line Manga. Line users can enjoy the electronic publications of their choice by adding the official account of particular novel to their friend list. Two to three episodes of each novel will be delivered weekly.

To celebrate the beginning of this service, the company will launch a contest to discover new authors. The winner of the contest will be decided by public voting from Line users. All novels must be previously unpublished, and applications are open until August 15th.

Japanese people are accustomed to mobile novels, or ‘keitai shosetsu’ since the days of feature phones which goes way back to year 2006. So in a way, this is a return to an already proven concept, likely an initiative that will be successful for Line.

For more information on the growth of Line and its vast repertoire of apps, including Line Novel, please check out our interactive Line Timeline which chronicles its growth from its launch back in 2011 up until the present day.