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Policies & Practices > Question about fanfics and web serials

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message 1: by idiffer (last edited Dec 31, 2017 04:07AM) (new)

idiffer | 34 comments "These items are books:
*book-length fanfiction which is complete (no WIPs, please), and self-published.
*serialized, web-only editions that have been subsequently published as completed works" (c) librarian manual

1) If a fanfic/web-serial IS complete and is only available for free and only on a non-bookseller website, is it considered a book?

2) Why are completion and publication criteria for being on GR? As a reader I see only the downsides for me: skewing my stats (read count), making me keep a second TBR outside of GR, denying promotion to authors. If I go all conspiracy theory, I'd say it's because GR is a subsidiary of Amazon - why designate resources to a work that's not going to be sold, right?

3) How can one publish a fanfic? Wouldn't that violate some copyright laws?


message 2: by lethe (last edited Dec 31, 2017 02:36AM) (new)

lethe | 13747 comments idiffer wrote: ""If I go all conspiracy theory, I'd say it's because GR is a subsidiary of Amazon - why designate recources to a work that's not going to be sold, right?"

I think these rules were already in place before Amazon acquired GR (which happened only in 2013, IIRC).

idiffer wrote: "How do you publish a fanfic? Wouldn't that violate some copyright laws?"

Those (as most/all? of the online works) are added by users. The Manual states the restriction that fanfic can be removed upon author's request.
ETA Oh sorry, I think I misunderstood your question. Goodreads doesn't publish anything, it's the authors who do (E.L. James, f.e.)


message 3: by idiffer (new)

idiffer | 34 comments No.
*book-length fanfiction which is complete [...] and self-published. (c)

Hence, fanfiction that is self-published. How do u publish fanfiction?


message 4: by Bea (new)

Bea idiffer wrote: "No.
*book-length fanfiction which is complete [...] and self-published. (c)

Hence, fanfiction that is self-published. How do u publish fanfiction?"


I suggest that you ask your question of a self-publishing site rather than here. GR does not publish; therefore, we cannot answer your questions. Another thought is to ask in an author group...maybe GR has one for writers.


message 5: by idiffer (last edited Dec 31, 2017 03:41AM) (new)

idiffer | 34 comments Well, that is really strange. GR using words (in its rules) for phenomenon it does not undestand.
And my first and second questions still stand.


message 6: by lethe (last edited Dec 31, 2017 03:57AM) (new)

lethe | 13747 comments idiffer wrote: "Well, that is really strange. GR using words (in its rules) for phenomenon it does not undestand."

Perhaps you don't understand what is meant by self-published? It means authors publishing their books themselves instead of through a publisher.


message 7: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43526 comments Mod
There are actually quite a number of ways fanfic can be published, such as Kindle Worlds. However, Goodreads considers making a completed fanfic available on a site like Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, Wattpad, etc., as being published.


message 8: by idiffer (new)

idiffer | 34 comments @rivka
Thank you! That's two down, since I'm assuming the same for web-serials.


message 9: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43526 comments Mod
Yes, as long as they are complete, they van be published in the completed form online in various ways. That policy, as mentioned above, long predates Goodreads' purchase by Amazon, and is not likely to change anytime soon either.


message 10: by idiffer (new)

idiffer | 34 comments But, mmm, is the definition of "published" mentioned in the manual? If not, then I would consider rewording the quoted lines at least. Prior to writing this post, I looked in several dictionaries, looking at "publish", "self-publish", "publication" and so on, and the definitions were vague enough that I had to seek confirmation from GR.


message 11: by lethe (new)

lethe | 13747 comments I don't understand why the word 'published' needs explanation?

If I post a (complete) story on Wattpad or any of the sites mentioned above, that is considered 'published'.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

This fanfic can be added? Even with the non-typical author name?
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4294110/...


message 13: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 43526 comments Mod
Corinne wrote: "This fanfic can be added? Even with the non-typical author name?
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4294110/..."


Yes. Author name on Goodreads would be Willieworks01.


message 14: by Courtney (last edited Jan 15, 2018 10:22PM) (new)

Courtney (canadiangirlcb) | 708 comments There's stuff like Dojinshi, as well, which while not exactly legal is often published and sold at conventions, etc. There is a physical format, in many cases, though it can be found online as well.

The Wikipedia page is quite interesting. Plus, at the bottom there's an interesting note that some of the creators of a series have been known to publish dojinshi on their own works. Similar to how Riordan, Rowling, and others have written short stories based on their universes, but not necessarily published them officially, or charged for their 'use'. Those are generally considered part of their series, and included on goodreads and series pages despite perhaps not 'officially' being published (right away, at least).


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