Posted on August 8, 2009 by Monica Valentinelli
The words “fan fiction” mean different things to different people. To some, fan fiction is an enjoyable pastime, where people read and/or write for their favorite settings. To others, fan fiction fosters ideas about poor quality and a lack of professionalism. No matter what you personally think fan fiction is, however, the publishing industry has its own definition for fan fiction. This definition is not based on a judgment of quality, but rather – on business.
This past year I’ve been at several conventions, and I’ve interacted with many people who found out how much they love to write through fan fiction. Because these writers were not aware of the differences between fan fiction, shared world or media tie-in, I felt that they were treated a bit dismissively. In my opinion, most new authors really don’t know the first thing about the publishing industry, and I’d like to help clear up some of the confusion I’ve witnessed by sharing the definitions of fan, shared world and media tie-in fiction with some examples.