I was somewhat inspired as I was reading another Chinese online novel yesterday. With these online books, it is customary for the author to sometime write an “author’s note” at the beginning or the end of a chapter. And in this very popular online book, the author wrote at the end of chapter 149, translated to the following:
“Let’s talk about the upcoming publishing of my book.
Actually it was like this. When I first started to write, I inquired with some seasoned online writers and my conclusion was that this type of online novels were basically not published as paperback books due to low economic benefit for the publisher: too many words, too tedious details, and no quick climax like movies. I also researched carefully and found this was true.
Giving up the thought of publishing, I wrote very happily, on any topics that I had any interests and without restrictions. If I could make some pocket-money also, that would be icing on the cake. My thoughts at the time was just that and only that.
Unexpectedly, I got all of you who supported me, and my online novel rankings slowly climbed up to the top. I want to sincerely thank everyone. The existence of you, the online reader, is the reason there are still hard-working writers to write these stories.
But I’ve digressed. Back to publishing, this time it was the publisher who sought me out…”
The book I was reading was a long one with 200+ chapters, and was finished only last November. It has 1,226,076 readers according to Baidu.com.
The author must have been a Dream of the Red Chamber fan and had some flare of classical elegance in her writing. I must have read the Dream of the Red Chamber too young, because although I know the story, I don’t have any attachment to the book. Maybe it is time to read it again? Even Chairman Mao had read the book at least four times.
I’m also thinking, since it is my first book, maybe I will publish one chapter each week online and make it free?