Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Not a Fan of FanFiction

Self-publishing has given a voice to writers and stories that were previously kept silent by traditional publishing. Leading the vanguard are writers such as Amanda Hocking and Hugh Howey who both have achieved tremendous success. They toiled away at their craft and after being rejected by multiple publishers (In Amanda's case) charted their own course. They did their own world building. They created their own characters. They did their own marketing. Don't get it twisted this hustle is real and game needs to recognize game. It doesn't matter if you like their books or not they have made the industry take notice. Thousands of self-published writers fighting to have their own voices heard owe some gratitude to these two and other trendsetters like them. And no one has benefited more from this new paradigm shift than readers. This is the technical definition of a buyers market and I'm happy to participate in this movement. It's a new era that is being driven by the bottom up. Corporate chieftains ability to create or destroy dreams by the stroke of a pen has been minimized. Good. Let the market decide who should be successful. I'm OK with that. But I'm not OK with writers who stand on the shoulders of giants like JK Rowling or George RR Martin to cut to the head of the line. It's lazy. If you want to be writer then be a writer. Work at it. Build your own worlds, create your own characters. I know it's hard work but man up. Now to be clear I'm not talking about all fanfiction. My comments are directed at those who seek to profit off of the hard work of others. That is soulless. Get on your grind and do your own thang. And to be honest I never thought much of fanfiction before I became a writer. But as I read the reviews of my book and get feedback from fans my attitude about fanfiction has evolved rapidly. You see I think I might be good at this writin' thang. My confidence has increased and my metrics for success have changed. I could have easily written "Dumbledore vs Melisandre" or "Arya's First Year at Hogwarts" But to leverage the popularity of these characters for my personal gain is lecherous. I'm proud of the fact that my fans (all three of them) love the characters I have created. I know it's going to take some time but I'm going to stay on my hustle because this grind is making me better, sharper. Although "Arya's First Year at Hogwarts", does sound interesting...