I’ve been asked some similar sets of questions from both readers and to-be translators for quite some time. These questions often range from where one might find popular Korean novels, how one might translate, or how one can communicate with the author whose novel they want to translate. Instead of explaining the basic steps to each and every person, I realized that it would be better to just make a set of tutorials to those who were all interested. So I decided to create some in my free time.
In this particular section, I’ll be talking about novel websites. Most people in this community seem to think that Munpia is pretty much the only website for Korean novels. This is certainly not the case. The Korean internet is a pretty big place in its own right, and it does have its fair share of novel websites. This isn’t a guide on teaching you how to pick out good projects. This is only here to show you that there are websites you could consider visiting other than Munpia.
We’ll get into eight websites here.
- The famous Munpia
- The not-so-famous Joara
- Lezhin Comics (they did novels?)
- Naver Novels
- Kakaopage (ew)
Ah, Munpia, our favorite novel platform.
A majority of the translated Korean novels that are in the community right now come from Munpia. This is obvious, as this is the biggest novel platform we have in South Korea right now. If you want to get the author’s permission when translating this novel, it’s recommended that you try to ask out (?) the less popular authors lower in the rankings, as the ones up top are usually contracted with publishers by the time they do manage to attain the top spot.
Joara pretty damn big. Just that no one seems to know about it.
It’s a website dubbed the nickname “hellhole” by several readers in Korea, and rightfully so. After all, this is the home of the infamous Invisible Dragon itself… The website has its fair share of good novels, but you really have to sift through a lot of novels to find any. As for getting permission… You’re likely to be luckier to get permission from authors that post their work on this site, but the likelihood of being rejected is still pretty darn high.
You’re better off not touching Lezhin comics. Seriously.
Lezhin Comics has a wide variety of novels in its site. Most of them are pretty good, thanks to their quality control. They even have numerous translations of Japanese novels for the Koreans to enjoy. But… Being a website that’s actually trying to launch a viable English platform, you’d expect them to be quite active in trying to track down their works being translated over the ‘net… Better not to take chances.
Since when did Naver Novels start using real people to advertise their books?
Pretty much filled with Romance novels at this point. It’s not called “Naver Romance Novels” by the readers in Korea for nothing, I guess. If you want to find novels that have illustrations in it in pretty much every chapter, this is the place to go to, I suppose. Since they have quality control crews here as well, you should expect most of the novels on this site to be good. As for author permission, just give it a go, I guess. I got permission to translate King Shura from here, so I guess there’s a chance…?
If you want to see the shittier novel side of Naver Novels, I recommend you try checking out the challenge league.
I don’t like Kakaopage.
Sorry, this is just a personal thing. Having to take down two of my own projects annoyed be quite a bit. In any case, Kakaopage, despite having a platform that pretty much works only on mobile, actually has quite a decent showcase of novels. Of course, they don’t have as much novels as Joara and Munpia, but what they don’t have, they make up in quality. Kind of. If you’re thinking of asking for permission to translate in this platform, just… Give up. Kakaopage isn’t really into translations.
If anything, Ridibooks is Korea’s version of Kindle Bookstore.
Ok, this is more a bookstore than a novel platform, but I had to include it here. Not only do they have popular novels that appeared on platforms like Munpia, but they also have a fantastic amount of published novels. This makes it a perfect website to look for good webnovels and published novels alike. If you’re looking to translate actual published novels, be sure to visit Ridibooks at least once. Who knows? They might have what you want. Don’t count on being able to contact the authors, though, since they aren’t really the ones handling everything that goes on in this site.
WARNING: Everything below here is pretty much unfamiliar territory for me as well. Proceed with caution, as I didn’t research too much on each of the websites listed below.
CUG, at this point, is pretty much a dead site. Well, compared to Munpia, anyway.
This is the oldest fantasy webnovel website in Korea. If you’re planning on digging through really old stuff, this is the place to go. Other than that, I really don’t have much to say about this place. Don’t really frequent it either.
Yo! If you want BL, Foxtoon is the place to go!
This place is… quite popular for the BL novels it has. Sure, it has fantasy. Sure, it has game novels. But… BL is really what takes the cake here in this website. This is a site that really tries to sell its novels towards women. If Lezhin caters towards men with their power fantasy bullshit, Foxtoon caters towards women with fantasy novels with female protagonists and etc.
So that’s about it. These are the bigger novel websites that are in existence right now. There’s more, of course, and a more comprehensive list can be found on Namu Wiki. It’s kind of a pain to navigate, but I suppose sacrifices have to be made in the search for knowledge.