Reading has the magical ability to transport you into new and exciting lives of characters.
While stories have never been in short supply, trying to find the right one for each reader can be difficult.
Luckily, the internet has allowed even more stories to be shared, providing the same level of quality as many of the books that are printed.
New types of novels have been created, thanks to the internet and different websites that support online authors.
What’s The Difference Between A Web Novel And A Light Novel?
The biggest difference between a web novel and a light novel is that web novels only have digital formats, while light novels may have digital and physical copies.
If you were to get the light version of the novel and the web version of a novel, you may see little to no difference.
Light novels will typically have publishers and appear more professional than web novels.
Web novels are typically written, edited, and released by the author.
You may notice that light novels feel a bit more cleaned up, thanks to the editorial process they go through.
There are many different genres of light novels and web novels.
It has become increasingly popular for manga to be released as light novels or web novels.
Manga is a Japanese graphic novel format that is typically targeted towards older audiences.
Because light novels are published by companies rather than individuals, they will get more attention from the public eye.
This increases any light novel’s chances of being turned into a show or movie.
The publishing company does a lot of good for a light novel by helping to increase its quality.
Light novels will have fewer mistakes, more professional illustrations, fewer plot holes, and tend to be more cohesive than the average web novel.
There are fewer rules when writing web novels than light novels.
While light novels tend to be around 50,000 words, web novels could be any length.
Some are very short, while others seem to go on for an eternity.
Some web novel authors know how to make the lawless land of web novel writing work to their advantage, allowing themselves to write in ways they wouldn’t normally.
There is more variety in story and quality, but you will have to sort through many poor-quality stories.
Where Can You Find Light And Web Novels?
You can find light novels at your local bookstore or online, in both physical and digital formats.
Light novels that are published by smaller companies may be more difficult to find in physical stores, but you can typically find a store locator on the book’s website.
Those who want to find a niche light novel and still want to support their local bookstore should check out Bookshop.
This online retailer gets its inventory from bookstores all over the country and orders the book you want from the bookstore nearest to you.
You aren’t going to find a physical copy of a web novel anywhere you look, unless you have someone custom print it for you.
Because web novels are restricted to being online, they often cost little to no money.
Most web novel authors will instead have a link where you can send them money through services such as Patreon.
These services allow them to spend more time writing and editing.
Some web authors will set funding goals to help improve their novels.
These funding goals may include things such as hiring an editor, adding illustrations, improving cover art, writing a sequel, or even attempting to get the web novel published.
These crowd fundraising goals allow web novels to become different types of novels.
Readers who are looking to find a web novel to support may want to check out websites like Wattpad, which is the most common and well known.
Each website seems to have a little of each genre but specialize in one or two genres.
For example, Royal Road is best known for fantasy and science-fiction novels.
You will be able to find almost every genre on most of these platforms.
Choosing Quality Or Quantity
Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to give your own writing the same charm and flow of the authors you love to read?
Oftentimes, the thing you are missing is an editor and a publishing company to give your writing the golden kiss of professionalism.
Light novels have the advantage of going through many different drafts before the final version is released to the public.
While writing may be something you do on your own, publishing books is best when it is a group effort.
Web novels don’t get to go through the same editorial process as light novels.
The closest thing you’ll get to an editor is a critical commenter if you’re lucky.
At best, the author has had a friend read through it.
Web novels are more raw and untrimmed than light novels.
While this allows them to have more freedom and find avenues that no author has before, it also means that they don’t have the same shine or polish as light novels.
The lack of basic editing can make readers put down a story before they even get to the end of a chapter or page.
While there may be some readers who are willing to bear through the unprofessionalism, the majority of readers will simply go and find a better written story.
Light novels may not always have the best story arcs, but you know that things will be spelled right and there won’t be many confusing grammatical errors.
Light novels may be better written, but there are many web novels with ideas that are better than anything major media companies are pushing out.
Web novels may have more quantity, but light novels have vastly more quality.
There are exceptions for light novels and web novels, so you should read both types.
The Variety Between Light And Web Novels
Light novels and web novels have their own advantages when it comes to the quality and quantity of writing.
Web novels will give you a lot of writing for little to no cost, but there is no promise that every story is going to be good.
Light novels may give you a smaller selection to choose from, but you know that you’ll be getting a complete story with decent quality.
Web novels have more variety in stories and many web novels even continue stories you’ve already seen, which is referred to as fan fiction.
Fanfiction is the genre of story that uses characters from another form of media that the author doesn’t have rights to.
This modern writing genre gets around most copyright regulations because authors don’t make any money from those web novels.
Fanfiction stories would never be allowed to be published, making it impossible for them to become light novels.
The freedom that comes with bending the rules around copyrights allows for web novels to flourish.
Often, you will also see web novels that choose to bring more taboo topics to the reader’s attention than light novels.
Light novels need to be friendly enough to be sold in as many stores as possible in order for the publishing company to make a decent enough profit and for the author to be considered successful enough to be published again.
Web novels don’t need to worry about turning a profit.
They are willing to bring up topics such as mental health, sexuality, and different lifestyle choices that the average reader may have never come into contact with otherwise.
Without these restraints, the web novels can literally hold anything inside their virtual pages.
That’s why it is important to thoroughly read all the information about a web novel before you begin reading.
The Likelihood Of Adaptations
Those who are fans of a novel either become ecstatic or annoyed when their favorite story becomes a movie, television show, anime, or even video game.
While some bookworms may argue that other forms of media will not suit a story as well as the book, other fans will be excited to hear the voices and see the faces of their favorite characters.
Shows such as Sword Art Online, Fate/Zero, Free!, and The Devil is a Part Timer were all once popular light novels.
They were published and popularized in Japan before being shown all over the world.
Publishing companies do a lot more than just print and sell light novels.
They also market them in order to make printing the light novel worth it.
This helps these light novels to get more readers’ attention, which creates demand for more content.
Light novels have a higher demand for adaptations and are easier for companies to get the legal rights to use.
Publishing companies act as the copyright sellers, who will allow different animation, film, and gaming studios to use the characters and stories from light novels.
Web novels are normally only handled by the author and many authors don’t have a way for companies to reach out to them.
Some writers prefer to stay completely anonymous, which makes contacting them even more difficult.
In order for a web novel to even be noticed by any kind of media company, it would need to be getting a lot of positive attention.
Companies would use the number of views, comments, or social media posts about the web novel to determine the demand for more content.
There has been one occasion of a game developer choosing to make a game based on a web novel series: SCP—Containment Breach.
The Presentation Of Light And Web Novels
Light novels will almost always have better cover art and illustrations than web novels.
While there are many instances of web novels having spectacular art, most authors have to do all of their own art.
The companies that publish light novels know that their books have to be just visually appealing as the story is emotionally appealing, if not even more so.
Avid readers may know that you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it can’t be helped.
The cover art can make or break a novel.
Cover art can make readers interested in even the most outlandish novels.
Boring or bad cover art can make it easier for potential readers to glance over and ignore.
Awkward, uneasy cover art is the worst kind of cover a novel can have, and it is incredibly common to see with web novels.
While authors may be artists with words, they may not be painters or illustrators.
Light novels will typically have artists who specialize in cover art designs create the outside look of their novel.
Meanwhile, they may have another illustrator who does any of the illustrations for the story.
Most web comics are made by one person.
Some of the best-looking web novels are typically done by two people: an author and an illustrator.
It’s rare to find web novels with two people working on them, but those people almost always know each other in real life.
It’s common to find that web novel duos are related, friends, or in a relationship.
Occasionally, you will find web novels that are written by one person but have the same quality as a light novel.
More often than not, the author and fans have managed to raise enough money to hire an illustrator through crowdfunding.
Best Examples Of Light And Web Novels
When it comes to books, it can be difficult to say which books are the best due to the amount of personal preference involved in choosing what kind of books you like and dislike.
However, there are a few light novels and web novels that are beloved and appreciated by many.
One of the best horror web novels is My House of Horrors, which follows the life of Chen Ge who bought a house haunted with graphic horrors.
The best horror light novel is Ring by Koji Suzuki, which is the book that the American horror movie, The Ring, is based on.
Those who are looking to get their fix of fantasy will want to try reading Release That Witch.
The web novel follows the story of Prince Roland, who is deemed unfit to rule by his father.
Roland befriends one of the local witches, who helps him become stronger than anyone thought he could be.
The best known fantasy light novel used to be Spice and Wolf, a 2006 novel by Isuna Hasekura and Ju Ayakura.
The story revolves around spice merchant Kraft Lawrence and Holo, the werewolf-like being, as they travel around Medieval Europe.
There are many web novels that are absolutely action-packed, with the best example being Night Ranger.
Night Ranger tells stories of battles against mighty kings and unwavering armies.
There is a slew of enjoyable and unique characters who add bits of comic relief with perfect timing.
You can’t talk about action light novels without bringing up That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, another light novel that was successful enough to spawn an entire anime series.
While all of the other characters died and reincarnated as humans, the protagonist instead became a slime monster and must learn how to return to their old body.
Web And Light Novels Are Beloved
The differences between web novels and light novels can be crystal clear in most comparisons, but there are some web novels that give light novels a run for their money.
Don’t completely discredit a web novel for not being published by a professional publisher.
Light novels are more akin to what you’d expect from a traditional book, while web novels are something completely unique to the internet.
While some web novels may take that uniqueness to the extreme, there are many that you’d think were released by a publishing house.
However, the majority of web novels aren’t going to be able to compare to light novels.
The attention to detail and professional processes that those books go through before they are released to the public help them achieve a more consumer-friendly look.
Light novels and web novels are just as capable of immersing you in the worlds, relationships, and adventures of the stories they weave.
Perhaps next time you can’t decide what you want to read, you’ll choose a light novel or web novel to relax with.