fsc_ralst: Hello and welcome to the original fiction panel. Could the panellists please introduce themselves?
jazwriter: hello! I’m jazzy–nice to see you all. *waves*
jae_s1978: Hi, this is Jae. Hello to everyone.
quietheartedfsc: love the last book jae…when do I get a new one? *G*
erinoreilly: hello I’m Erin
dabkey: dabkey here – hello all.
jae_s1978: @quietheartedfsc: The new book will probably come out in the beginning of November.
jazwriter: hey there, LZClotho–great to see you.
DylanChase: what she said! @LZ
fsc_ralst: Is that everyone?
quietheartedfsc: I asked the same question last year and it worked, so I decided to try again…excellent news.
jae_s1978: @quietheartedfsc: Seems your strategy worked. Lol
fsc_ralst: I know a lot of you started out writing fandom based fics, at least on-line, so I was wondering what the biggest difference for you was in original fiction?
jae_s1978: It’s not easier or harder; there are just different challenges. You can’t rely on already established settings or characters. Plus writing original fiction enables you to get published.
yurianimeotaku: I have a question. Do you feel the success of "50 Shades of Grey" has given fan fiction authors more credibility in the publishing world?
olli01a: in original fiction you have full controll over the world you are creating
jazwriter: when you write your own characters, you create their personalities, weaknesses, strengths, and environment. Fanfic is a great way to start writing because most of that is already developed (or at least hinted at)
dabkey: I actually have more trouble writing within a fandom, within set parameters… I’ve never liked anyone telling me what to do, I guess
jae_s1978: I agree. Writing fanfiction is not easier per se. You’re bound to the restrictions of the fandom.
fsc_ralst: @Jae you mentioned getting published, is that a big part of why you write original fiction?
jae_s1978: Well, it is now, but when I wrote my first original fiction novel, I never planned on getting published. I started writing original fiction because I wanted more freedom to create my own characters and storylines.
shaych03: i write original fiction because the stories i want to tell aren’t for other people’s characters. when i write fanfic, it’s because i want to tell stories about those specific characters.
fsc_ralst: I think yuri had a question?
Shatterpath: I stall out on original fiction. Having an established set of perameters suits me. Possibly becuase I learned character creation through talbe-top role playing games
shaych03: @shatterpath i did the same thing, but was always more of a DM/GM than a player, though i did love to play.
dabkey: I didn’t mean to ignore yuri, I just didn’t have have an informed opinion about it. was hoping someone else did
Shatterpath: i would have been a great GM except that I have the attention span and memory of a hyperactive gnat on crack
yurianimeotaku: @dab No problem.
fsc_ralst: Was the author of ’50 Shades’ a fanfic’er? I’ve never read it
DanieXJ: twilight fanfic
ivanolix: Yes, the book was originally Twilight fanfic, actually
shaych03: i’ve been informed that my memory matches yours, shatterpath LOL
jae_s1978: Sorry, Yuri. Same here. I also have no informed opinion about "50 Shades of Grey."
yurianimeotaku: @ralst Yes. "50 Shades of Grey" started out as a "Twilight" fan fiction.
Shatterpath: the advantage to me is that an orignal world is built about the OCs where fanfic, the characters should be built BY the world. Too many people crate OCs in fandom that make no sense. The dreaded Mary Sue
fsc_ralst: Is that common, to take a fanfic and convert it for original? Is it harder than writing original from the outset?
shaych03: i think my issue with 50 shades of grey is that it, like its parent fandom, is something of a big joke to those outside the fandom
yurianimeotaku: The reason I ask is I have found some lesbian fiction authors look down their published noses at fan fiction authors.
Shatterpath: oh, we’ll be stagmatized for a good while yet
shaych03: yuri: it’s not just lesbian authors. i’ve had plenty of author snobbery from other arenas
Del Robertson: @yuri: there may be some, but my new publisher (affinity) is very supportive of whatever I do.
angharad_gov: author snobbery is universal
olli01a: I think it is easier to crersate a new world inseat of twisting an existing one into something no one regognizes anymore
Shatterpath: It’s difficult to understand (from the outside) how difficult good fan fic really is
jae_s1978: Yes, I think for some people, you are only allowed to call yourself "writer" if you published a book.
dabkey: And you can’t get them to even try it to change their minds
jazwriter: @yuri…I know several published authors who still write fanfic, so thankfully, not all are snobby
Del Robertson: I resemble that remark.
erinoreilly: when I started reading fanfci in 2000 I often thought that how good the authors were
the_dhamphir: so does jazzy
yurianimeotaku: @jaz True. I’m friends with a few.
jazwriter: also, I do believe many of the top fanfic writers are much better than published authors
Gin Akasarahsmom: so does Gun
dabkey: and I’ve met fanfic authors who are just as snobby, honestly.
Gin Akasarahsmom: she just posted a new fic
fsc_ralst: I think a lot of it depends on the person
jae_s1978: That’s true. Some of the old fanfiction that I read in 2001 are still my favorites, even much better than some of the novels that are published today.
yurianimeotaku: @dab Really? Wow.
jazwriter: true, I do have a published novel and another on the way, but I love writing fanfic
shaych03: i know it seems that some very good fanfic writers put more emphasis on turning out quality product versions the $$ per word attitude of some "published" writers
Shatterpath: too true
quietheartedfsc: it’s a labor of love
shaych03: that should be versus, not versions. my keyboard hates me.
ivanolix: Also, fanfic and original fiction are broad terms that cover a variety of styles. A oneshot is different from a big bang is different from a short story is different from a novel. Not all writers are good at all forms of writing.
jae_s1978: That also depends on the writer. And the publisher.
ariestess: And don’t forget the fannish "favorite" of drabbles.
Del Robertson: erin, how difficult was it to create your ‘world’ for Fearless. I know it’s based on history, but the characters are all yours
erinoreilly: yes they are I did about a year’s worth of research before writing
fsc_ralst: @erin what time period?
the_dhamphir: can all the panellist change their font to red, so we know who you are?
erinoreilly: it was the ATF women pilots in WW!!
fsc_ralst: That sounds interesting.
fsc_ralst: angharad, you have a question?
angharad_gov: those of you who came from fan fic backgrounds and went into published original fic writing, do you find it easier professionally to write under a pen name for your work or under your own name?
erinoreilly: it was a great history lesson and the women were so gutsy
Del Robertson: everything i’ve done has been under the same penname
jazwriter: I write under my own name for the pblished works
jae_s1978: I write under a pen name. Actually, the same pen name that I used for my fanfiction.
jazwriter: I need a spell checker
ariestess: I created a separate pseud for the professional stuff, which I hope will pay off with something published sooner rather than later.
erinoreilly: pen name
yurianimeotaku: Why do you use a pen name?
shaych03: i use a pen name because not all of my family is aware of my sexual orientation
Del Robertson: i use my first name and my partner’s last name
fsc_ralst: How large a portion of your published work do you think is due to your fandom works? the audience you’ve built up, I mean
jae_s1978: I use a pen name because I work with sometimes difficult clients, so I don’t want my real name connected to my novels. Plus English-speaking people wouldn’t be able to pronounce my name correctly anyway
erinoreilly: I use a pen name because I ran across a stalker
yurianimeotaku: @erin Yikes!
Del Robertson: a stalker? really?
erinoreilly: yes it was early and Erin came to life
the_dhamphir: @erin in person, or cyberstalker
dabkey: I had the same experience as Erin – you get some pretty freaky emails
erinoreilly: yes that is true
Del Robertson: @erin: that fan that came from Mn to Tx for my first book signing. turned out she was harmless
erinoreilly: erin as me
yurianimeotaku: Predominately male or female stalkers?
fsc_ralst: the heavy price of fame
jae_s1978: @ralst: that’s hard to say. I know I have "fans" from my fanfiction-writing days that still e-mail me whenever I have a new book out.
erinoreilly: female for me
dabkey: female, as far as I know
Del Robertson: i know i have fans, as well, but i’m not sure how many have followed my pro-work
Shatterpath: I have never understood what drives a person to that sort of behavior…
dabkey: and @ralst – I’m pretty sure the majority of people who bought my book either read it online first, or heard about it from someone who did. One of the reasons I never took it down
yurianimeotaku: @dab Didn’t your publisher make you take it offline?
jae_s1978: @dabkey: I’m one of those people. I read your work online first and then bought the book.
dabkey: no, she never even asked.
fsc_ralst: Most do though, don’t they? ask you to remove your online version
jae_s1978: @ralst: Yes, most publishers ask you to remove any online versions from the Web.
yurianimeotaku: Perhaps it varies from publishing house to publishing house?
dabkey: yes, other authors I’ve talked to have been asked to, or just done it on their own. I was kinda surprised not to get more flack for it
dabkey: yes, I’m sure it does.
Del Robertson: you can still find some out there, though. Erin, you have some online as well, right?
shaych03: my publisher didn’t ask me to remove mine, just not to post any updates to it
shaych03: and to link to the book page on their site
erinoreilly: yes I do Del it is a toss up between angering your fans or making a few more dollars
yurianimeotaku: With the upsurge of eBooks, how have you all dealt with pirates?
fsc_ralst: Del writes about the *g*
jae_s1978: @For the most part, my publisher deals with it. I just know that DRM is not the answer.
erinoreilly: piracy is a fact of life nothing you can do to stop it really
shaych03: the abundance of evidence i have read from other published authors, such as neil gaiman, is that pirates are GOOD for business, not bad. someone who finds you and loves you via a pirate copy is more likely to buy new material – and someone who pirates to pirate is going to pirate no matter what.
yurianimeotaku: This may be a strange question, but when you made the transition from femslash to original published work, did you continue to write lesbian fiction or did you venture into more mainstream fiction?
fsc_ralst: With fanfic, we’re for the most part limited to the types of characters the studios decree sellable, but in original stories you’re free to include as diverse a set of characters as you like. In your writing, do you try to take advantage of that?
jae_s1978: True. And since I’m not making a living from my writing, the most important thing to me is that my books are read.
shaych03: i’d rather my work was being read and loved than to have someone snooping around in people’s computers to make sure they paid their 13.95 for it
jae_s1978: @Yuri: so far, it’s been all lesbian fiction for me. But who knows in the future.
Del Robertson: @ralst. That’s one reason i wrote my book – weren’t any pirate stories out there, then.
LZClotho: I know that I want to reach as wide an audience as possible. but I don’t write "mainstream" just try to be accessible
ariestess: When I’m published [and I’m banking on it happening because positive thinking is the bomb], I’ll be happy to sell books that people like to read and rec. Money is nice, but it’s not the ONLY thing.
dabkey: Karin Kallmaker had an interesting blog post about piracy – she does make her living writing and has been pretty active trying to do something about it
dabkey: going to download sites, trying to get people to realize that what they are doing is illegal…
shaych03: one thing i find annoying about ebooks versus paperbacks is that the price for both is about the same – which doesn’t scan for me. ebooks don’t cost the same to produce.
ariestess: ITA, Shay.
yurianimeotaku: Layce Gardner also posted an interesting experience she had with a pirate.
jae_s1978: But some of the costs you have for e-books are the same: editing, proofreading, layout, cover creation, etc.
LZClotho: they do almost… production is about paying the cover artist, editors, and author.
LZClotho: print is actually a very small part of that cost… only a few dollars per copy less to ebook something as to print it.
fsc_ralst: But what about transport?
LZClotho: now, volume is easier to produce, so you get your money back "faster" for the other initial investments, but they are still there.
LZClotho: transport is covered by the distributor, part of their take on the book price.
erinoreilly: I disagree if you already have a book ready for print then the cost to produce an ebook is minimal
shaych03: but shouldn’t that savings be passed on to the reader, to encourage ebook buys? and the "secondary" market for ebooks is almost nil – i can go buy a used PB for 3 bucks at the thrift store – not so with an ebook
LZClotho: if it is already ready for print, yes.
yurianimeotaku: @shay Most of the lesbian fiction eBooks I buy are less expensive than the paperback version, but I usually buy from Amazon.com. I found the eBooks from the publishing house are just as expensive as the print ones.
LZClotho: but a $13.95 print book is still worth $9.95 as an e-book for recouping the other costs.
jae_s1978: Yes, but if you publish a book in both paperback and e-book and you know you’ll sell 90% e-books, then you need to set the price in a way that covers your costs. Or you’ll go out of business as a publisher pretty soon.
LZClotho: jae’s right
olli01a: I don’t mind the price. If I want a book I buy it but I expect certain advantadges like re-download without additional cost or the book being removed from my device without my consent
jae_s1978: Plus let’s not forget that Amazon and other retailers take up to 65% of the list price.
the_dhamphir: i agree with you, Olli
fsc_ralst: So why isn’t it that much cheaper to buy straight from the publisher?
LZClotho: depends on the publisher
Gin Akasarahsmom: I wish you could do with books like you do with CD’s.. .when you buy a CD you can add those songs to your iTunes and then sync with your Ipod…
Gin Akasarahsmom: I wish you could scan the ISBN of a book you buy and be able to add it to your e-devices
jae_s1978: @ralst: for exactly the same reason I just mentioned. There’s no retailer that takes a hefty cut if you go directly through the publisher.
LZClotho: non-DRM works that way, Gin.
Gin Akasarahsmom: Hmmm
yurianimeotaku: I’ve seen rather interesting ‘discussions’ between lesfic authors over which is more profitible for them…Amazon.com or their publishing house.
olli01a: @gin. You can buy legally books witzhout DRM and sync them to iTunes
LZClotho: I use Calibre, but then I can read books on my nook, on my laptop, or on another computer in my house (since I keep my Calibre library on my home server)
erinoreilly: if you go through Amazon you will get 70% and will have to get an editor, cover artists and distributor.
shesgottaread: Calibre is terrific
jae_s1978: @ralst: I misread your question. Some publishers try to offer their e-books for less money on their website. But Amazon always tries to have the lowest price.
erinoreilly: the deal with Amazon is that you cannot sell your books elsewhere cheaper
fsc_ralst: @erin so will Amazon take a loss just to cut out other roots?
LZClotho: no, Amazon will make YOU, the author or publisher, take a loss, to have access to their buyers.
erinoreilly: it depends on how you set up your account if you say you want Amazon to be your publisher then yes they will sell for much less
erinoreilly: of course the author gets less too
quietheartedfsc: which is why I choose to buy from the publisher…more money directly into the pockets it belongs in
Del Robertson: so, erin, does your publisher sell anything thru Amazon, or just direct?
erinoreilly: I’ve dealt with Amazon for the 7 months and they’ve never pressure me to sell for less
fsc_ralst: The problem with buying directly from the publisher, for those of us outside the US, is that the transport costs are very heavy.
erinoreilly: all our books are on amazon and the website the price is the same both places
shaych03: amazon has a greater sales reach though – they have a huge buyer base, which equals more sales
quietheartedfsc: I only buy ebooks now, ralst…I’ve run out of bookshelves…
psychotic-cat17: Me too
jae_s1978: I don’t think a publisher can afford to completely ignore Amazon.
LZClotho: I buy paperback when I know I want to keep it.
fsc_ralst: lol I like the feel of a book in my hands
olli01a: I switched completely to ebooks
quietheartedfsc: ebooks and make 2 copies for backup….
Del Robertson: i’m with you, ralst, paperback.
erinoreilly: I think ebooks are the future unfortunately
quietheartedfsc: only paper I buy is text books…easier to research that way
fsc_ralst: with ebooks I’m still in archiver mode, and keep looking for typos and whatnot
quietheartedfsc: I can turn off beta mode for pub’d work…but not fanfic…
ariestess: I can’t even turn off beta mod for pub’d works.
Del Robertson: i find no matter what i read, i cringe at typos
LZClotho: I too find myself ‘editing’ when I’m reading e-text, but am able to turn that off when reading paper.
fsc_ralst: Probably didn’t help that the one published ebook I bought – one of Karen Kallmakers – was full of errors
LZClotho: (though I can still find typos and errors)
psychotic-cat17: It irritates me even more when a published work has typos; I’ve learned to expect it in fanfic
LZClotho: I know, ralst, I was surprised by the Kallmaker book too.
quietheartedfsc: I can turn it off for pub’d or I’d never get my homework done
erinoreilly: do you find that the quality of book editing is in the decline
yurianimeotaku: I find the quality of editors has declined.
quietheartedfsc: there are times fanfic has fewer errors
psychotic-cat17: I feel like publishers need to put out more books in less time, so editing suffers for that
erinoreilly: I can read a book and keep going back to see who the editor was and am amazed
jae_s1978: Good editing is expensive, and most small presses don’t have the money to pay editors what they’re worth.
dabkey: in all kinds of text media
yurianimeotaku: I know some betas who are better editors than some of the ‘professional’ ones.
shaych03: and fanfic writers are more apt to apologize for their mistakes
jazwriter: @yuri–I agree!
quietheartedfsc: yuri, I agree….jazzy comes to mind
jazwriter: I have some of the best betas!
jazwriter: lol…ty QH
quietheartedfsc: you beat me to death with that red pen of yours
the_dhamphir: agree w/ qh
Gin Akasarahsmom: there are printing mistakes in every book
Gin Akasarahsmom: just some more than others
jazwriter: I do, but I am also an editor, so I can’t help it
shaych03: fanfic writers are more apt to maintain continuety, too
ariestess: There are people that call me all sorts of mean things for my beta work.
shaych03: i’ve ready plenty of series novels where the writer’s timeline is all funky
the_dhamphir: i agree, shaych
jazwriter: (QH calls me names)
yurianimeotaku: @Gin I don’t mind a few errors. When the amount of errors interrupts my reading flow…there are too many.
fsc_ralst: Thank you all for a great panel, but we need to bid original fics adieu for the moment and head over to Hot Topics
Gin Akasarahsmom: true Yuri.. I agree
LZClotho: this was a great panel!
jazwriter: thanks, ralst!
LZClotho: thank you all!
yurianimeotaku: ty all
DylanChase: Thanks everyone!
jae_s1978: Thank you to everyone.
dabkey: thanks for the interesting discussion
olli01a: Tanks everyone
jazwriter: great group and lovely conversation–what more we can ask for?
Del Robertson: thanks, ralst. Erin.