Sunday, July 15, 2012

So...pulled to publish. It has definitely been a hot bed of the taboo in the fandom. And everyone has an opinion, even yours truly. Some are more adamant about their views than others as I am sure you have all witnessed first hand.

There are so many arguments both pro and con.

The majority of the pro arguments pretty much rely on the fact or claim that the stories are AU. The writers created the story line and deserve their success, even deserve to be paid for their efforts.

They say sour grapes to the nay sayers.

And on the flips side, the con arguments are the writers are unethical and plagiarizers.

The one I find most interesting, destroying the fandom.

Destroying the fandom? What the blazes!

Then there are those who do not care one way or another.

So they say.

But I think everyone cares a little bit.

My experience with p2p I think was pretty much the same as everyone else's initially. You have a favorite story that the writer announced they were going to publish.

I would say most were happy for their favorite writer.

I was.

I mean really, how can you poo poo on someone's dream after all?

It meant success. They achieved a goal. Isn't that what most FF writers aspire too?

To become an author, to be published?

This is the fandom after all and isn't one of the things we love the most is the support we give our writers?

I always thought that to be true.

Publishing a story is one of the most difficult things to do.

And it doesn't always mean if you are published, you are successful.

There are millions of books published yearly that do not sell. There is an entire market on how to publish a book. That is how overwhelming it can be. An actual niche added to the ever growing "how to" market.

So if you can have your FF published, that has to be a huge achievement. Right?

Not always.

With the advent of self publishing, there are more and more books being published, especially e-books. I personally love my Kindle and Nook.

But do they sell?

For the most part, no.

The market is over saturated with self published books and it is extremely difficult to get people to even notice your book, let alone buy it. There are numerous "how to" get your books noticed saturating the market now as well. Another niche.

I say regardless of all that, you are published. It is still an achievement. That has always been my opinion and it has to be thrilling for the writer.

But I digress. The question is, am I in favor of p2p or not?

It depends.

There are good stories and bad stories. Published and FF a like. It comes down to, do I like the story or not?

With p2p, not so simple, there is a little bit more to it.

After all, you are paying for something you already read for free. You are aware of this fact. And more than likely, if you really liked the story, you have it on PDF as well.

It does change it up a bit. And that is the problem in a nutshell.

I already read the story. Why am I buying it? It's not like I am buying a classic to have on my bookshelf forever.

Well I am buying it because I liked the story and I assumed because it was FF, it would be completely re-worked to no longer read as the FF. I would have a favorite story forever. Reworked in to an original. Or at least something added or changed from the original FF that I had read.

I am also giving support and encouragement to a favorite writer. And that is a good thing.

And let's not forget what FF is.

Simply put, they are stories written by fans about the characters, situations, or world of existing works created by others.

And most importantly, they also always include a disclaimer stating that the characters and world belong to the original author and that no copyright infringement is intended. The disclaimer is necessary due to copyright laws. They are after all "borrowing" an author's creations.

Oh, and they are free to all on the internet.

And though the FF writer may create a story line not even resembling the original author's story. Because they use the names, characters, settings, and characterizations of an author, the FF story is still not the property of the writer but of the original author who created the story and has a copyright.

No matter what the writer comes up with plot wise, they are still derivative story lines.

You created a story based on some one else's creation.

Does it matter? Not to me. There are many a FF story that I love and will re-read over and over.

There are many a FF that I have read that truly are original stories sans the characters and characterizations. Not "Twilight" stories at all.

Is it plagiarism? No.

No one is cutting and pasting an author's story and calling it their own. Again, what FF writers do is create their own story line based on some one else's ideas.

You also can not publish FF for profit.

Or can you? Apparently you can as I discovered.

Now for my experience with p2p...

The very first p2p that I paid for was an exact replica of the "free" FF version with name changes and physical attributes only. How did I know this? I read the story on originally and have the PDF.

I was stupefied. I felt cheated.

And that was my first issue I had with p2p. I had just paid for a PDF that I already own. Not a book, a  PDF.

I was so disappointed because it was a cut and paste, and not re-worked like I thought it would be. You can't publish FF I am thinking as I am reading. That's what I believed, but obviously I was wrong. And that was basically my fault I soon came to realize.

I assumed and no one should ever assume.

I never looked in to p2p prior to purchasing. I never asked any questions. How they were being published? How it worked? What the published version was going to be? I just assumed.

Again, I assumed and no one should ever assume.

After all, I would never purchase a book without looking in to the story. Without reading the reviews. Without asking others what they thought. I am on Goodreads, it's not like I don't have access to the reviewers and bloggers.

I didn't utilize my resources.

But that is exactly what I did when the p2p was published.

I just bought it, no questions asked.

I didn't even look to see if there were any reviews. After all, I liked the FF version, why wouldn't I like the published version?

And that bothers me. Still does. Why am I not liking the published version when I liked the FF version?

I just expected something more than what I read online. I expected changes to the story. Maybe a different ending. Maybe added scenes or deleted scenes. I don't know what exactly, just something different. I didn't expect the exact same story I read.

My second issue is the poor publishing.

Nothing will irritate me more than a story rife with poor grammar, misspellings, lack of prose, and my favorite, the language not matching the time or place of the story.

It is a distraction and takes away from the story itself.

And let us not forget the poor formatting we are also being subjected too.

I just purchased your story. Key word, purchased.

Why is it reading like FF chapter updates?

We all are forgiving of FF stories have these same issues. It is after all FF and the writers are amateur for the most part and the stories not professionally edited.

I am not however forgiving of a published story that went through an editing process.

If you are published, your work should be relatively clean. So I thought. Again, another assumption on my part.

How is it even possible these "types" of works are put out in the market for sale?

And I am not speaking of self publishing.

These are stories that are published by publishing houses. Publishing houses that have editors working for them.

And when I see these things, I am embarrassed for the writer and blame the publishing houses.

Where are the editors? Better yet, are they really editors? Or did these publishing houses take the low road and thought of the almighty dollar only?

I say...cha the mind set of many a publishing house and they are glutting the market. Publishing houses have apparently found a quick and dirty way to make a bucket load of money at the expense of the writer's hopes and dreams as well as us readers wanting to see our favorites succeed.

And that my friends is called taking advantage and cheating the readers.

There is such a saturation of p2p now that it is becoming more difficult to tell who are the writers and who are the authors.

No respectable publishing house should ever release a story that was not properly edited. Let alone a story that was originally posted on the internet for free in it's exact form.

That is what is unethical as far as I am concerned.

Whatever happened to pride in workmanship? Are we so shallow for our need for immediate gratification and the lure of money that we no longer have any pride in what we produce?

And readers, when did you drop the bar so low on what you would label a good story let alone the aesthetics of what you are purchasing?

I take offense. I am not a moron. I do not appreciate being treated like one either.

That is completely unfair to me and those who love to read. Do not sell me something that absolutely no effort was made to clean up.

Do not sell me sloppiness. It is embarrassing on both sides of the fence.

And what is the true backlash?

We no longer want to give a chance to a FF writer who actually created an original work.

Even though they have become an author by creating an original work of fiction, meaning they did not publish their FF, they created an actual original story.

They deserve a chance to be recognized and to be treated fairly as any other new author in the market would be.

That is not happening. They are being lumped together.

Goodreads has 1000's of well known book reviewers and bloggers all having a list of "writers they do not trust" or something similar in nature. What a horrible title for a bookshelf, but a title you will notice and be curious about.

And on this list are FF writers. It doesn't even matter if the writer put out an original work or published their FF. They are listed together.

How unfair is that?

More times than not the books are just listed, not even read, let alone reviewed. Most will not give these books a chance because of the sloppiness of their predecessors.

Judging a book by it's cover. Better yet, the one bad apple theory. And there are many apples.

And that is the biggest shame.

It is the backlash of the reviewer that is more harmful than any twitter argument or any flaming finger pointing trying to defend these stories.

We all read reviews now don't we?

Sadly, there are actually some very good p2p books out there that will never be given a fair chance.

I've personally read five that were amazing stories. They do actually exist. You do have writers who have become authors. But they are unfairly being lumped together.

That is a backlash.

Not an individual writer or story as many arguments have tried to claim.

Obviously a villain is always needed. But all a villain does is represent the issues on a whole.

So again, am I in favor of p2p?

It depends.

Do I think they will take down the fandom?

Absolutely not.

Will these so called writers fade away?

Of course they will.

After all, they will publish again. But will they have the same success?

Doubtful if what they have already produced is an indication of their story telling.

It definitely does give you something to think about.

We do love our drama.

*Opinions are solely of the administrator. And not of the site overall. 
Have an opinion or thoughts on this topic? Let me know, would love to hear them. I do enjoy hearing the opinions of others. Good, bad, or indifferent. Leave a comment or email me. I may even post them. 

{ 3 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I was somewhat clueless to this all - I knew about but did not pay much attention to it ... to me, if I truly love an author and want to continue to read their story or read their newer original version of it then I will buy it. I want to support them just as if I was the author and wanted support from my readers.

    Fantastic story, is a fantastic story - thus worth buying... Specially for pennies on the dollars.

    So I don't understand why people are getting their feathers all in a ruffle about this.

    .... and I think you coined it best love , " We do love our drama" ...

  2. Interesting article! See...I was all about the con, the "this person is getting rich off of someone else's characters/work." I still am. But I try - and I do mean try - to think about it this way...the author did accomplish a goal, which is good. To me, fanfiction should stay that...fanfiction. Personally, I don't want to get paid for writing my fanfictions because to me...its showing my appreciation to the original author.

    I do want to be a published author someday, and I've been planning and mapping out my first novel for around almost 2 years now. That, I wouldn't mind getting paid for in the end.

    I think everyone who wanted to fume has and I think now it should be let go of; its done now and old news. I agree with Loving LeahGirls..."We do love our drama." *wink*

  3. The article sat in my drafts for months. I kept changing and adding every time I read something new. It just came down to what bothered me and what was the real backlash.

    What bothered me was easy, it is what the publishing houses are doing. I just read an article yesterday where one is going to reproduce classics like Jane Eyre with the "fade the black". I am thinking seriously? I don't even have words for that.

    The other is my opinion of the true backlash. It is much more prominent on GR's. I was just speaking to a writer it just happened to as well and how hurt she was.

    Either way, everyone has their thoughts and drama is drama...we definitely do love and cultivate it at times.

    Glad you both liked the article and thanks so much for the comments!