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Meg and Mog - What!

Not for me, I think

So Amazon wants to sell our fanfic?

That's nice, but I can't even give it away these days...

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That's actually very interesting... Not least because, on the face of it, that's actually a pretty reasonable royalty rate. I wonder what they'd do about stuff published elsewhere first - and also if there's actually supposed to be any advantage to the author rather than just the rights holder... Is there going to be wider distribution? Marketing based on some sort of moderation? I can see this working for the model of fandom where you have a strong writer-reader divide (dare I say in that in fandom these days I would expect as many people to throw a few dollars at a fic as would throw a comment), but in the more gift-exchangey parts I can't see fandom as a whole shifting away from a model where you publish for free in order to be able to read for free.

I also wonder how the royalty payments to rights holders would break down on a per fic basis... If it's as marginal/nominal as it should be then I can see this being quite a positive thing, to the point that ultimately the publication of fic could be as legitimate as the publication of anything, because the publishers will see buying up some rights as something like a marketing cost, and a good novel won't be held back because it uses characters from whatever. The only bad thing I can see is if it manages to criminalise free fic somehow around the edges, but I can't believe it will. Publishing Fag Ends-esque/Tumblr stuff will surely just be too complicated for ten cents a read, and it would be daft to try and kill that off. I fear I'd actually quite like a system which has some sort of divide between fic for fun and stuff people actually spend a lot of time working on to create a quality finished product. I was saying to some people the other day that the more masculinised areas of the internet (like gaming etc.) are very good at monetising their hobbies and building some sort of patronage system (even if it's just YouTube ads) around the popular people, whereas the areas gendered more feminine (like fandom) are all very much about toiling for the love of it all and not talking about the money. (I suppose you could qualify that with craft places like Etsy or whatever, but I think on the whole there's something in it.)

Hmm - Beer Good links to this:

Number 2 makes me wonder what the contract with the author would actually look like. The last time this happened with that other site the whole thing seemed to be about taking rights off people, but it seems odd to me that Amazon would try and push a contract that would disadvantage the author very drastically more than any other of their epublishers who made it big. Maybe they'll try it, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are agents out there right now looking for the next 50 Shades, and it's not going to be long before someone clever makes up a similar deal which gives away more rights just because it will get a lot more of fandom interested. I mean, in the vast, vast majority of cases it's not going to make one iota of difference because the fic isn't going to make it big. Why be so greedy on the off chance in exchange for the PR disaster?

As for the studios using ideas or whatever in their own stuff, there must be precedents with tie-in authors coming up with interesting things that the main title then wants to use... Especially in things like Star Wars. I wonder how that works.

The way I see it, they are after long, gen pieces (or at least inoffensively shippy) written by the 'elite' fan ficcers who might have a big enough following to generate anough income to be worth it. The copyright holder gets a cut and the author gets some payment. Which all sounds great on the surface until the author has to hand over their whole rights, even to the bits that are theirs and has no right to then reshape into something properly marketable. If the copyright holder then wants to use that for anything, however big and profitable, the author gets nothing.

I wouldn't sign up to that, but then I doubt I would ever write anything long enough again anyway.

This was another interesting take:

I suppose I could be being horrendously naive - although I believe it's more being ahead of the game; we're going to some sort of monetisation of fanfic eventually, done in a way that people actually want to do it... But maybe that's not today. I suppose the dumping ground might be a way of looking at it - because if you had absolutely nothing to lose, no desire to write anything but fic, and nonetheless spent your life churning out 150K fic after 150K fic, you'd at least be getting something. The problem is that the moment they start treating fic writers like pro writers, they're not going to want to get shafted with such a bad deal. They're basically saying that people have something to sell - and the moment you do that people's Apprentice brains kick in.

OK, so I have too many thoughts. That probably means I should do my own post... But, also, in reference to what you're saying about not being able to give it away, I'd probably be more likely to publish the stuff that wasn't popular, if I was going to do it (probably wouldn't, if they say you have to give them all of your new stuff, because the future's bright and I could bother with some original stuff one day, and I wouldn't want to be committed to giving that to Amazon if I was actually going to bother trying to publish it). Generally I'm just perverse that way, I suppose, but it would also nice to feel psychologically done with some of that stuff. I mean, if I could commit a summer to sorting out some transitions in the Spikeid, say it's an eBook and dump it in a final, finished state, I think my creative mind would be the better for it.

That's a new way of looking at it, I suppose - as a dumping ground for stuff you have no plans to touch again and to put it out of tinkering distance!

I'm trying to process this. Failing miserably, largely because a.) it's late, b.) I'm tired, c.) my tl/dr sensors are kicking in, and d.) I can't get past the whole "who the hell thought this would be a good idea?" of it all. Another LJ friend mentioned Fanlib. The memories came flooding back...

I think it'll flop. Or change the world. But mostly I think it'll flop. Surely they know the importance of porn to any media business model?

It at least offers a better deal than Fanlib.

It looks like there's a 'filing off the serial numbers and publishing as OF' prevention clause in the fine print. Doesn't sound like the best deal.

I think it's basically a way of cashing in the tie in novel market, without offering the same deal to the author. It's so limited in what it's looking to accept.

Yes, the playpen they're offering is extremely small. From what little research I've done, some tie-in authors have chimed in saying that they don't even get royalties (work-for-hire, flat fee). But 35% of *net* - not gross - can mean anything Amazon says it means, as in 35% of zero (after all those *onerous* expenses or somesuch) will

I think wel'll just have to see what happens if anyone decides to take it up.

It may just be a storm in a teacup. *hopes*

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