Webfiction Statistics: Joara

This is part of a series of posts sharing some of the research material I collected while researching my book How to Write Light Novels and Webnovels. There was a lot I found that I couldn’t fit into the book, so I thought I’d share it here.The categories listed are translations of the ones the sites use, not my own categories.

Joara.com is South Korea’s oldest webfiction site, having started around the turn of the century. It has millions of users, and a large variety of stories because of its age. I sampled it in July 2019, since that’s when I found a way to scrape data from it.

This chart is based on the number of stories in each of the major categories on the site. Given the number of users and age of the site, I suspect these numbers have been pruned to only include “real” stories as opposed to random fragments and other pieces which would make up the bulk of many sites.

Interestingly enough, this looks like a site where Romance doesn’t rule the roost, however there is a bit of an illusion on this site. While Fantasy is indeed the number one category, if you add Romance, Boys Love and Romantic Fantasy together (since on most sites they’d all be grouped as simply Romance) they combine to 21%, which makes them the second largest category on the site.

Overall, however, I suspect Joara’s membership is more male than female looking at the categories. The dominance of Fantasy is a clue, but so is the popularity of Parody/Humor (which you don’t see on female-majority sites) and Fusion is a mixed genre category that’s mostly other types of Fantasy, so fantasy is really closer to 34%. (Or 40% if you assume most Game stories are LitRPG fantasy stories.)

Not a lot to say about Joara,it seems to follow the fairly typical patterns you’ll see in most webfiction sites. Although, I do note that it’s lacking a mystery/thriller/suspense category, which is also one that tends to be more popular with young female audiences than male ones.

GenreNumber of StoriesPercentage
Fantasy4849025%
Parody3932820%
Fusion182699%
Boys Love162938%
Romance159948%
Game126226%
General Fiction (Unclassified)124596%
Romance Fantasy88294%
Literary Works70334%
Light Novels65623%
Fanfiction63893%
Martial Arts36192%
History11171%
Girls Love6000%
Sports2550%
197859