How Web Novels Transform into Light Novels: A Comprehensive Look

The avenue from a web novel to a light novel is a path well-trodden. With web novels gaining immense popularity over the last few years, they are increasingly becoming the source of some of the most popular light novels and subsequently, manga and anime adaptations.

What is a Web Novel and a Light Novel?

  • A web novel is simply a novel that is published online, usually serialized and can be accessed in various digital formats like either free-to-read or subscription-based formats.
  • A light novel is typically a Japanese young-adult novel, aimed at teenagers and young adults, featuring anime-style cover illustrations and colloquial writing style. Light novels are usually serialized before being put into a book format.

How do Web Novels Become Light Novels?

Web novels can be adapted to light novels, especially if they attract attention and appreciation from readers online. The web novel versions serve as drafts that are updated by authors and can be seen by readers immediately. If they are popular, they may receive offers from publishers for adaptation into light novel format.

Self-publishing vs Traditional Publishing

There are a few ways with differing costs when it comes to publishing:

  • Self publishing: You can write the novel your want then pay printers to print it and bookshops to display it.
  • Go online: You can write your novel, break it into chapters and put a donation button on it tied to a PayPal account.
  • Traditional publishing: Shop the first few chapters of your novel to existing sites that do donations and see if they want you to sign up. That way you do not need to learn how to set such a structure up. More advanced sites like qidian, munpia or syosetu do a vip structure where old chapters are public but the newest chapters are paid vip only.
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The Journey from Web Novel to Anime/Manga

Your web novel has the potential to be adapted into a manga or even an anime, especially if it’s posted on platforms like Webnovel that are known for discovering and fostering talent in the online fiction community. If your light novel gains popularity it may attract interest from manga publishers or artists, and could potentially be adapted into a manga format.


In conclusion, while the transition from a web novel to a light novel is not a guaranteed path, it becomes feasible when the story targets the right audience and receives positive feedback. As the writer, your primary focus should be on creating an engaging, well-crafted story. This journey from web novel to light novel, and potentially further to anime/manga, begins with your unique, compelling story and is made possible with the right platform, promotion, and reader engagement.

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