In a Different Light - Shifting Stories from Web to Print

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Title: In a Different Light - Shifting Stories from Web to Print
Creator: Zine Union List Members
Date(s): January 23, 2001
Medium: online
Topic: Fanfiction, Zines, Pull to Publish, Ezine, Fandom and Profit
External Links: In a Different Light - Shifting Stories from Web to Print/WebCite
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In a Different Light - Shifting Stories from Web to Print is an essay by Zine Union List members Kate Birkel, Cheree Cargill, Alex Jones, Teresa Kilmer, Kelly Kline, Cara Loup, and Allison Shaw.

It is part of the Fanfic Symposium series.


This is in response to Lucy's column about net stories in print zines... And before we progress to the bottom of the outrage scale, we should say that we're avid readers, writers, editors and publishers of zines. (We hesitate to say that that's a completely a-political statement, since there's something about the forming of fannish communities in zine circles that seems more productive and inspiring to us than the communities formed across mailing lists and virtual spaces -- but that's a topic for another rant.) Unfortunately, Lucy's column starts and ends with venting her frustration, without much or any thought given to the writer's reasons for moving a story, or zines in general, or why there might be a point to pulling a story off the web once it goes into a zine. She just ranks her different levels of frustration and complains about having to wait for things that she'd like to read now.
Ultimately, the decision to pull a story from the Net lies solely with the author. No one holds a gun to an author's head and makes her submit a story to a zine. By submitting, authors have an implicit contract with the editor with regards to content, rating, character focus and yes, for many, a one-year moratorium on Net posting. For many of us, the issue of Net posting is moot because, though this point may seem obvious to some, it apparently is not -- not everyone has Net access! Zines are an additional outlet and for some, the only outlet for fan fiction.

There also seems to be a common misconception that zine editors/publishers make profit off their publications while fanfic is free on the web, so let us restate here that we don't make *any* money with it. We're fortunate if we come out even, and we're publishing for love just as much as every writer or archivist on the web does. Secondly, fanfic on the web isn't exactly free either -- at least not for everyone. Most of us pay in hard cash for our Internet access. And while there's a lot of excellent fic on the web, it can be quite time-consuming to seek it out, which is another reason why we appreciate zines as a format where a certain quality control is in place. It's a service we appreciate and gladly pay for.

Yes, spending money on zines involves trust. But don't base your decision on the fact that the editors/publishers might have included a story that was pulled off the web. Base it on the look of the zine itself, on the combination of works, on the love and diligence that went into producing it. And then you'll hardly be disappointed.