Well, hello there. Wait…that’s not Danny! It’s me—Heather, and I’m hijacking Danny’s usual discussion post since she’s on vacation to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while.

P2PFF

You’ve all heard about the Fifty Shades Trilogy, which started out as Twilight fan fiction before getting the serial numbers filed off, and out it comes as an e-book with The Writer’s Coffee Shop as publisher. After being picked up by a division of Random House, those books are everywhere.

I know it’s a controversial subject, and I’m going to ignore the entire concept of whether it’s right or wrong to publish something that may or may not be considered a derivative work. That’s an entirely different can of worms that many other people have covered much more eloquently than I can even hope to accomplish. I have several questions for you, dear readers, but first I’ll give you a little bit of insight into my dilemma.

I’ve been a reader of fan fiction—mainly Twilight, but now I’ve branched out into the Hunger Games, Supernatural, the Vampire Diaries, and Teen Wolf—since 2009. Many brilliant authors have come and gone in the fandom in those three years, and there have been a ton of stories that were great, but only a handful blew up and became fandom superstars. But some authors started to pull their fan fictions off of sites like fanfiction.net with the purpose of reworking them to publish their stories. And that’s when Master of the Universe became the Fifty Shades Trilogy and The University of Edward Masen became Gabriel’s Inferno, just to name a few of the more widely known. There were others before these, and there have been a lot more after too. Google is your friend if you’re curious, and Goodreads too.

So I have no desire to buy these books that have been pulled to publish as original fiction if I have already read them as they were published chapter by chapter as fan fiction for free on fanfiction.net. Gabriel’s Inferno and Gabriel’s Rapture? Read it as The University of Edward Masen when it was being posted weekly, and it was one of those fics that I wanted to read right away when I got that update alert in my inbox. Sure, I loved it at the time, but I’m certainly not going to buy the books since I’ve already read the original version.

I won a copy of a book through Goodreads that was pulled to publish, and I didn’t know this when I entered the contest. It was a pulled to publish fic that was posted before I started to read Twilight fan fiction, so I’d never had a chance to read the all human, alternate universe original. I do intend to eventually read and review this book since I won a signed copy from the author. There’s another book that I didn’t get a chance to read before it was pulled because the author was publishing it with a smaller press. I was able to get a copy from the publisher when they were giving away books as part of a celebration of some sort, and again, I’d like to review it. I have read a few other fan fiction works by this author, so I already know that I love her writing style and sense of humor. My main question is: if I were to review these books, do I mention that these were formerly fan fiction? If you look through the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, there are some reviews that do mention this fact. Am I doing a disservice to our readers by not mentioning this or does it even matter?

There was another Twilight fan fiction author that I absolutely love that wrote a romantic comedy. At the end of the fic, she promised to write a sequel, but first she was going to write something completely different—a thriller/action fan fiction. After this second genre fic was finished and posted (which I enjoyed immensely), she pulled both of the stories and started to self-publish them all as multi-book series. I would love to continue the comedy series and I’d happily pay the price she’s asking for the e-books, but are books two and three completely new material? I’m totally going to need a glossary or something so I can figure out who’s who with all of the name changing going on. It’s hard to tell from the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon if book one is any different from the fan fiction or not. See my dilemma? I’d like to support her, but I’m a bit reluctant to dive in.

I know that some bloggers and readers automatically dismiss a book if they see that it was a former fan fiction that was transformed to make it look like an original work, but there are some very talented writers out there that deserve to be read by a wider audience than just the niche of their fandom. Whether or not doing so with their reworked fan fiction or a completely original piece of fiction is the best way is a hotly argued topic both inside and outside of the fan fiction community–by authors and readers alike. There are a handful of fan fiction authors that I will read whatever they write, be it more fan fiction or original fiction.

reviewornottoreview

 

So my questions to you are:

  • Do you automatically blacklist books that have been pulled to publish fan fiction?
  • Do you refuse to review books that are pulled to publish fan fiction?
  • Does it matter if the book is self-published or has picked up by one of the big publishers (like Fifty Shades, Gabriel’s Inferno, Beautiful Bastard–formerly The Office)?
  • If you were to review one of these books, would you mention that you knew it was formerly a fan fiction?
  • Do you read fan fiction?

I can’t wait to see what you think…

 

Heather


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I'm the one always buried in my laptop writing or devouring books on my Kindle while on the train during my commute. I'm a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, movies, and books-paranormal, thriller/horror, mystery, young adult. Feel free to friend me on any of the social media sites listed. I'd love to connect with you! Twitter Goodreads Tumblr
kimbacaffeinate 1/5/2013

I have not read a lot of fan-fiction with the exception of the James Potter books, but my thought is, if you love the authors writing, review it, mention you liked it as fan fiction. Not many readers know about fan fiction and so it is totally new to them. You are hip my friend and got in on the ground floor…its like seeing the cover band before they were hot!
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Heather 1/5/2013

LOL, Kimba–I like the idea of being hip before everyone else. You do kind of get to be like “Yeah, they’re awesome, and I knew that two years ago…”
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AH 1/5/2013

I read a lot of the Twilight fan fic a few years ago and at first I was kind of excited that some of these authors got a chance to publish their work. The thing is, I feel that all fanfic should be identified as such when it is pulled to publish just because it is only fair for the consumer to know what they are purchasing. I noticed that Beautiful Bastard (The Office) did this.

There are several issues with P2P and you’re right, best not to dwell on the legalities and ethical issues. Most of these works were serialized and a serialized work has a different story arc from that of a chapter by chapter book. It is also kind of odd sometimes to see a P2P book using the story arc of the original where it clearly doesn’t fit very well. (I’m thinking of the Mrs. Robinson and the creepy boss in Fifty Shades). Clearly, some other conflict could have been imagined.

Editing is also an issue. Publishers just want to throw these fics out and ride the coattails of Fifty Shades. These P2Ps need a lot of rework and editing and sadly, they don’t seem to be getting that.

Great discussion, looking forward to reading more comments.
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Heather 1/5/2013

The editing issue seems to be prevalent with a lot of the Indie books that the big publishers have been snatching up, though. It seems like they’re just seeing dollar signs and are putting minimal work into these before they shuffle them onto the shelves of the local Barnes and Nobles and Wal-Marts.

There doesn’t seem to be such a stigma attached to a work anymore since Fifty Shades became so popular with something being former fan fic, and it’s refreshing to see that Beautiful Bastard was pretty clear in the press releases about it. I didn’t read The Office when it was first out on fanfiction.net, but I understand the authors did some major reworking so it works as regular books. I’m definitely interested in checking it out since I haven’t read the original.
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Pushy 1/5/2013

Heather, GREAT topic!!! Like you, I’ve read fanfiction and fallen in love with some of it. There are some truly talented writers in the fandoms and I definitely support them profiting from their hard work by publishing it. However, what I loved in fanfic *cough*smutty goodness*cough* I don’t care for as much in the books I read these days. Not that I don’t love romance and smexy times in books but the style of fanfiction I’m used to is more explicit than I’m interested in reading as a rule these days. So, for that reason, I do tend to stay away from P2Ps.

Still, I guess if I were reviewing a P2P story, I would be torn about mentioning it’s fandom origins as well. We don’t hesitate to reference books that are derivative of fairy tales for example, but is there something subtly derogative about mentioning that a book is based off of a modern popular work? I think there is, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be mentioned.

Bottom line, I think you’d have to ask yourself, would you want to know, going into a book, if it was based on a fanfic originally? If yes, then mention it. That’s my two cents.

Thanks again for the great topic, babe!!!!!
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Heather 1/5/2013

Exactly, Pushy! For me personally, I don’t really care if a book was P2P. If I didn’t read it in its original form and it looks interesting and well-written, I’ll give it a shot.
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Iman 1/5/2013

First of all, I love the topic. This is something my reader friends and I usually disagree on. Personally, I don’t like fan fiction. I’ve tried it more than once with Twilight and Harry Potter, and it never feels…real, you know? I honestly don’t know how else to explain it
On the other hand, I know that if I open myself up for it, I would definitely find something I love, but it all seems like a waste of time when there are published books that have been reviewed professionally.
HOWEVER (I’m rambling, bare with me), this doesn’t mean that I discourage fan fic or think it shouldn’t be out there, it’s just not my cup of tea. And I wouldn’t necessarily blacklist published fan fic right away. If a book was fairly popular and getting good reviews, I would gladly give it a shot.
I should note that I haven’t read Fifty Shades of Gray nor do I evert intend to (given the reviews I read and the general public consensus, it just seems like something I wouldn’t enjoy at all.)
Okay, I’m done. Great post, Heather!

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Heather 1/5/2013

It takes some effort in the beginning to find authors that write things you can like and fall in love with, but once you do, it’s great. But at the same time, how many regular books have I pushed to the back burner because I’ve been reading fan fiction? Way too many too count, that’s for sure.

Anyway, I only read about 30 pages of both Fifty Shades of Gray and the original Master of the Universe myself. It just wasn’t that interesting to me, but I gave it a shot.
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Nancy DeVault 1/5/2013

I do not automatically blacklist books or refuse to review them just because they have been pulled to publish fan fiction. Why discriminate? I really do not understand why some people would. I’ve read my good share of fan fiction and thoroughly enjoyed many of them including the now popular 50 Shades, Gabriel’s Inferno, ect. In fact, I was so thrilled when I found out they were to be published. I could not wait to get my hands on hard copies of the books for my personal home library. Additionally, I have reviewed many of these books and I have mentioned I read them back when they were formerly a fan fiction. Personally, I don’t think it makes a difference whether you point it out or not. You either like the book or you don’t. It should not matter whether it was fan fiction or not. What I do hate is when reading fan fiction, the author bails out and does not finish the story after I am totally invested in it.

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Heather 1/5/2013

I don’t understand why some people just mark them off either, Nancy. I’m cool with them as long as I didn’t already read them in their original form. It’s rare that I reread a regular book, so I’m not going to read the fan fiction version and then read the pulled to publish version because I could spend that time reading an entirely different book. Too many books, too little time.

I’m glad to see you’re an avid fan fiction reader, and I don’t have a problem when people publish their work. They wrote it, if they derivative work’s author isn’t suing them, then go for it. But I’m not going to spend the precious spare cash that I have on buying a copy of the fic that I got to read for free as a regular book. I just don’t have the money. If the author writes something new and I love the author and their fan fic, then I will definitely be putting down my cash for their new work.

And the pulling a fic right before it’s finished and is basically saying “Want to now how it ends? Then you have to buy the book.” is just slimy. Certainly makes everyone remember who they are when it does pop up on Amazon and Goodreads.
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Jaime 1/5/2013

I absolutely am one of those who refuse to read reworked fanfiction. Many times its apparent that it was fanfiction, but mostly because the story really isn’t as well developed because it never had to be. Characters aren’t fleshed out because as fanfiction, you have the original characters to fall back on as a guide,and to be completely honest, I’ve read a lot of fanfiction, I’m not going to pay for something I read or can still read for free.

If I was to ever read something that was P2P I would absolutely clarify that it was once fanfic in my review.

Are many stories well written? Absolutely they are, and I’m more than willing to support them in writing something original and reading and reviewing that.

Xo
Jaime @ Fic Fare

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Heather 1/5/2013

Great points, Jaime! If the author does more than the basic find and replace of the names and places, actually taking the time and care to make their work have more depth and character because it doesn’t have the derivative work to back it, they would definitely have a better book. And it can be hit and miss with some of these–some authors do in-depth rewrites, and some do superficial edits. Hard to tell…
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Alisa Selene 1/5/2013

I think you miss out on some great fiction if you discard any genre as not worth reading..so I definitely enjoy some fan fiction and no problem with it being published as long as it is well written!

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Heather 1/5/2013

I totally agree, Alisa! I have read so many fantastic stories that were well written, well researched, and just plain great. I think you really need to be open minded and give everything a shot.
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Liza 1/5/2013

What an interesting topic. I’ll try to answer the best that I can.

Do you automatically blacklist books that have been pulled to publish fan fiction?

No, it doesn’t make me want to read it less. If say I read a fanfic piece and then it became published I wouldn’t read it again. (That has nothing to do with it having been a fanfic book.) I rarely read the same book more than once. Only a few books have passed that second read test. Unless I forgot it completely, once is enough for me.

I’m even worse with concepts. I read Derilium and have no interest in the Matched series. I read some of the Fallen books, probably will never read the Halo series. As much as I love Kagawa, I highly doubt I’ll pick up her vampire series.

As you can see, those are just weird reader habits, rather than me not wanting to read it, because it use to be fan fiction

.
Do you refuse to review books that are pulled to publish fan fiction?

No, I never even thought about doing that. I guess I can see why some people would do it, but it’s not a big deal to me. More often than that, I’m thinking, “Damn, why didn’t I think of that!” Haha!

Does it matter if the book is self-published or has picked up by one of the big publishers (like Fifty Shades, Gabriel’s Inferno, Beautiful Bastard–formerly The Office)?

It only matters if I read it previously, as I mentioned. I read Easy as an Indie book. I’m not reading that book again, though I love it. I have no interest in Beautiful Disaster, because it reminds me too much of Easy. Don’t know what Gabriel’s Inferno is. And oh….50 Shades. What hasn’t been said? :-D

Those details never make me think twice about the book in question. More often then not I’m happy for the person. I’m happy for Jamie McGuire, because that’s a huge accomplishment, but I’m not reading her book anytime soon.

If you were to review one of these books, would you mention that you knew it was formerly a fan fiction?

Only if I knew it was fan fiction and where it derived from. I didn’t know Beautiful Disaster was originally a fan fic, so it’s possible I would omit such information out of ignorance, rather than me hiding an essential fact.

Do you read fan fiction?

Oh, the big question. Starting in high school I would read and WRITE fanfic. Some of it looking back on it now must have been terrible. I usually stuck with X-Men, Marvel characters, and Final Fantasy XII, and haha Hercules/Xena. We’re talking reading some ridiculous old school fan fic. I loved the ones with Ares.

I don’t read or write fanfic because of time. I try to read books and write original stuff for my entertainment. I think if the fandoms I liked were as strong as they were back then, I’d probably be reading it still, but not writing. I want to reserve my writing time for blogging and original stuff as I mentioned.

I do have to add one more thing, which wasn’t necessarily a question. I’m okay with people making it from fandom to the published world. Marissa Meyer use to be a HUGE fanfic writer in the Sailor Moon world, from what I know. I’m happy for them. I would have never thought in a million years that fanfic writers would make it big. The Cassandra Clares and Marissa Meyers still surprise me to this day.

What I do find a bit distasteful is when these authors freak out when people write fanfic based on their stories and try new ideas based on their stories, such as the 50 Shades porno and porno shop that was told to cease and desist, because it was infringing on the writer’s copyright. Seriously? Then Stephenie Meyer should sue you for infringing on her copyright. If these authors got into a huge hissy fit, because someone became successful, because a fanfic off of their work was reworked to be a published fic, I just want to slap the back of their head NCIS style. That’s how you got famous! Why can’t someone else have that same opportunity and make the big bucks too?

I know some people are 100% against this idea, but as long as I haven’t read it before and the author isn’t having a 50 Shades hissy fit (I mean I had no interest in reading the novels since kinky sex isn’t my thing, but hey now it’s on my never will read list) then I’m willing to give anything a chance as long as it captures my interest.
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Heather 1/5/2013

I’m the same way, Liza. I rarely reread anything. There’s just no time to do that with a to be read list ten miles long. I’m seriously blown away by some fan fic writers, and it’s their words and hard work so they can do whatever they want with them.

And the fanfic-ing of Fifty Shades did make me laugh. What kind of weird world is it where there is a fan fic of something that’s essentially fan fic?

Gabriel’s Inferno is by Sylvain Reynard, and when it was fan fic it was The University of Edward Masen by Sebastian Robichaud. It first published by Omnific before it was picked up by Berkley last fall. You can just google it, there’s a wiki for it if you want to be spoiled and learn more.
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Debra Anastasia 1/5/2013

As an author with a fanfic background I’d like to point out my motivation. I’m not the smartest crayon in the lightbulb box. I always wanted to write a story, but never had the balls. After reading Twilight, I found fanfiction and tried. I can’t explain the lump in my throat when I hit submit. It was like being naked on stage. When the readers gave me feedback I was awestruck and enamored. These readers are/were extraordinary. The site we use has tiny font, all the characters in the many stories have the same names. To me, they are geniuses. So funny, so well spoken. It is a huge honor to be read in that forum. It also gave me a whole new dream. I wanted to hold my words. I love reading, but I knew it was impossible to be published. There was no way the publishing world would give me a second glance. I know because I tried. For a long time. So here I had this story, I loved it. I loved all the people that the story had brought to me. It had my love in it. I didn’t have the heart to not give it a fighting chance. It’s a little like casting aside one of your children because you divorced their father. It was mine, I did it and I’m proud of it. Am I even making sense? Probably not. I’m proud of my roots, I’m forever amazed by the kindness and absolute dare devil reading of my fanfic friends. I wish we could all support each other as women. My books connect me to my readers, that’s how I see it. I fought for me and for them to make it real. I’ve seen the fighting over the discussion. I’ve seen ladies that I still consider friends have strong, well developed opinions against it. I still keep them in my heart and wish nothing but awesome for them. My books are a vehicle for me to remember this time in my life when I learned I get to be an author. For what it’s worth, I hope more women get into writing whatever way makes them comfortable, as a blogger, as a writer. I think the female opinion and viewpoint needs to be heard.

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Heather 1/5/2013

Thank you for your honest opinion, Debra! While I didn’t name any names up top, you alluded to the reason that I didn’t name any of the books or authors that I have on my Kindle, just waiting for me to read. Any time the subject comes up, there is a bit of fear because I’ve witnessed the sh*tstorm that can whip up at a moment’s notice, just foaming at the mouth to stir up controversy. And I hate to say it, but it’s because of a fandom that is full of women, and when you get that many women together, that’s unfortunately what can happen.

I’m so glad that you are proud of your fan fiction roots and you don’t try to hide it. Like I’ve said in the comments above: it’s your story and you’ve poured yourself into it–do what you want with it.

I will say that I have read some of your later fic and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Your sense of humor is twisted and I love it! Thanks for commenting and giving us an author’s opinion on such a polarizing subject!
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Ashley 1/5/2013

Do you automatically blacklist books that have been pulled to publish fan fiction?

Not necessarily. I usually don’t really care about where a book came from; I only care about whether or not it sounds good.

Do you refuse to review books that are pulled to publish fan fiction?

Kind of the same as above. :P

Does it matter if the book is self-published or has picked up by one of the big publishers (like Fifty Shades, Gabriel’s Inferno, Beautiful Bastard–formerly The Office)?

It doesn’t matter to me. If it sounds like a good book, I’ll give it a chance, regardless of where it came from.

If you were to review one of these books, would you mention that you knew it was formerly a fan fiction?

Only if it somehow affected my review or enjoyment of the book. For example, if I read 50 Shades of Grey and it constantly reminded me of Twilight, I would mention where it came from so I could compare it to Twilight and so the readers would understand why I did that.

Do you read fan fiction?

Never. I don’t know why—it just never interested me in the slightest. I think it’s because I have it in my head that no fan fiction is going to be as good as the original, and I just have no interest in going outside the original story.
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Heather 1/5/2013

Thanks for chiming in, Ashley! Like you, I don’t care how a book is published, as long as it looks good and is well-written, I’m game!

I think I could send you a few fan fiction stories that might blow you away. The Twilight fandom in particular is well know for their all human alternate universes that are very different from Twilight.
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Kelly 1/5/2013

I’m loving this discussion!

My two cents: I think FanFic has it’s place in fiction, as a tool that budding authors can use to craft and hone their skills, in forums where other budding authors and avid readers can provide constructive criticism.

Once that budding author has reached a level of success with their FanFic, and is being asked if they would like to see it published, I can totally see why that would be tempting – a national platform with which to market your name!

BUT. And it’s a big but (which is why it was capitalized) I don’t think that FanFic should be published outside of those forums, because it was based off of the hard work of someone else. (It was also provided for free. Like you said, why would you then pay for it when all that has been changed are a few names for legal reasons?)

If you want to prove yourself as an author, write an original piece and have that do well – whether through those same forums or by self-publishing. Like you said Heather, you have certain FanFic authors that you will always read because they’re so talented. I’m sure if they published an original piece, you would pick it up…no?

Strangely enough, I don’t feel this way about fairytale retellings, and really how are they any different? This is such an interesting topic – thanks for your thoughts!
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Heather 1/6/2013

Thanks, Kelly! I don’t think that I’ve read too many fairytale retellings. Do you mean books like Cinder by Marissa Meyer? There are several fan fic authors putting out original fiction these days. I would certainly pick it up because I’m aware of them because of their fan fic, and if it was Indie or small press published I know where to go to find it. It’s up to readers like me to help spread the word by reviewing the books and recommending them to others when.
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Kelly 1/6/2013

Cinder is a great example! Really, how is retelling a fairytale like Cinderella, any different than publishing FanFic? Both are based on a popular story, written by someone else, using elements (whether it’s character traits, setting, or certain themes) created by someone else, and made popular by someone else.

So why do we hate on FanFic that is pulled to publish, when we don’t hate on writers who choose to retell fairytales?

I’m showing my own bias, because I love fairytale retellings, but the thought of pulled to publish fan fiction makes me uncomfortable. And to be honest, I can’t tell you what the difference between the two is, and why I can excuse one and not the other! Lol
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Heather 1/6/2013

LOL, there’s not much difference between the two when you think about it!
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Christina 1/5/2013

Great topic! I happen to love fanfic. I’ll read a story on fan fiction and if it gets published I’d read it again. I usually enjoy both versions :)

I would love if you posted a list to some of your favorites?

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Heather 1/5/2013

Yay, Christina! A fellow fanfic lover! A list of some of my favorites? Twilight, Teen Wolf, or both?
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Christina 1/6/2013

Thanks so much for replying. I love Twilight ff- the more angst the better :) loved the office, wide awake and clipped wings. I’d appreciate any recs.

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Heather 1/6/2013

Okay, Christina! Give me some time today and I’ll post a list of my favorites from the last few years with links on my Tumblr. I’ll leave a comment here so you can have the link since I don’t want to clutter it up here. :)
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Greta 1/6/2013

Hi there!! I personally think the people who bash fan fiction that is being published are SNOBS!! I mean… what the fire monkey? Why are they being so mean about not wanting to read a story that was fan fiction and now is becoming a hit? Snobs I say!! I mean, wasn’t their precious MORTAL INSTRUMENTS “Harry Potter” fan fiction at one point?

ANyways, with that being said, I would totally read a fan fiction if it was published. Now, I normally don’t read smutty stuff like what’s being published. So, I haven’t read any of that, but I know people who have.

I have read “Clipped Wings Inked Armor” and that bad boy needs to be published (this only smutty FF that I read). And I really REALLY want “WIDE AWAKE” to get published! Those authors deserve recognition even if it was formally ff. So, what!?!

I don’t read FF anymore but YOU know what I do ;) *winks at Heather.

And yes! If I was to review a FF that was turned into a book I would totally say that I was a fan of the FF.

I say more power to those authors! They worked hard!!! And they deserve everything they can get !!

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Heather 1/6/2013

I totally forgot about the Mortal Instruments series having roots as Harry Potter fanfic. The Twilight fic that I read these days is so far from smutty, you just get tired of reading all of that.

But seriously? Clipped Wings and Inked Armor and Wide Awake would be my picks for the fics that should have been published. Great stories that need editing to make them work as regular books, but the writing is fantastic and the angst makes your heart hurt.
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Hannah S. 1/6/2013

Love this topic!
Do you automatically blacklist books that have been pulled to publish fan fiction?
– Not at all. I probably wouldn’t read one I had already read as a fanfiction but that is just me being lazy.
Do you refuse to review books that are pulled to publish fan fiction?
– It doesn’t matter to me where the book came from just how good it is.
Does it matter if the book is self-published or has picked up by one of the big publishers (like Fifty Shades, Gabriel’s Inferno, Beautiful Bastard–formerly The Office)?
– If a book sounds good I will give it a try doesn’t matter if it is a big publisher or a self published.
If you were to review one of these books, would you mention that you knew it was formerly a fan fiction?
– Probably not. I don’t see how it would matter that much. Just look at how many published books there are based of Jane Austen’s works. Those books are fanfiction – stories written by fans of Jane Austen – yet no one goes around prefacing that in their reviews.
Do you read fan fiction?
– I do and love it! I have been reading fanfiction for almost 7 years now. I tend to stay mostly in the anime and manga sections but I do branch out every so often into games, tv shows, movies and book based fanfiction.

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Heather 1/6/2013

Thanks for chiming in, Hannah! It’s great to hear from a fellow fan fiction reader. I agree that it’s the quality of the book that matters, who cares where it came from? If I already read the fan fic version, though, I won’t be reading it again because I don’t have time for that either.
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hrose2931 1/6/2013

Heather

I am so busy with reading what I have, I have never read fan fiction except what my son writes on deviant art. That being said, I would have no problem reading something that was fan fiction pulled to be published. However, I have read something like that and I couldn’t get through the first few pages. It was absolutely awful. But apparently her fan fiction fans convinced her to publish it. I have no idea why. I think it should go in the garbage. If that’s what’s coming out of fan fiction then it has not place on my e-reader. That’s my only experience with fan fiction gone to publication and it was self publication.

I read self published works all the time and I’m constantly amazed by the talent out there that people are missing out on. It really is too bad. Some of my favorite authors are self published authors. So the fact that they are self published wouldn’t bother me.

I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth though about the fan fiction that was self published. I think I’d rather not know so I don’t have any preconceived ideas about it. Why do you think you need to say it was previously fan fiction? So people that may have already read it as fan fiction don’t buy the same book they read as fan fiction? That would make sense. I would definitely put that in the review.

Great topic!

Heather
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Heather 1/6/2013

What I like about fanfiction is that it’s always with me on my cell phone, so it’s convenient. I don’t think I’m going to mention if something was a fanfic when I review it, because I really don’t care essentially. If someone wants to comment on its origins, let them. I’m in the same boat as you, we read self-published authors all of the time and count some of them as favorites. Now I’m curious about what you read that was fanfic and was self-published.
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hrose2931 1/6/2013

Heather- email me and I’ll tell you. Apparently the author is very sensitive about criticism and can be vindictive. I don’t want to get messed up in something like that.

hrose2931(at)gmail(dot)com

Heather
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[...] pulled to publish fan fiction? Heather from Bewitched Bookworms discusses whether or not she should review pulled to publish fan fiction, and whether if she does review it, if she should mention that it was originally fan fiction (for [...]

Ezmirelda 1/13/2013

Do you automatically blacklist books that have been pulled to publish fan fiction?

Nope, I don’t blacklist pulled to publish fan fiction. I feel like if the original author doesn’t have a problem with it being published that I shouldn’t either, and vice versa. Like someone mentioned above, I feel that if a author publishes fan fiction and someone writes a fan fiction of their fan fiction that it’s kind of hypocritical of them to get mad about it. As for fairy-tale retellings: I don’t think that comparison really applies here. Many fairy-tales have been reworked and remolded by so many cultures that it doesn’t really have a legitimate author anymore. Also the fact that the fairy-tales that actually do have authors don’t have copyrights anymore: anything published ~80 years ago is automatically considered public domain.

Does it matter if the book is self-published or has picked up by one of the big publishers (like Fifty Shades, Gabriel’s Inferno, Beautiful Bastard–formerly The Office)?

Does it matter to me? Honestly, no. I read a lot self-published books and a lot of them I like more than books published by the big publishers. But I would probably be more likely to learn about a book in the first place if it was picked up by a big publisher.

If you were to review one of these books, would you mention that you knew it was formerly a fan fiction?

Yes, I would definitely mention that the book was formerly a fan fiction. I feel like not doing that is the same as writing a paper without citing your sources. What if someone wanted to find out the title of the original work and read that too? I don’t understand why is it such a big deal to mention that it’s a fan fiction and where the original work derived from.

Do you read fan fiction?

Yes! I love reading fan fiction. It’s nice reading a book sort of like a serial (getting a little bit of the chapters at a time). There’s less rules so the story can take any which direction it likes. It’s a pretty fun experience and you get to read characters in different situations. :)
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Heather 1/17/2013

Thanks for commenting, Ezmirelda! I too read a self-published authors, and I count Indie author JL Bryan as one of my all time favorites. I’m glad to see that you read fan fiction too!
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Carol Oates 1/15/2013

I have a slightly different perspective. I haven’t published my fanfiction stories and yet, some readers have blacklisted me by association. There are readers who have openly dismissed my work based on the fact I have previously posted fanfiction or because other authors signed to my publisher have P2P. I admit it’s irritating. However, I expected it to an extent so I have to just get on with things.

Sometimes I regret spending years writing fanfiction when it seems my reward is to be dismissed as a fanfiction writer by some reviewers and readers. Part of me feel the community I gave so much to in terms of time, creativity(graphics, videos, writing), and money when I funded a social group turned on me. At times I feel let down. Then, I have to remind myself of the good friends I’ve made and kept along the way and realize my time in the fandom was worth it for them alone. I don’t shy away from talking about my fic life.

There is a misconception that fanfiction doesn’t rework well because of the very nature of the origins. Personally, I apply the same methods to writing ff that I do to original work. I approach it as if the reader has never encountered the characters or the universe before, the story is fleshed out accordingly with no short cuts in the writing. I found this to be true in any of reworked fics I’ve personally read.

As a reader and book buyer, I don’t tend to re-read many books and I apply this to reworked ff too, unless I know the work has significantly changed. As in books never posted as fanfiction, there is a range in the level of editing, cover design, price, and presentation. There are great reworked fics and crappy ones and ones that simply aren’t to my taste.

I support writers who P2P as long as the published version can stand apart from the work that inspired it. I don’t mean it must be different from the ff, but different from the story that inspired the ff. I don’t see the harm in mentioning a book background as long as it’s not used as the sole basis for dismissing the work or the author. Of course a reader has the right to dismiss for the reason, but personally it doesn’t feel like a genuine leap from saying in a review this was fic to it must be rubbish. I couldn’t accept the opinions of other books from a reviewer whom I knew made those kinds on snap judgements. Books are compared to other books all the time. I would hope the reviewer does their homework first. My books have been listed as reworked ff. It’s not enough to presume re-worked ff. It should be confirmed because it does influence some buyers.

I think people who dismiss a book solely based on the fact it originated in fanfiction are losing out on some really great books. There are some fantastic, talented writers coming from fandoms. It doesn’t matter to me if a book in general comes from self-publishing or trade. If the book looks good, I’ll read it.
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Heather 1/17/2013

Great insights, Carol! I totally agree about the level of talent in the pool of fan fiction writers. There are some really great writers out there, and like you, I don’t care if a book was self-published or trade either. If it’s good, it’s good. I’ve personally never understood the automatic dismissal of an author because they wrote fan fiction. If I read the fan fiction version, I simply won’t read it again when it’s been reworked and published as original fiction. I don’t reread books because I just don’t have the time to do that.

I do know that I don’t want to mention that something is reworked fan fic just in case it really isn’t, as has happened in your case. Who knows how many readers you may have inadvertently turned off of reading that author’s work? It isn’t fair to the author.
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cafebiblioart 2/5/2013

I love reading fanfiction. I started reading it almost six years ago. First it was Gilmore Girls(I was sad that it ended the way it did) then Twilight. It doesn’t bother me that authors chose to publish their works. Some say that it is unfair because they used characters from a different book, movies etc that was successful in order to create a new story, but in the end those who published their fics created a story that has nothing in common with the original. The characters are have different personalities, only the name is the same when they are being published as fanfics. I buy the books because for a long time I wanted to have a hard copy of the story. It doesn’t matter if the books are self published or not. I want to have them because they remind me of the days I spent reading them online or anxiously waiting for the next chapter. I don’t review them and it bothers me a bit that everyone who never read the fanfic is. I don’t know why, it’s irrational. I want the book to be successful, but I felt like the story was all mine when I read it online, I did not tell my friends about it(they don’t read fanfiction anyway).

It felt good to read the stories as fanfiction. I felt like I discovered new talents.

I do tell people that I read them before they were published. Not to brag, but …I don”t know why I do it.

I bothers me when people criticize the stories I loved so much.

O haven’t read The Univ Of Edward Cullen. I put a bookmark, but I forgot about it. Now I am sorry.

I loved your article. For a long time I wanted to write something similar.

Sorry for any grammar mistakes. English is not my mother tongue and I don’t use it all time every day…a few more months:D.
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