11 12 / 2013
That moment when your silly WhatShouldWeCallMe ripoff blog gets as many followers in 3 weeks as your personal blog gets in a year.
Not that I’ve been obsessively stat-checking or anything, why on earth would you ask?
11 12 / 2013
Okay, so in the course of my
desperate procrastination on Chinese history internet browsing in the past couple days, I came across this Kickstarter:
I find it deeply hilarious that the end of the url is “big-bang-press-original-fiction-for-an-original-au.” Because this is a Kickstarter project that recruits fanfiction authors to write original fiction “for an original audience”. (Get, AU? I thought it was clever. Anyway…)
It makes me want to throw things. Hard.
Here’s my beef with this particular project- actually, scratch that, I have a lot of beefs, but most of them are outlined in this post. I also strongly recommend this post, which discusses the potential legal problems of this project, and this post, which if accurate doesn’t reflect well on how organized Big Bang Press is. I can’t vouch for the info in the links, but for the most part, there are a lot of legitimate concerns about this particular venture- it even has its own Absolute Write thread. Personally, I find it highly suspect that these authors are getting money thrown at them for work that seems incomplete at worst and rough at best. This press talks about being shut out by traditional publishing, but no publisher in their right mind is going to take on work that isn’t complete yet. And off the top of my head, I can think of three different authors of varying ability who got their start in fandom and are now prospering in the world of traditional publishing.
I could go on further, but the actual point I’m trying to make (I have a point, really) is that I don’t like seeing fandom authors use their fanfic reputations to bolster their own book sales.
This is purely a personal thing. There’s no rule that says you can’t do this- though some of the rewards on the Kickstarter makes it sound very much like they’re offering fanfic in return for backing, which is about as stable legally as quicksand. The thing is, I want fandom authors to succeed in their own writing if they so choose, and I think that there is a way to say to your fandom readers “Hey, I wrote a thing, would you want to check it out?”
But the way these authors are going about it really rubs me the wrong way.
Writing fanfiction is very wobbly ground in terms of legal stuff, and the ground gets even more jello-like when authors use what they’ve gained from fanfiction to gain profit. I’ll be frank- I think it’s ethically a sleazy thing to do, even if there’s nothing legal against it. Ideally when you play in someone else’s world, you should be doing it out of love or fascination with the possibilities or because something about the concepts intrigue you.
When you build an audience based on your ability to play around in someone else’s world and then reach out to that audience with the hopes of making money from it, it feels to me like a bait-and-switch. These writers may not have started out with this intention, but make no mistake, the authors in this Kickstarter are counting on their fandom audience. Their fanfiction profiles are linked in the Kickstarter and the press itself handselected who they would reach out to. In my cynical view, it would be very easy for them to have picked authors based on clout as opposed to writing quality.
The model of Big Bang Press seems to rely heavily on author’s reputations within their fandoms. This Kickstarter is founded on the idea that there is an untapped audience of readers who will take a chance on an author based on their fanfiction background. It’s not an unfair assumption that a significant portion of the audience seems to be based around knowing these authors from fandom. People have mentioned wanting the authors they know to succeed and pledging because of that.
Basically, when an author’s work and reputation comes from their playing with other people’s characters and worlds, I think it’s a bit slimy to use that reputation for original fiction. Original fiction should gain reputation based on merit and work that’s specific to that work of fiction and is separate from fannish output.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that it’s great that fanfiction authors want to move into their original work. Hell, I’m hoping to become one. I just don’t think I should piggyback off my fanfic reputation to do it.
11 12 / 2013
Sometimes when I say “I’m okay”, what I really want is for someone to hold my hand, look me in the eyes and say “I know that you’re not okay, here is $1000.00”.
10 12 / 2013
"There is a place called ‘heaven’ where the good here unfinished is completed; and where the stories unwritten, and the hopes unfulfilled, are continued. We may laugh together yet."
09 12 / 2013
I’ve just received creepy anons on my goofy hockey tumblr and I feel like I’ve hit a major milestone in this blogging platform.