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Interesting Fan Fiction Promotion Event

I saw this interesting promotion on Book Binge this morning.  Linda Wisdom, author of 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover, and the October 1 release, Hex Appeal, and her publisher Sourcebooks, Inc. is offering a prize package for the best fan fiction entry surrounding Wisdom's books.  You can go to Book Binge for the details of the contest.  I am thrilled that there are authors that are embracing fan fiction but I worry about whether this is embracing it too closely.

Unless the fans are required to sign some kind of waiver when entering the contest, what is to prevent one of them from pursuing a copyright claim if Wisdom's subsequent books have any plot points that remotely relate to the fan ficcers' work?  I don't want to detour authors and publishers from encouraging fan fiction but neither do I want such a fun publicity attempt to end badly either. 

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Meljean
    Sep 28, 2008 @ 14:03:42

    I do hope there is some kind of waiver. That is precisely why many authors, even if say they don’t care if readers write fanfic, also say they will never read it.

    Wasn’t it MZB who ran into that very problem with her Darkover series?

  2. Jane
    Sep 28, 2008 @ 14:05:15

    Yep and I think that is why some authors are so wary of the whole fan fiction thing.

  3. Meljean
    Sep 28, 2008 @ 14:08:48

    Hmm, it does say: All stories submitted will become the property of Sourcebooks, Inc. to avoid copyright complications.

    Will that actually cover the author/fanfic author?

  4. Jane
    Sep 28, 2008 @ 14:11:54

    I don’t know. I think I would want something that says I confer all copyright over to Sourcebooks. (or the author specifically). Not sure, though.

  5. JulieLeto
    Sep 28, 2008 @ 14:29:17

    I’m sorry…but is Ms. Wisdom aware that Vicki Lewis Thompson is already doing a series with the word HEX in all the titles? Wild and Hexy, Overhexed and Casual Hex? How about a little originality?

    I’m not touching the fan fiction thing.

  6. Meljean
    Sep 28, 2008 @ 15:31:35

    Julie — I actually thought it was the same series until you mentioned something (I didn’t really notice the author.)

    But Wisdom had an earlier book with Hex in the title (March of this year) and VLT’s first came out in October of last year. Could it just be one of those things? I imagine Wisdom’s was already in production when VLT’s was first published.

  7. JulieLeto
    Sep 28, 2008 @ 21:18:02

    You could be right, Meljean, but titles are picked way in advance and I know that I always Google and do Amazon searches on my titles before I submit them to my publisher. It’s probably just an unfortunate coincidence, but I know that if I were her, I would have changed the second book so I didn’t have a HEX series like another author. But that’s just me.

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