Publishers Are Warming to Fan Fiction, But Can It Go Mainstream?

by Rachel Baker on March 5, 2014

I never really knew too much about “fan fiction” until I found out a young second cousin of mine was writing it when she was somewhere around the age of 10. It was pretty awesome stuff. Fan fiction was mostly a science fiction “thing”, but it has truly come a long way.

Rachel Edidin at the has a really good article about whether are not fan fiction can go mainstream or not with publishers.

Kady Morrison’s debut novel, Juniper Lane, won’t be on store shelves for months, but already her fans number in the six figures. They’re familiar with her work from Archive of Our Own, a fanwork site where Morrison writes fanfic under the handle gyzym.

Her publisher, Big Bang Press, is well aware—in fact, it links to her Ao3 page directly from its website. For a conventional publisher to acknowledge, let alone link directly to, a writers’ fan fiction is unprecedented, but Big Bang specializes in original works by authors recruited from the fan-fiction community.

The overlap between the professional and fan literary communities is one of those uncomfortable secrets no one denies, but few discuss. Fan fiction is mostly published pseudonymously, and the stigma surrounding it often causes writers to keep their professional and fan identities carefully compartmentalized.

Literary publishing’s uneasy relationship with fan fiction has been complicated by the realization that fandom is a huge potential market—one stocked with both prolific authors and enthusiastic readers. But tapping that market is a dilemma few publishers seem quite prepared to engage.

That’s where Big Bang Press comes in.

Check out the remainder of the article here:

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