OTW Fannews: Book Fandom End to End

  • At The New Statesman, Elizabeth Minkel discussed book fandoms and the importance of small presses. “The fan who gets hired to make the thing he’s obsessed with has its own TV Trope: ‘the promoted fanboy‘…But that trend feels more absent in female fandom: it’s easier for me to find examples of women who’ve gently distanced themselves from their fan communities as they worked towards mainstream success – hardly unsurprising, given the publishing industry’s historical antipathy towards fan fiction, the largely female-dominated practice that lies at the heart of a lot of women’s fan experiences, combined with the media’s continued less-than-flattering portrayal of fangirls.”
  • Minkel as well as Hypable and many others reported on Rainbow Rowell’s next book release, a Fangirl spinoff focused on the fictional fanfic in the story. “Rowell will open up Cath’s fanfiction for all the world to enjoy! Her latest book, due out in October of 2015, will be appropriately titled, Carry On. Even without the source material, we can bet that fans will be lining up to get their hands on the novel based on the fanfiction based on the fake novel within a real novel. (That must be some kind of new genre!)” Sorry, but fans have been there for a while.
  • OTW’s ally organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, posted about a recent US federal court case allowing the sharing of information on stripping out DRM from ebooks. “When Abbey House shut down the ebook store in 2013, it gave its customers a month’s notice that they would no longer be able to add new devices to read their purchased books on—and also explained that some customers were using the free software package Calibre to remove the DRM so they would be able to move their library to new hardware.” They note that it puts the burden on users and the organizations that advocate for them, such as the OTW, to “continue with the triennial rulemaking process seeking exemptions to the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. There, we are pointing to non-infringing uses that are nevertheless hampered by the presence of DRM software and the legal backing that supports it.”
  • The Kansas City Star interviewed Wattpad users who were more interested in writing rather than book deals. “Ramya Chilappa, an eighth-grader at Leawood Middle School, likes to read fan fiction of Harry Potter and Naruto, the manga series, on her phone. She says the comments she’s received about her writing were constructive. ‘Things like ‘this part feels rushed’ and ‘maybe you’ve started too many sentences the same way… Then they throw in a compliment. They know what it’s like.’… While text is the chief medium, some Wattpadders go multimedia creating book cover images — there’s an art library to tap — as well as embedding story soundtracks and offering YouTube trailers.”

How have you seen book fandoms adapting over the years? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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