Books are Back with Radish Media


Radish Media Inc. (Photo : Radish Facebook page)

By Eui-mi Seo

What happens to all those books that have been published but no one wants to read? All those hours put into creative writing and publishing one work, left to collect dust. Of course, one can’t expect every book that passes the publishing house to make it big, but then what of those authors that barely make a living for their effort? Does this mean literature and writing will become an outdated career path?

People say you can’t make money off of writing, but CEO and co-founder of startup Radish Media Inc. (2015), Seung-yoon Lee, would argue otherwise. Books are neither outdated nor are writers wasting their time creating content. All they need is…a little bit of help.

By establishing a three-way network between authors, writers, and publishing company, novels in-the-making are sent through a feedback chain, leaving no published novel left unread or discarded. Freelance authors upload their stories a chapter at a time and if readers want to read more, they will pay cyber-money (“coins”) for the next chapter to be uploaded.


Radish Media Inc. (photo from: Radish Linkedin)

Through Radish’s interaction-based literature platform, readers confirm their preferred content, and being affirmed by such readers, authors will know whether or not to move on with their work. Without claiming any property rights of the shared content, Radish allows writers to raise personal funds for their stories.

It all started with Lee’s love for webtunes that were being circulated amongst readers as text messages. In an interview with Cool Hunting, Lee says, “I had the benefit of seeing this movement take off in Asia. Serialized content is a very old concept, and one that’s already been reinvented for the digital age. I’ve seen it working in Japan. Back in 2005, people were reading stories in text message format.”

Now, Radish has become the leading pioneer of online serialized novels and since its establishment, has raised almost three million dollars in seed financing by Silicon Valley investors, Hollywood, and the publishing industry. The app’s most popular author currently makes 13,000 dollars a month through a steady and loyal readership.

It is a win-win environment for all three participating sectors and an effort that endorses novels in a time when graphic media seems to be taking over the entertainment and culture atmosphere. Though it was easy to think that people were no longer interested in books, Lee was convinced society’s tendency to rear towards graphic media was not because no one liked books anymore. Instead, it was only the mode of publishing that was obsolete. An online platform and an interactive publishing model were the gateway back to bookish times and “a perfect afternoon with a good book and hot coffee”.

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