In recent years, publishers, directors and TV producers have taken a keen interest in popular online novels, thanks to their originality and solid fan base.
Genre is an important factor. According to a survey by Chinese online literature platform Cloudary, of 100 online novels whose copyrights were sold by Cloudary for adaption in 2012, modern city novels, historical romances and war stories were the most popular.
Online author Liu Chenfeng's best-known novel A Clear Midsummer Night is a love story. It attracted more than 30 million Web hits and won the top prize in the annual competition for Chinese romance novels in 2012.
A TV adaption of the book, starring Yang Mi and Liu Kaiwei, was a huge hit when broadcast in 2013.
The success of the TV adaption has brought Liu greater popularity and more confidence in her writing.
"It's as if a feast prepared by me has been appreciated by numerous diners, which is a great encouragement," Liu says.
Literature websites have played an important role in this trend. Major websites, such as Qidian.com and Hongxiu.com, which are owned by Cloudary, have established special branches to help film and TV producers who are looking for good stories and to deal with copyright licensing.
Liu, who has entrusted the literature website Hongxiu.com to deal with her copyright licensing to TV producers, thinks it makes things easier for writers and allows them to focus more on their work.
However, many other writers have sought to work closely with film and TV producers and play an active role in the adaption process of their own works. The authors' unique understanding about the original works is valued by producers and directors.
Popular online writer Bao Jingjing worked with director Teng Huatao as the screenwriter for one of her online novels. The movie Love Is Not Blind, adapted from her story, became an instant hit in 2012.
Bao graduated from Beijing Film Academy with a degree in literature. Her background gave her extra weight in winning the director's trust.
The experience has led Bao on a new career path. She won the award for best adapted screenplay at the 49th Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan in 2012.
Since then, Bao has adapted another of her writings into a film and a TV series, both directed by Teng. "I am lucky. Now I have a job that I really enjoy," Bao says. While writing novels online, Bao adds that she will consider the possibility of her works being adapted into films or TV, and avoids sentences that might be difficult for actors.