Obviously, I was quite taken aback but on reflection this person has a valid point and set me thinking that perhaps I ought to explain what fan-fiction is to me.
Firstly and foremost selling fan-fiction is a non-profit making labour of love hobby as my debts will attest to. My finances are currently at a huge loss running into thousands of pounds from writing and selling fan-fic. So why do I continue to do it? For the same reason that you continue to read it...my love for Vincent and Catherine and the ability to help in keeping their dream alive!
The following shows what goes into the printing of fanzines for the people that do not have access to the Internet. While there are those that can read my stories for the price of a modem, an internet connection and the electricity and land line to run it, others are not quite so lucky and require the stories printed up and sent to them.
1) Paper, sometimes up to one hundred sheets at a time needs a good quality ream - 90grms - 500 sheets - cost £6 + VAT
2) Toner for printer for 6000 copies - at £55 + VAT .
3) Drum for printer lasts approximately for 20,000 copies (in theory - my last one was finished after 12,000 copies) - £86 + VAT
4) Designer paper front cover -per 250 sheets from £6 to £8 + VAT
5) Electricity - cost dependable on time spent producing & writing fan-fic - approximately £6 per day
6) Time and story theme - unlimited and not charged for
7) Spine Binder Bars - 100 for £15 + VAT
8) Glue - £1.55 + VAT
9) Backing card - for 250 sheets - £10 + VAT
10) Bubble envelopes to arrive in prestige condition especially overseas - 50 for £18 + VAT
11) Envelopes for fliers - 250 for £11 + VAT
12) Brown envelopes for posting UK - 250 for £11 + VAT
13) Postage anything from £1 to £7 per fanzine
14) Stickers - £2 a sheet
15) Address labels - £1.50 per sheet
16) Artwork & Poetry percentage of sale or complimentary free copy whichever is preferred by the artist
17) Plastic Film Top Cover - 100 sheets - £18 + VAT
18)Finally, being moaned at by my husband when the housework isn't done, cos I've been writing all day!
Yep, I think that's about it!
Bring that down to say a 100 page fanzine including electricity use = £14. I sell my zines for £7.50 and the only way possible to make it a little bit even is to charge the same price regardless of the amount of pages - therefore the larger the story the more of a bargain it is for the reader. I wouldn't dare ask people to pay what it costs to produce the fanzine not when they can go out to a bookstore and buy a hundred page bestseller for around £3.50 be it not Beauty and the Beast of course, so I advertise what I am happy with and what I hope is acceptable.
Hence this is one of the reasons why I had begun to advertise new stories saved on autographed CD on Microsoft Word so that people can purchase the CD and then print up the fanzine if that's what they wish or sit at the pc and read it there.
All this and not to mention the fact that I had to buy a computer and a printer and used to have to hire a photo copier at £75 a month until I bought a mono laser printer that cut the cost a little and saved making room for the copier with its spillages of toner onto the carpet.
So I hope that from this the people that might think I am making a profit on other people's characters will stop and think next time before leaping down my throat about it - and see just how costly producing fan-fiction is. Sometimes I wince at the cost, but you know what makes it all worthwhile? Letters such as the one below are among those that I do enjoy receiving:
"I would give anything to be able to
write like you do. But I know I can't so I just thank God for you and
people like you that make your talent available for my enjoyment. Besides
being a fantastic writer you are just a sweetheart. You will never know
what your stories have meant to me. I get so excited when you tell me you
are working on a story. My imagination goes into overdrive... I know that while reading one of your wonderful stories I can lose myself for a few more hours and forget the pain in my body that is with me night and day..."
It is for such people as this lady that keeps me writing fan-fic and makes me grateful for what I have. Such letters bring tears to my eyes and keep my fingers flying across the keyboard. The letters of appreciation are many and the complaints are few but it is the latter that cause me a great deal of distress. So I just wanted everyone to know what goes into producing fan-fic not least of all the writing of the actual story, the research and planning or the fact that my family find me with my head in the clouds as I think Beauty and the Beast day after day.
Long live Vincent and Catherine for whatever happens whatever comes - I aim to see that through my fan-fic of past, present and hopefully future, their dream will continue to thrive!