Saturday, June 6, 2009

America’s Next Best ‘Celler’

As a previous winner of one of Dorchester's Aspiring Author contests, I am always interested to see what's new in the contest department. Have you seen Dorchester's latest offering? It sounds kind of fun, and very appropriate for the electornic times we find ourselves in.

Cell Us Your Novel: Publisher Seeks New Romantic Voices through Social Networking Venture

New York City—Dorchester Publishing and Textnovel announce their partnership in an innovative writing competition for aspiring novelists. Beginning today, authors ages 18 and older are invited to participate in America’s Next Best Celler, a literary challenge that pairs the emergent cellular generation with the traditional publishing model. The contest will award a guaranteed publishing contract with Dorchester, the publisher who discovered and nurtured the careers of New York Times bestsellers Victoria Alexander, Christine Feehan and Lynsay Sands.

America’s Next Best Celler utilizes Textnovel’s unique business model that allows authors and readers to create, read and share serialized fiction via today’s most popular and ubiquitous technologies. The site encourages readers to subscribe to developing works of fiction which are disseminated in chapter-length installments via cell phones and email over a period of time. Subscribers offer direct feedback to authors and vote for their favorite serials, fostering an intimacy between artist and fan similar to reality television.

Textnovel was created in response to the literary movement that exploded in Japan a little over two years ago which produced an entirely new genre that now dominates their mainstream publishing industry. In 2007, five of Japan’s ten best-selling novels originated as cell phone serials. Many of the serials, such as Love Sky written by a debut novelist and read by 20 million people, have been adapted for TV series and movies.

With faster cell phone networks and data plans now available, the U.S. market has the potential to experience even more success than Japan. “Textnovel’s business model could revolutionize the entire publishing industry,” says Brooke Borneman, Dorchester’s Sales and Marketing Director. According to Maho no i-rando (Magic Island), Japan’s first and largest mobile novel portal, the site has six million registered users, representing roughly 5% of the country’s population. “When applying this percentage to the U.S. population of over 300 million people, the potential to build name recognition for authors is simply staggering,” states Borneman.

A collision of multiple cultural and societal influences has created the ideal situation for the resurgence of the serial which traces its roots to Victorian era novelists Charles Dickens, George Elliott and William Makepeace Thackeray. “Our increasingly fast-paced and chaotic lifestyles have created challenges for many individuals who can’t or won’t make the time to read. Between fragmented attention spans, the enthusiasm and devotion cultivated by fan participation in reality television and the social networking revolution, we think the time is perfect to bring readers and writers together through Textnovel and we hope to discover America’s Next Best ‘Celler,’” says Borneman.
Dorchester is seeking contest entries in any of the following romantic sub-genres: historical, paranormal, urban fantasy, high fantasy, futuristic, romantic suspense or humorous contemporary. For complete contest details, including rules and regulations, please visit or

So what do you think? Are you interested in reading books on your electronic devices?


EmilyBryan June 6, 2009 at 10:50 AM  
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EmilyBryan June 6, 2009 at 10:51 AM  

Really cool. I think Louisa May Alcott started in syndicated format too. This is just the 21st century way of carrying on a grand literary tradition!

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author & marketing coach November 5, 2009 at 10:45 AM  

I thought you and your readers might like to see which novels made it to the top 20 stage in the Dorchester Next Best Celler contest. The top 10 finalists will be selected after November 15th. And the grand prize winner will be announced on January 31st.


All the best.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif, aka Cherish D'Angelo,
author of Lancelot's Lady

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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