OTW Fannews: Fannish Reading

Graphic showing a desk fan looking at a book

  • The Bookseller reported on Scribd’s changes to its business model due to romance readers. “Coming in the context of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select’s controversial new per-page payments…the news from Scribd may not raise independent authors’ spirits. One key platform c.e.o., Smashwords’ Mark Coker, refers to it as a ‘purge’.” The problem? Romance fans read too much. “All-you-can-read subscription programs…are predicated on the assumption that most subscribers will not use them, or at least won’t use them with any serious regularity…The romance-reading community, famed for its high rate of content consumption, thus is like part of a fitness club membership overrunning the workout equipment, costing the service more, apparently, than is sustainable.”
  • The Guardian also looks at romance and fanfic readers as a problem for the publishing industry, though less for reading too much than not reading enough non-romance. “Fiction Uncovered cleverly…turn[ed] Grey’s ubiquity to its advantage by launching the #BritishwritingisnotallGrey hashtag, in which tweeters could nominate favourite contemporary writers…’This is not an anti-Grey stance,’ wrote Sophie Rochester, the organisation’s director, ‘but the singular focus on the book this week is exemplary of an issue regularly seen – a fanfare of attention around one or two writers with many talented writers not getting the attention they deserve…The work is out there, was the message; we just need to support it. Publishers would no doubt counteract the argument by noting that off-the-scale successes such as Fifty Shades underwrite their commitment to all kinds of writing.”
  • A University of Missouri journalism project sought to give female fans even more to read by launching a new gaming magazine targeted to them. “Fangirl hopes to become a bi-monthly printed issue along with an iPad edition. There’s a three-year plan to take the publication from online-only to print production. It might become a full-time gig for some of us, too. ‘The School of Journalism gave me a chance to create my own job,’ Morrison said. ‘I never thought I’d be doing something like this when I came to MU, and while it’s sometimes horrifying, it’s also the most exciting and worthwhile experience of my career.'”

What stories about fannish reading can you tell? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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