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Big Bang Press

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

AdrianLynn

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I'm impressed by how much money they've raised via Kickstarter, but I'm perplexed by this from the Kickstarter page: "It’s true that the mainstream publishing industry is slowly catching onto the fact that the fanfiction community represents a huge, untapped pool of writing talent. However, most traditional publishers are still a long way from understanding how fandom works, and how to locate the best writers."

This is a big red flag for me. "Traditional publishers" don't go seeking out writers. If a fanfiction writer is a good writer then they should go about being published just like nonfandom writers - by querying agents.

They are planning on using some of the money raised for advances for the authors, so at least there's that.

Considering the authors were approached by this company and not the other way around, I wish the authors the best and hope for their sakes that this works out. But if it doesn't, I hope they aren't discouraged and instead learn how publishing actually works.
 

Alitriona

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They claim they aren't a publisher. I've been following it from day one and I can believe so many people are falling for it. This will end badly. I can't feel sorry for the authors because they obiviously drank the self publishing kool-aid and believe the hype about the big bad Trade Publishing industry.

I feel sorry for the people investing. Some as much as 1,000 because they honesty believe they are helping authors who won't get a chance in Trade because they are debut, not for the actual reason that none of them have a finished manuscript but are pushing for a 5,000 advance.

I can't link from my phone but there are a number of discussions going on about this elsewhere. I'll link back when I get to my laptop.
 

LindaJeanne

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I can't feel sorry for the authors because they obiviously drank the self publishing kool-aid and believe the hype about the big bad Trade Publishing industry.

The thing is, for a newbie writer doing research about getting published, the message is ubiquious and authoratative -- and contrary information is much more difficult to find.

I fully believed that BS for years before I found AW and was put right, because every time I looked for info about getting published, thats consistantly what I found.

(Heck, back in 2002, I even had the "brilliantly original" idea of a YADS, and did extensive planning for it. Fortunately, I never actually launched the site.)

We're really in a bit of a bubble here at AW, having so many informed people consistantly debunking myths.
 

aliceshortcake

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Every time I read good fanfic - and amongst the Godawful crap I've come across some superb stuff - I find myself hoping that the author also writes material they could submit to a commercial publisher.
 

DancingMaenid

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I've been following this, and I agree that there are some major warning signs. They're presenting this project as something that will give authors a fair chance at publication, but they don't provide any reasoning for their claims that existing publishers can't provide this. And the fact that they approached the writers, and not the other way around, strikes me as a big warning sign.

Also, the Kickstarter page implies that at the novels aren't actually finished yet, which I also find a bit risky.

Their stated goals just don't seem based on a realistic image of publishing. Their FAQ includes the following quote:

We wanted to start a small publishing company that would specifically focus on fanfiction authors and publish their original work because we felt that, although traditional publishing might be a route that would benefit certain authors, a lot of fanfiction authors are coming from a background of being very talented writers, but ones who may not have the traditional training that a lot of publishing companies see as a requirement for publication. Writers who are generally under-served by traditional publishing.

(Emphasis mine)

What "training"? What do publishers see as a requirement aside from a well-written novel that they think they can market? There are plenty of good reasons to self-publish, but this isn't one of them. Plenty of people without any formal writing education have been published. And plenty of fanfic writers have gone on to publish original fiction. Publishing isn't that much of a mystery. I'm a big fan of self-publishing and small presses, but their view of the industry and their approach just don't seem professional.
 

Torgo

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In principle my main objection to the Kickstarter is that it's a Kickstarter to set up a small press. I would sooner invest in a small press than a debut restaurant, but not by much. ("Number nine: a strong word called consignment / Strictly for live men, not for fresh men", as Biggie put it. Publishing is about risk, and small means poorly capitalised.)

It's true that the potential of writing communities is, to some degree, untapped by mainstream publishers. But the potential might not be enough to support a small press, is what I'm thinking, especially if they want to put stuff into the market in a comparatively professional way.

What the Kickstarter actually looks like - and god knows I've seen worse - is a way to publish three books. The books look interesting, though a bit raw, and do I have a great deal of confidence they'll end up beautifully cooked? I don't. But backers might, subjectively, get their money's worth, and I like KS as a publishing model to some extent, so, you know... I just wouldn't get into it thinking it'd turn into a successful business.
 

LindaJeanne

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Sorry, I couldn't get on to my laptop sooner. Another link discussing this press that says it isn't a press but will be. Being a press would put them in violation of Kickstarter TOS.

http://withthissoundwiththesewords....677/for-people-concerned-about-big-bang-press

Following the reblog links backwards towards the source, this is the post with both the e-mail of concerns that was sent, and the full response:

http://youlittlearsonist.tumblr.com/post/67852506393/for-people-concerned-about-big-bang-press
 

Filigree

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Oh, FFS, I'm in fan fiction. Have been for years. And I wouldn't touch this scheme. My 'training' happened through both fan and original fiction. When I was ready, I pitched and sold my original fiction to commercial publishers.

It is true, there are now publisher reps trolling places like ComicCon, looking for fan fiction writers who might something worthy of refurbishing. But that's only for projects that are finished, have wide readerships, and whatever is defining 'high concept' at the moment.

I can't see this one ending well.
 

Torgo

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Oh, FFS, I'm in fan fiction. Have been for years. And I wouldn't touch this scheme. My 'training' happened through both fan and original fiction. When I was ready, I pitched and sold my original fiction to commercial publishers.

It is true, there are now publisher reps trolling places like ComicCon, looking for fan fiction writers who might something worthy of refurbishing. But that's only for projects that are finished, have wide readerships, and whatever is defining 'high concept' at the moment.

I can't see this one ending well.

As I say, I wouldn't touch it expecting a viable business. If I was going to back it (which I'm not) I'd be expecting nothing more or less than the books they are promising, in the manner that they are promising them. (And if I got stiffed in some way, I'd be pissed off, but I'd only have myself to blame. This is one of the refreshing ways KS simplifies the consumer's position.)

I've backed a few things on KS, with a hit-rate (in terms of 'things I feel good about having backed once delivered') at about 75%. If you want to contribute money towards basically self-publishing these books at lower risk than the authors would otherwise have to, go for it. If that doesn't seem like a good deal, avoid. (Should they actually become a publishing business, I'd advise avoiding them as a matter of course.)
 

Alitriona

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LindaJeanne

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I'm not sure if you are trying to say the response addressed the legimate concerns? If so, I don't agree at all.

I just thought it would be helpful to read the actual response, rather than just the reactions to it; give them enough rope, as it were.
 

James D. Macdonald

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If these writers had been given the opportunity to publish their books with a big-name company, they would have done so already.

If these writers had finished their books they'd have had that opportunity.

Several editors at major publishers that I know personally are very conversant with fandom. Sufficiently promising fanfic authors are regularly asked, "Say, have you written anything else?"
 

Filigree

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For the record, editors have asked me that. I thank them for the interest, then refer their inquiries to the original fiction page on my blog, or to my agent.

The rules in commercially publishing written work are the same as publishing artwork: you can't sell it if it's unfinished. Certainly not if it's still in the vaporware/idea stage.

I'll see how this company does with the three novels on its calendar.
 

Invincibility

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I'm aware of these authors through fandom, and none of them are very good at finishing the fanfiction they put up. One even goes so far as to say that working under pressure makes her give up and abandon her projects. Not a promising sign when they haven't even finished the books they're promising to publish with the money they get from Kickstarter.
 

nkkingston

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They all sound like great books - if they were for sale I'd have checked them out - but if they're unfinished this is a bit of a non-starter, isn't it? I know I have a stack of WiPs on the hard drive with great blurbs and art that I'll never finish, because I got too distracted writing blurbs and drawing pictures for them.
 

Filigree

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Same here. I have two gigantic fan fiction WIP mms that have been shelved for most of a decade. Readers still ask if I'm going to finish them. I'm not certain, since one is now out of date and the other will require too much research for the effort. They are set in several now-obscure fandoms. I can't sell them, and they aren't worth retooling into originals. I would never use them as bargaining chips for an actual publisher, beyond a fandom-specific 'zine packager.
 

girlyswot

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Oh, FFS, I'm in fan fiction. Have been for years. And I wouldn't touch this scheme. My 'training' happened through both fan and original fiction. When I was ready, I pitched and sold my original fiction to commercial publishers.

Me too. Fanfic writers have an advantage over other writers (possibly, in broad general terms) in that they have often written a lot of words. They've practiced a lot. But at some point, if they want to write and publish original fic, they have to query on the same basis as anyone else. They don't need special 'training' (????) they just need to write and finish a good book, write a great query and submit. Or self-publish, if that's what they'd rather do. But this? It reads to me like a scam to part fanfic readers from their money.

I'm aware of these authors through fandom, and none of them are very good at finishing the fanfiction they put up. One even goes so far as to say that working under pressure makes her give up and abandon her projects. Not a promising sign when they haven't even finished the books they're promising to publish with the money they get from Kickstarter.
Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear.
 

Invincibility

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Ugh, they met their funding goal. I feel so bad for their backers.
 

Fae Sutherland

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This is such a train wreck. I started in fandom and there is zero reason any fanfic author couldn't do exactly what I did - which is write an original story, submit it to real publishers and get paid like any other author. This faulty myth of there being some magical key to get into publishing...the only key is a good book. Write one and you're golden. No one needs a damn kickstarter for it. Ugh.
 

Filigree

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Again, it comes down to Filigree's Rule, for me: some authors deserve some publishers. If these books get published, and after one year have Amazon rankings under one million, I will be pleasantly surprised.

As far as crowd funding, I would never financially commit to authors with too strong a tendency to abandon unfinished work. Or authors who reveal certain unprofessional behavior. There are dozens of other fan fiction authors I know, who would get my funding and faith in a moment if they pitched original work. I have seen their output, quality, social media interactions, and good writing habits.

I get that we all face meltdowns. Guess what: the market may not care. Basing a business on that seems risky.

We might learn craft in the fan fiction setting, but once we strive for commercial publication there are codes of grown-up conduct to follow.

But the backers have spoken, so let's see what transpires in a year or two.
 

nkkingston

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I find it slightly strange that this whole thing is pitched like fandom authors struggle to get into the mainstream, like Cassie Clare, Naomi Novik, Jaida Jones, E L James, Sarah Rees Brennan etc have passed them by.
 

Filigree

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I don't find it strange. Just sad. More fake 'barriers' to publication and recognition, added to the very real ones already awaiting all writers, fan or commercial.

But - they got funded, so I'll see what happens.
 
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