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Shelving Fanfiction Stories on LT

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1DanieXJ
Nov 8, 2018, 8:32pm Top

I'm not talking about the Zines that are put out or were put out in the past, I'm talking individual stories that are simply on an author's website or AO3 or FF.net.

And, honestly, I'm not talking about myself, but, I found a fanfic that an author had written on the author's page with her other books, and so I wondered if it was allowed or not (I know, I know, you can shelve anything you want basically on LT), but, is it something that's generally done or not?

Personally, I feel like it shouldn't be on the pages with the author's other stuff because it makes it messy, and it just feels wrong, but, on the other hand, some of them are hundreds of thousands of words long, so...

And, this has probably been broached somewhere else, but, I swear that I went through all 542 or so results when I searched my butt off...

2lorax
Nov 8, 2018, 9:09pm Top

Everything's allowed. A book-length work of fiction, that the author wrote under the same name as their other material, being excluded simply because of subject matter seems ridiculous. (If it wasn't fanfic, just a book-length work of fiction that the author made available for free on their website, there'd be no question about appropriateness since it's obviously okay.) If it got to the point of hundreds of shorter works making it difficult to separate commercially-published work from fanfic, that would be a different issue, but I don't think that calls for a "no fanfic" bright line. (An easier separation of short stories from longer works would be useful in many contexts, and probably a better idea there too.)

3Petroglyph
Nov 9, 2018, 9:59am Top

Individual short stories are being catalogued anyway, as are interviews, introductions, forewords and the like. I don't see why fanfic should be excluded on principle.

Non-books are often marked as such by including something like [Short Story] or [SS] at the end of the title field. I think it'd be a good idea to mark fanfic titles with [FanFic] or something -- for clarity, and because it will make it easier for combiners when they figure out work-to-work relationships, or when the same title covers multiple iterations and versions.

Unless, as >2 lorax: says, the fanfic takes over an author's page (say, if people started cataloguing individual chapters/instalments), this won't be a problem.

4norabelle414
Nov 9, 2018, 11:27am Top

My understanding of "Fan Fiction" is that it is unpublished, publically accessible work that person A writes based on the intellectual property of person B.
It sounds to me like what we're talking about here is when person B writes an unpublished, publically accessible work based on their own intellectual property, which I don't think fufills the "fan" part of "fan fiction"

Personally I'm in favor of cataloging both, but I don't think that the second type should be labeled as {fanfic}*. Maybe something more like {unpublished}?

__________________________________________________‚Äč

*or the first type, either, since "fanfic" can be published like a normal book, e.g. http://www.librarything.com/tag/fanfic

5MarthaJeanne
Nov 9, 2018, 11:34am Top

If the author has put it publically on the website it has been published. It has simply not been printed, which is a different matter.

6norabelle414
Nov 9, 2018, 1:09pm Top

>5 MarthaJeanne: In that case what would be the differentiation between fan fiction and an ebook?

7elenchus
Nov 9, 2018, 1:26pm Top

>6 norabelle414:

I'd argue the difference is precisely the authority which electronically published the book. In fanfic, that authority is the author. In an eBook, that authority is an organization publishing more than just that author's work, and existing for purposes not identical to the author's purpose to be published.

Grey areas remain, of course -- James Patterson (random example, not saying it's true) might be able to afford a publishing house employing several people and publishing his fanfic, and possibly even publish other author's work at the same time. I assume grey areas will exist no matter what definition one uses.

8lorax
Nov 9, 2018, 1:33pm Top

elenchus (#7):

I'd argue the difference is precisely the authority which electronically published the book. In fanfic, that authority is the author. In an eBook, that authority is an organization publishing more than just that author's work, and existing for purposes not identical to the author's purpose to be published.

There are plenty of self-published authors these days - with ebooks it's not the stigma that it once was, and there are some decent ones out there. So this distinction doesn't really hold up - really it's about whether they're playing with only their own toys in designing the world and characters or using someone else's.

9elenchus
Edited: Nov 9, 2018, 3:20pm Top

>8 lorax: really it's about whether they're playing with only their own toys in designing the world and characters or using someone else's

I'll have to think more about that approach, certainly I like that the fulcrum is what's written rather than how it's published.

10SandraArdnas
Nov 9, 2018, 3:31pm Top

I'm confused why would fanfic end up on the author page? Shouldn't it get its own author page, something along the lines 'JK Rowling fanfic'?

11jjwilson61
Nov 9, 2018, 3:35pm Top

>9 elenchus: I don't think it's an approach, I thought that's how fanfic is defined. Someone whose a fan of Harry Potter and writing their own fiction in that world.

12lilithcat
Nov 9, 2018, 3:44pm Top

>6 norabelle414:

Apples and oranges.

"Fan fiction" might be an ebook, it might be on someone's blog, it might be whatever today's equivalent of a broadside/mimeograph is.

An "ebook" is a format, like a codex or a scroll.

13norabelle414
Nov 9, 2018, 3:55pm Top

>12 lilithcat: Right, so "fanfic" needs no catalog designation (except maybe a work-to-work relationship) but a "work that is only available in some non-traditional way" might

14lorax
Nov 9, 2018, 3:58pm Top

SandraArdnas (#10):

I've been assuming that it the author whose page we're discussing is the author of the fanfic, who may also have written and published other non-fanfic books.

15elenchus
Nov 9, 2018, 4:11pm Top

>11 jjwilson61:

Yeah, in retrospect that was dumb of me. I was focusing on how to distinguish between fanfic published electronically and non-fanfic published electronically, and unaccountably ran off the rails. Clearly that remains an important question. But the question is not about fanfic simpliciter.

16DanieXJ
Nov 9, 2018, 6:30pm Top

>14 lorax: Yes. It's Melissa Good who started writing Xena fanfic, then 'uber fic' which then got published. I found one of her fanfics among her other books and was just wondering if I should spam work it, but.... from everything I've read in this thread, I think that I will let it rest where it is, since it is just one shelved fanfic, and a well entered one to boot (better manually entered than some published books I've seen on here).

17MarthaJeanne
Edited: Nov 9, 2018, 6:44pm Top

>16 DanieXJ: I suggest reading https://wiki.librarything.com/index.php/HelpThing:Spam_works

This specifically says that non-traditional material is not therefore spam. A work may or may not be appropriate without being spam.

18Bettesbooks
Nov 10, 2018, 7:23am Top

As a person who is not a librarian sees it.

The author is the author.

If the work is based on another author's characters/world I consider it fanfic;it would be nice to have it so labeled at the end of the title and in disambig notes

e-book vs non-print is becoming a moot point, print authors also offer e-book/kindle editions/audible books; my local library offers e-books and audibles via Overdrive, plus of course the "indies" who may become tomorrow's print/publishing house authors.

19lilithcat
Edited: Nov 10, 2018, 8:33am Top

>18 Bettesbooks:

I consider it fanfic;it would be nice to have it so labeled at the end of the title and in disambig notes

Disambiguation field, maybe. But, please, not at the end of the title. "Fan fic" is, in my view, akin to a genre such as "romance", "cozy mystery", etc. and it would be wrong to start putting genres at the end of titles. I believe that should be reserved for diverse formats to ensure that there is no erroneous combining of, say, Don Giovanni(libretto) with Don Giovanni (DVD)

e-book vs non-print is becoming a moot point, print authors also offer e-book/kindle editions/audible books;

Exactly, and the general rule here is that all those editions should be combined, unless (as is often the case with audiobooks) there is an abridgement or the like.

20Petroglyph
Nov 10, 2018, 9:17pm Top

>19 lilithcat:
But, please, not at the end of the title. "Fan fic" is, in my view, akin to a genre such as "romance", "cozy mystery", etc.

I see your point re: genre vs type. Sometimes, though, fanfics go through several iterations under the same title, or get re-edited or re-published in forms that are more industry-compatible -- all under the same title. In such cases it would be useful to separate the "fanfic" version from the "industry-standard" version, using markers within the title fields, in much the same way that Pride and Prejudice formatted as a book, film, or tv series is kept separate. Usually, though, this won't be necessary. Perhaps this is an edge case. I'm not sure, however, if the consensus in general recognises fanfic as a genre on the same level as romance or on the same subgenre level as cozy mystery. I think that too much information is better than too little. I don't know. (Combination with more frequent titles and canonical titles can take care of the rest.)

Ugh, I don't know. I think we all can agree on a few things: a) fanfic is absolutely definitely fair game on LT, because there really is no reason for it to be an issue; and b) it should ideally be marked as fanfic; and c) ebook vs print is a real issue but tangential to this discussion. The question remaining: is fanfic more like a genre or more like a media type?

21lilithcat
Nov 10, 2018, 9:23pm Top

>20 Petroglyph:

The question remaining: is fanfic more like a genre or more like a media type?

"Fanfic" is in no way, shape or form a "media type". "Fanfic" describes the content, "media type" describes the format in which content is published.

22Bettesbooks
Nov 11, 2018, 12:51am Top

>19 lilithcat: , Don Giovanni(libretto) with Don Giovanni (DVD)

Just a comment - DVDs came into use due to limitations of storage capacity of CDs and have now become the more common media.

DVD can refer to data/narrated sound recording (audio book) or other print material that has been reproduced on electronic media (e-book). it an be a film (video recording) or album (sound recording) .- therefore is DVD a film, an album or audiobook?

Since many LT users were not sure how to designate format of DVDs the use is all over the park, and if you look at the editions of such you will see various designation. Other -- Digital File --- Sound Recording -- Video Recording ---.

Maybe Tim and staff could look at the format drop down list and see if the labeling could be made clearer to the general user.

23Petroglyph
Nov 11, 2018, 12:41pm Top

>21 lilithcat:
I'm not claiming fanfic is a media type. You object to fanfic being marked as such in the title field, the way people do with various media types such as {film} and {dvd}, but also with text types such as {short story}. You suggested it be marked in the disambiguation field, the way people do with (sub-)genres sharing a title. Hence my question: should a marker for fanfic be treated like markers for media types and text types, or should they appear where (sub-)genres are disambiguated?

24melannen
Edited: Nov 11, 2018, 4:52pm Top

Okay, from the inside of the fanfiction community (and from, apparently, the 5th most prolific user of the 'fanfic' tag on LT - all of which are for trad published works, for the record, I'm mostly using it in a reclaimy way):

From the LT POV, there's no reason fanfic is less valid to shelve than any other kind of fiction (especially given the huge amount of published fiction based on public domain works, and the ongoing blur between trad/self publishing in the ebook world.) There's quite a bit of fanfic listed on LT.

Within the non-traditionally-published fanfic community (as separate from the broader definition of 'any work based on someone else's original'), there's been some pushback about listing fanfic on sites like goodreads, mostly because it increases the visibility of the work without the author's permission or control, and that's one major difference between fanfiction and traditional publishing - fanfiction authors generally choose to deliberately limit their readership and keep personal control over the distribution of their work, as opposed to traditional publishing, which wants maximum readership, and listing works on a site outside the fanfiction community can threaten that. (This includes things like publishing works so that they are only available under a password lock to a restricted group of people, and there were issues with locked works being listed on GR.) That said, LT has a lot less promotional/social media features than That Other Site, so I don't see as much likelihood of it being a major issue here.

See here for a discussion of some of the in-community issues around fanfiction being listed on That Other Site: https://fanlore.org/wiki/Goodreads

But also, many fanfiction writers deliberately keep their fanfic writing under a different pen name, sometimes just as a community custom, but sometimes because having their fanfic easily connected to their legal/professional name can (still, even now) threaten their livelihood (even if it's an open secret among fans). There's the legal grey area and also the fact that people use the semi-anonymity of fanfic pseuds to take risks and write the kinds of stories that some people don't want to be written.

If people are combining fanfic pseudonyms, or works written under a fanfic pseudonym, with legal/professional author pages that the author has deliberately chosen to keep unlinked, that's a much bigger issue.

Without knowing the particular situation in the OP's post, I can't tell if this was someone combining a fanfic pseud and pro name, or adding works to a pro name that were published under a fanfic pseud, or were works by somebody who uses the same name for both (which also happens). ETA: Having re-read the above thread more carefully, sounds like this is someone who publishes fanfic and profic under the same name, but it's still something to be careful with about other authors.

I did check a few popular fanfic authors who are known to also write under a separate pro name, and the ones I checked who have fanfic on LT have separate, uncombined author pages for their fanfic, which seems reasonable to me (and I'm not giving any examples because most of them *are* the 'open secret, don't publically link' kind).

I know LT policy is to usually combine author pseuds, but if we started regularly linking fanfic pseuds to legal/pro names, I would find that very upsetting (see above about threats to livelihood, and extremely strong community norms.)

(I would hope we also aren't linking professional pseuds to legal names in cases where a living author has legal or personal reasons to want to stay anonymous.)

25lilithcat
Nov 11, 2018, 5:59pm Top

should a marker for fanfic be treated like markers for media types and text types

No. Those markers are there to prevent improper combining of, for example, an abridged audiobook with the original book, a film of an opera with the libretto, etc. Labeling something "fanfic" would not seem to be useful in that regard.

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