Add Web-only novels & comics

[Please: Before posting make sure your request or bug report is not duplicated by searching in the product requests subcategory. Thank you for helping us keep everything organized!]

While many popular webnovels and comics become published books with ISBNs, not everything does. Especially in Korea, webtoons & webnovels have a big presence, even more so than syosetu and others in Japan.

It’d be nice to be able to support this format. The major issues are simply around progress tracking… most things are serialized as chapters without pages. How do we handle this? Some questions to answer:

  • Should we treat chapters simply as one page? As one volume? Should we only do percentage? How would percentage work with new chapters being added?
  • Do webnovels live separately in stats?
  • Should we allow these items to be compared to traditional books (probably)?
  • How do we handle updates on these items? Do we need to keep a ‘maximum’ number of chapters? Is it fully user specified? If fully user specified, how do we handle someone simply marking it ‘finished’ from the getgo? How many chapters do they get?
  • Do these live in the books library? (probably)

This may become a more pressing issue with Korean, but if implemented, it’d undoubtedly be good for Japanese too.
Trello link:

(All my responses come with basically no coding knowledge, so I have no clue how hard any of my suggestions would be to implement)
Would it be possible that when selecting ‘webnovel’ or ‘webtoon’(when adding a book), it replaces the ‘pages’ part with chapters, and rather than having a specific ‘end’ chapter (since as you mentioned, there are so many ongoing ones), you can only add the chapter you’re up to? Something like:
15/? ← where 15 is how many you’ve read, and ? represents the fact it is ongoing/no. of chapters are unknown - Similar to the current page system.

I don’t think they need to be separated in stats from regular books, as they are just online books, but then I guess the issue would be, if you measure progress VIA chapters, would they share a stats page with regular books (that are defined by pages, not chapters) and just say “x Pages Read” “x Chapters Read” :thinking:
I think if comics/manhwa are already included in the ‘books’ area of statistics, so should webnovels and webtoons

I think comparing them to traditional books would be really crucial to the use of the website for finding webnovels. Webnovels, at least in the Korean circles I’m in, are used as a stepping stone into traditional novels, so being able to see how a webnovel compares to easier material, and how they then compare to harder material, would be really important!

Possibly, if a user selects it as ‘finished’, the option to select chapters are available, however, if ignored, it doesn’t affect the “Chapters Read” statistic until they edit how many chapters they’ve read. I guess this also depends on if it is a possibility that when a webnovel/webtoon is finished allowing for someone - specifically users - to ‘change its status’ to finished and submit the final chapter amount? - the only issue there, that makes me a little hesitant with whether it’d actually work is if a user updates the no. of chapters part, thinking it is finished, when it isn’t.

probably best to live with the other books :slight_smile:

Really excited to see this conversation continue, and hopefully for the feature to be developed!


I like all your suggestions. I think I may just have a community editable ‘number of chapters’ on the web novel. Then if someone marks finished, it can use that value. It also could be used to indicate if you have more potential chapters. Obviously, it could be abused, but seems pretty unlikely and I could easily track.

I think that the stats would need to be separate unfortunately, but I think that’s ok. Maybe at somepoint we could improve.

As for submission, i’d imagine it’d be pretty straightforward, but user intensive - basically a form which asks for a url (must be from a preconfigured set), a title, an optional english title, a max number of chapters. an image… and then the normal estimated level / your status stuff.

I don’t think I have to worry about webnovel series, right?

All in all, as far as a potential new item type, it’s probably as easy as could be… but incorporating into search, grading, display page, user librarys & reviews might take quite a bit of work. If I could somehow make it a ‘book’ I wouldn’t have to do all those things, but with the weirdness of chapter progress marking, I don’t think I can swing it.

It would be a good trial run into other content types which have been requested… such as podcasts, audiobooks & games/visual novels… but we’ll see. I’d only really want to do this after a few other critical things such as favorites and content tags, meaning it’ll probably be early september before I could get to it.

1 Like

Just curious, but are there any api/crawlers for the more popular sites that you could use to get at the information?

  • webnovels usually have chapters and the characters could be counted and an approximate page count calculated (For Japanese something like 450 characters (without spaces) = 1 page seems about right for lightnovels), so when someone says they finished chapter 3, the stats can show pages read equal to books and manga. :thinking:

  • do webcomics not have pages? Is one chapter just one long picture? (I don’t read them, so I genuinely don’t know, but I thought, there usually was a page selector somewhere… :thinking: )

You mean webnovels that go together? They do exist (at least in Japanese), but I don’t know how common it is and it probably won’t come up unless someone wants to read it and then they could probably make a note when adding? :thinking:


They don’t as far as I can tell. They’re meant to be scrolled on phones. Example

Unfortunately, the issue is what the user can input rather than the actual page number. The user only knows what chapter they’re on. I could eventually scrape the chapter information.

And yeah I could build scrapers eventually, I know syosetu has their own api. But it’s one of those things where allowing form submission first seems like a good step… later can replace it with a scraper and auto add mechanism.

It would actually be quite cool to get the number of characters and everything… but not terribly necessary for v1.


Yeah, absolutely. I just have no idea how much work something is, so I just tend to voice my ideas. I work on IT projects for my company all the time and often the developers are like “this only takes a couple of minutes” when I think something will take ages and then something takes hours that I think should be really easy. :rofl:


We similarly have no idea, we just guess and hope for the best :joy:


It depends, but assuming we’re excluding Webtoons, they generally have pages. Webtoons technically do too (in the sense that there are separate image files), but are usually presented as one vertically scrolling image (though there may be relevant identifying attributes in the rendered HTML. I haven’t looked at it in ages). It depends on the specific platform and comic tho.

Most webcomics are ongoing with multiple updates per week, and won’t necessarily display page count the way that a manga or book would. So updating by page count seems ちょっと面倒臭っぽい


At sjosetsu I could convert the web novel into a PDF document. And I always considered the page number of the PDF version as my current position.


Interesting. Well, while that will work for syosetu, it won’t work for others :confused:

If we did a chapter-only progress marking system for syosetu, would that work for you?

It’s OK in itself, but it will not be comparable with books, of course. But on the other hand, mangas and novels are not comparable, either.

1 Like

FYI - this feature is now in progress! We’ll be starting off with Naver only, but additional sources should be easily addable after we figure out Naver :slight_smile:

See here - Big Picture - Natively Upcoming Features (2023-2024) - #59 by brandon

(@pieonakr as you started this request)


Crosslisting here, but i have some korean specific webnovel questions for you all.

1 Like