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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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this is where i say, cool
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Related to the entire Unfunny Prowriter making vague whining sounds about fanfic that we all celebrated in song and rhyme and whatnot, but much more interesting.

From comments, [journalfen.net profile] sapote3:
It took me a couple of days to source this, but I think it's pretty accurate. According to the US Department of Labor, there are about 43,000 people who make their living through writing (including screenwriting, ads, movies, etc), but only about 8,000 that make a living writing for newspapers, periodicals, books, and directories (all combined). According to the Writer's Directory 2010, there are about 23,000 writers in the world who have published at least one book in English, including nonfiction works. The Directory of American Writers and Poets (again, including nonfiction) lists about 8,000 names. According to Wikipedia, fanfiction.net has two million users, and I don't even know how big lj fandom is - lj searches top out at 2,000 people. Heck, there as many active Dreamwidth accounts as there are writers who have published any book in English ever - 23,000ish.

So while my numbers are vague, I think the idea that we're a smaller population then prowriters is pretty laughable. - link to comment


Can I say "Welcome to Thunderdome." in portentous tones now and be culturally relevant or is that too melodramatic? Because come the fuck on. My log alone for the last two years numbers above one thousand authors and I only read in four fandoms actively. AO3--which is in beta--has 6946 authors to date.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say, yeah. This is not an improbable conclusion.

Note: non-English speaking work is not represented, though now I would be interested if we could even get world-wide statistics in publishing both English and non-English works. I guess individually pulling from each country's equivalent department would do it if it were public information, with a variable for translated works (I once read Basic Instinct--yes, Basic Instinct--in Finnish). Especially since from what I can tell, I think several of the non-English language fanfic communities are extremely robust and growing fairly rapidly.

PS Do we count non-published doujin? And someone give me the right spelling on that one, google and wiki were not helpful.

I am posting so I won't buy boots, okay? Okay.

ETA: Okay, off-topic, but there's an awesome discussion on hobby mining here. Hobby mining! Tell me that is not awesome.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/19895.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments


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Doujin is correct. (The whole word is doujinshi.)

I would also note that fandom_counts has 34,040 members, and that comm was created in an effort to show how many fannish people were on LJ (during... Strikethrough? I can't actually remember now. XD ).

thank you!

Oh man, I forgot about fandom_counts. Even given RP journals added, that is a lot.

During the Strikethrough, yup.

I consider fannish writers to be amateur writers, meaning non-published, but a number of them are better than some of the dreck I find on the shelves. In fact, I've heard a vicious rumor that there are ::gasp:: professional writers who write fanfiction! O_O.

The Internet has allowed more people to air their work, be it stories, journalism or art, and the 'professional' world hasn't adapted yet. And it's probably not going to without a lot of kicking and screaming; to them, the Internet is not the place to find 'real' writers, 'real' artists, 'real' journalists. There are exceptions of course, show writers who seem to be paying attention to fandom for instance, but they seem to be the minority.


I don't think that's the kind of argument the so-called "pro writers" are going to really respond to -- on the one hand, I think they'd be more likely to take pride in being one of the rare lucky talented ones who achieve publication (and continue to use that as evidence for their own specialness), and on the other, twenty or thirty or forty thousand still isn't a really scary amount when compared to the book-buying public as a whole. If they don't get that fanfic amounts to free advertising for their published works, I don't see them as being really scared by the prospect of fannish boycotts of their books.

For the purposes of that post and the latest brouhaha, this particular argument was relevant in terms of numbers. That's why it's an interesting statistic to have around.

i would be sooo cool to get a number that included all the languages...wow...

I'm hoping somewhere we can get a full count for that.

I was sitting with a fellow writer at a book event, oh about a year ago. We had a total of three people and of that three, one was just a friend who stopped by to say hello. I would say it's terribly disheartening but, really, typical. Moving on. He and I had a LOT OF TIME to chat, and he and another mystery writer did an analysis (by putting together some stats on con attendence, communities, etc.) and he figured that we were all competing for the same, roughly, 20,000 active readers. You'd think mystery would be bigger than that, but I agreed with his assessment. There are not that many readers, but they buy a lot of books.

Along the same lines, I was in a Borders last night for my writer's group. We try to get together twice a month for a rousing critique session, but it's been a little sporadic lately, so I hadn't been in this store for a couple of months. Nothing on the shelves. Nothing. They are paring back inventory like you wouldn't believe. They've gutted their mystery inventory (weeps) and arranged tables and whatnot to conceal that they probably cut their inventory by, oh, a good 30%.

I am honestly surprised the Borders is still up and running.

Makes me wish I still had my "My fandom just fucked your boyfriend and wrote bad slash about it" icon.

Appropriate icon would be so appropriate right now.

Not that the rest of your post isn't fascinating, but I find myself immensely curious about why/how did you read Basic Instinct in Finnish?

I was an exchange student and I felt really edgy to check that out of the library to help improve my Finnish. Hilarity ensues.

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