OTW Fannews: Non-commercial revelations

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  • The Oxford Student wrote about the boom in Night Vale fandom. “Radio drama is more than just a lost art, a piece of nostalgia left behind from days before television and the internet…With the low budget, there are no necessary expectations that the project will bring home the bacon. This leaves a wide open field for the industry to take risks with new, even first-time writers…co-creator, Joseph Fink…says in an interview…that it is the best time in history to be an artist of any kind…Monetary satisfaction aside, it has never been easier to have your creations seen, read, or heard by other people.”
  • While the availability of porn within fanfiction often prevented its open discussion, its existence reveals what mainstream media hasn’t provided. “The overwhelming popularity of women’s erotic literature, illustrated by the recent worldwide best seller ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ by EL James and the flourishing women’s fan fiction community from which it emerged, proves that there is great demand among women for explicit sexual representations. Millions of female readers embraced the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trilogy…not for its depiction of oppression, but for its exploration of erotic freedom. Female-authored erotica and pornography speaks to fantasies women actually have, fantasies that are located in a world where women must negotiate power constantly, including in their imaginations and desires.”
  • Fandom gatherings have become the new way to market content that lacks visibility in the media. Writing about an author’s fan con for NPR, Petra Mayer talked to Random House’s PR reps about why this is. “Though Macomber sells millions, it’s mostly through word of mouth. You won’t find her in The New York Review of Books. Instead, women like Banas devour the books and then share them with friends and family — which is why Macomber’s publisher thought a weekend-long party might be a good way to attract some mainstream media attention. ‘For certain authors who have large fanbases and write certain kinds of books, maybe books that tend to be more commercial, the review coverage — or some of the space in traditional media — isn’t always there.'”
  • While being “non-commercial” means that certain works will never be mainstream, it doesn’t mean that mainstream outlets aren’t getting a clue about how to find an audience.

What formerly non-commercial works have you seen enter mass media? 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.