Pull to Publish

Since the whole 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, a lot of attention has been placed on fanfic authors who pull to publish (P2P) and there are a group of people on websites such as Amazon and Goodreads who leave bad, sometimes downright awful, reviews just because a book has once been a fanfic.

Before I got any work published, I read the original fanfic of 50 Shades under the title of Master of the Universe (MotU). I read all 86 chapters of the first insallment and by the end of it, couldn’t really understand the furore. It wasn’t brilliantly written and I wasn’t keen on the subject matter, but that was my personal opinion. Good friends of mine had absolutely adored it, we didn’t fall out, just accepted each other’s views.

When I heard that Icy (E.L. James) was publishing it, I thought “Good for her” and pretty much nothing else. I knew I wasn’t going to buy it no matter how much she changed it up. What would be the point? As many of us who were involved in the Twilight Fandom know, she didn’t change it much at all, but people still bought it and raved about it. Again, I say “Good for her”. Why should I begrudge anyone their success even if I personally don’t like/agree with how.

Let me explain that last comment. I don’t disagree with her P2P, the story is hers to do with as she wishes, no matter how it began, I do disagree with the fact that she hasn’t reworked it much, or at all, but that was her choice as an author.

I know quite a few fanfic authors who have gone down the P2P route, and again, I have no problem with it. As I said, they wrote the stories so they can do what they want with them. Yes, these stories were originally based on someone else’s characters, but they’ve since worked on them and made those characters (and locations) their own and what is released is usually something completely original.

This post isn’t meant to be a rant, I just want to get my opinions across about the subject which is fast becoming larger than the Twi Fandom, and all for the wrong reasons.

As I mentioned, there are people online who go out of their ways to troll through published books and trash them simply because they were once posted online as a fanfic. These people usually have quite a vast following so when they “shelve” a book under a certain tag, their followers see them and follow suit.

Again, these people are fully entitled their own opinion, but when it becomes clear that they haven’t read the published book (and in some cases they haven’t even read the fanfic). THAT’S when I get a little ranty. How DARE these people push their opinions onto others and really hurt the authors based on something having once been a fanfic when they can’t even be bothered to read it?

There are claims and shouts of plagiarism in these reviews which I do understand… but at the end of the day, I don’t believe there are many books out there that are completely and totally without outside influence of another author. We are constantly inspired by others, not just authors, but as long as we take that inspiration and twist and mold it into something of our own, then where is the plagiarism? An idea an’t be copyrighted, simply the format the idea is communicated.

Here are some of the things a friend of mine have had to deal with on Goodreads. I personally think it’s disgusting. These “ratings” were all 1 star for N. Wood’s The Sound of Silence are given by “reviewers” who haven’t read the book:

Formerly the Twilight fanfic Can You Hear Me by Jasper1863hale.
Jazzy added it


Jeanne marked it as not-interested

Mar 15, 2013rameau marked it as not-for-me

Shelves: p2psee-comments
Irina marked it as rewritten-twilight-fanfiction

Debbie marked it as ff-author-pull-to-publish

Jessica M marked it as p2p-fanfiction

Joanna marked it as not-gonna-happen

Shelves: re-written-fanfiction
Samantha marked it as never-ever

Shelves: fanfic
Jaime Arkin marked it as nope-not-going-to-happen

Shelves: was-once-fanfic
Mar 12, 2013Michela Walters marked it as p2p-fic


Mar 12, 2013meltem marked it as p2p-fanfiction

Shelves: burn-it-now
Bitchie marked it as p2p-fanfic

This is just the ratings and shelves. On other books there are LONG discussions about WHY they disagree/dislike the book. I in fact have read through a lot of these discussions and can honestly say I can understand why people feel the way they do. What I don’t like is the way they go on to abuse many authors by calling them talentless hacks and money whores. 

I have also heard of some books and authors being labelled in this way, even when their books are not P2P (not that it matters if they are or not). 

As someone who has P2P, I await these ratings and ‘attacks’, but at the end of the day, Just Like in the Movies, which started as an Alice/Jasper ff, was sat on my ff account unfinished for at least 12 months. There were 6 chapters posted which I reworked into the 1st 3 of the published version before writing another 10 chapters plus an epilogue. That was MY choice and MY work to do with as I wished. Yes, it originated from Twilight characters, but I pretty much started from the beginning and did with it what I would never have done with it had it remained a FF.

I don’t need to justify myself and my writing to anyone, and neither does any other author. I just ask readers to ignore these ratings on Goodreads and judge a book for themselves.






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17 comments

  1. Thank you for your post, and if you noticed while I do have a shelf for P2P books, I don't rate or make any additional comment about them. This is my personal shelf to note that they were once fanfic. My opinion about that is my own, but I don't push it on anyone else. Thanks

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  2. I have no problem with people shelving as P2P or telling others of the fact, it's the 1 star rating and the nasty shelves I don't agree with to influence others opinions.
    Thank you for commenting honestly

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  3. I have no problem with it. I have issues with the people who remind me of the whole Tipper Sticker Fiasco of the 90s. Seriously they didn't want their kids to listen to explict sexual lyrics but what 11yr knew what She Bop actually meant or Little Red Corvette.

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  4. Thanks for the comment.

    I think the Tipper Sticker thing was a little different. In some cases, that could be seen as a legitimate warning to consumers, but this is just having a poke at authors. I have no problem with shelving a book as a P2P, but I just wish people could be objective

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  5. As a blogger & reviewer myself. I do see those shelves and what is immediately done to the authors without their story being checked out first. I personally do not have those kind of shelves, it's a little much in my opinion. But people have very strong opinions about P2P. FSOG left a bad taste in every one's mouth. It was just published so sloppy and the author tried to basically hide that it was originally FF at first. That turned my opinion initially as well to a con. Since then, I have come across some really good ones as well as ones that have been completely overhauled. Case in point, R.E.Hargrave's TSID. She was naturally thrown in to the shelves without her book even being looked at. As it turns out, Book 1 was not FF 1. It was all new material. I just did a review on it as well and made mention of that. So far the “shelvers” haven't said a word.

    Nice to see your post especially coming from an author. More need to take notice and have a say as well.

    One final note, there are definitely more reviewers that do not let the shelves sway them! The stories are getting out there and reviewed.

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  6. This was great, Mich. Well said.
    Most of the people that are con P2P say because it's unethical and that the authors are using Meyers' fans to sell books to. (I'm not using her fans to sell books. There are millions of other people out there that like to read and can buy books. I'd like them to buy my books and honestly, most of them don't even know what P2P is and don't care.)
    Unethical is really not their place to judge anymore, as Meyers did not contest 50 or any other P2P. So, if she's not upset, why are they? They also say these things are fact. Okay, I can understand a shelve that says P2P, but why all of those others? “cheap-ploys-to-make-a-buck, darwin-award-eligible, dont-even-bother, gonna-be-sick” Those are opinions not fact. And rating a book 1 star when not reading it, in my opinion is unethical. Not every P2Per has done what Icy did. Many have reworked, rewritten, their whole story. Not to mention, fanfiction has changed so much. So much of it lately is written with aliens, characters that look differently than the originals, in settings that are way out there. Those are original ideas and characters set into their own world just using the Twilight character names to play with.
    I believe, as you do, in the right to having your own opinion and your right to state fact, but do it fairly. Fine go mark all of the P2Ps as such and keep your 1 star ratings to those books you've read.
    I like you will be P2Ping soon and I took a one shot of about 15k words and made it into a novel. My own characters, locations, and storyline.
    Anyway, thanks for this.

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  7. I'm kind of waiting for that myself… lol!

    Nice article. I do think everyone is entitled to an opinion, but when it becomes abusive it's a completely different issue.

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  8. Thank you for such an honest post. I can see both sides of the fence, but the abuse is too much. If you don't want to read a P2P, then don't- but ranting and rating poorly just to make the authors name mud is not doing anyone favors.

    I agree with a number of responders, stories have evolved since the days of The Office (now Beautiful Bastard) and even 50. Instead of applauding many authors who cut their teeth on fanfic and have courageously taken the jump, people push them down.

    I applaud those that take their idea, that maybe once had a spin of Twilight in in (character names) and have reworked it to stand on its own. The point of it, at least from my perspective, is to share it with a wider readership. If the ranters really knew just how much (LITTLE) many of these P2P authors make off of their fledgling revised story- what with the first round of hours first writing, then countless months reworking, plus pitching or going on their own- maybe they'd sing a different tune.

    Are there exceptions? Sure- Icy made A Lot of money- that was a rare exception.
    Most of the rest of us will be able to break even perhaps on our taxes with cost of travel, publicity, conferences, software…the list is never ending.

    But there will always be those that refuse to see any measure of work involved in creating a story, whether inspired by Austen, Stephen King, or Stephenie Meyers.

    Their loss- and an entire world's gain.

    Thanks for posting this, I feel more inspired than gun shy to publish because of it.
    Bring it shelvers.

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