Once upon a time (almost 2 years ago) I went to a writer’s group that was hosted by a couple of guys from the publishing world. We were talking genre when one of my fellow writers mentioned Fan fiction. One publisher guy looker writer man straight in the eye and said “Don’t bother writing Fan Fiction. You’ll never sell it.”
Boy was he wrong.
Fan Fiction, it seems, is the new way to get yourself some recognition, a publishing deal, and maybe even have some movie rights sold. All you have to do is write a good one based off a super popular book, be a fan favorite, have someone say “Hey, let’s change some names and make some money off of this” and presto! You become a bestseller.
Personally, I just don’t have it in me to go that route. I’ve read a few of the ‘original’ bestsellers and easily thought I could do better, but I never emulated them to the degree some people have. And while most of the time I don’t really mind that all these unknowns are hitting it big because of their emulation of what was already made popular, it does bother me when it’s so bad that I know exactly what book it came from. Even more so when looks like the publisher took on the author and did absolutely nothing to the manuscript, simply copying and pasting the text from the website without doing any grammar or spell checks, put it in an eBook (or worse, print) and slapped on the $9.99+ price tag.
I’m not sure if it’s simply the publishing world riding the waves of whatever the current fad in reading is, just trying to make the quickest buck possible, or if they’re genuinely trying to give someone a chance, but it hardly seems fair to those authors who have tried for years to perfect their craft, come up with original stories, and then feel the need to go the Indie route where they get lost in the shuffle (and no, I don’t count myself among them.) Yet it seems if they really want to get their foot in the door, checking out the Twilight or Fifty Shades fan fiction boards and seeing what they’re up against might be the way to do it.
What are your thoughts on this new trend?