• Member Since 3rd Mar, 2012
  • offline last seen October 20th

TheUrbanMoose


Moose lips sink ships!

More Blog Posts57

  • 200 weeks
    The future of The Stranger and Her Friend

    Hello everybody! Long time, no see.

    I recently got a comment on my user page that said:

    Are [we] going to see more of The Stranger and Her Friend?

    Read More

    18 comments · 850 views
  • 301 weeks
    Chapter 30 F'nart!

    I need art of that last bit.

    Slight spoilers here.


    There ya go! The ending of Chapter XXX: Exhaustion, now with 100% more lines and color.

    Read More

    2 comments · 555 views
  • 327 weeks
    What are your favorite stories?

    Good morning, afternoon, evening, or night!

    I'll get right to the point.

    I'm looking for story recommendations!

    Read More

    17 comments · 662 views
  • 328 weeks
    Good to be back


    [Created by Cheesedork to celebrate the new chapter of TSaHF. Woo hoo! Check out his tumblr, Ask Cotton Cake!]

    Read More

    8 comments · 309 views
  • 365 weeks
    Things I Have Done This Year Instead of Writing

    -Worked at school

    -Worked at work

    -Pretended to work at work

    -Accidentally actually worked at work

    -Got a girlfriend

    -Argued with Cheesedork

    -Did some hiking

    -Did some swimming

    -Published a book

    -Proposed to my girlfriend

    -Argued with Ganelon

    -Planned a wedding

    -Procrastinated

    -Played Smash Bros.

    -Did some snowboarding

    -Played Smash Bros.

    Read More

    15 comments · 473 views
Feb
7th
2014

BOOK! · 4:11am Feb 7th, 2014

Have you ever wanted a printed copy of your favorite ponyfic of all time? How about your second favorite? Or even, like, your eleventh favorite?

How about a printed copy of The Stranger and Her Friend?

If the answer to any or all of those questions is "no", then as a sign of goodwill and continued friendship, I offer a link to this random gif.









If the answer to any or all of these questions is "yes",
THEN READ ON, BRAVE SOUL.
(Or skip to the bottom for ordering info.)








A few months ago, a fellow by the name of Ganelon sent me a private message. He had read The Stranger and Her Friend, enjoyed it, and, for some reason, decided I needed some sort of thanks for my effort. Reaching into the altruistic depths of his heart, he messaged me with an idea: he wanted to create a printed version of the story.

"But I already have a printed copy," said I.

"Wrong!" Ganelon shouted. "You have a pile of papers bound by a cheap plastic spiral."

And of course, he was right. I had a printed copy of everything up to chapter 26, but it was cheap. It was a silly plastic spiral. And was that a hot chocolate stain on the cover? Oh my -- there were two hot chocolate stains on the cover, overlapping like a depressing Venn diagram of "inexpensive" and "slob".

"But I have more important things to procrastinate," I said, sheepishly nudging the manuscript out of view, even though I was only reading words on a screen and the real Ganelon was hundreds of miles away. "I don't have time to help you do this."

"Don't worry, I'll do it myself!" he said. "All I need is your permission."

Which I summarily gave. So, after months of editing, formatting, and waiting for re-worked cover art, Ganelon has produced the most amazing thing since canned bread. Behold! The official, hardcover version of The Stranger and Her Friend.

Wh-bam! New and improved cover art (courtesy of the amazing Arby Works) custom-made to fit the book jacket. And what a sexy, sexy jacket it is. It's even got my *gasp* real name on the front, which I realize I might regret later, but that's a problem for future Moose. The novelty of having a printed, er, novel is just too much fun.


Profound quote? Check. Adorable Cotton Cake? Check.


Publishing info and dedications? Check.


More quotes? Check.


More Cotton Cake?! Check.




I am still in awe at the quality of this thing. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much, but then I got it in the mail, and... omigosh, it's just really, really amazing to hold in my own hands.

So if you, dear reader, would like a copy all to yourself, then you're in luck. Matte hardcover, gloss hardcover, and paperback copies are available for print-on-demand at Lulu.com.

MATTE HARDCOVER- $32.00

GLOSS HARDCOVER- $32.00

PAPERBACK- $22.00

A few things to bear in mind: first, as far as I know, people living outside the US pay less for the gloss compared to the matte version, for shipping reasons.

Second, you may notice the subtitle on some of the screenshots above, "Book One: The Maiden's Battalion". The first 26 chapters can be found in this book, all the way up to "Chapter XXVI: The Stranger" (quite a substantial amount, I assure you). And rest assured, "Book Two" is indeed coming. Contrary to what it might seem, I am not finished updating this story, and I have not given up on it. The printed version here is simply a fun little diversion; the story will go on!

Finally, I am not making any profit off of this (or rather, so little profit I imagine it shall scarcely cover the electricity I spent typing this blog). This is not for my gain. I am not promoting it so I can make money. If I wanted that, I'd spend my time writing an actual publishable novel instead of fanfiction. No, dear reader, my story is still simply a labor of love, and if you want to continue reading it online, for free, then of course you should! But if you ever had the inclination to feel the heft of an actual book in your hands (as I know I certainly have), then this is your chance to get a very cheap, very high-quality print.

That's all for now folks! Though, I would request one last favor: if you get a copy, send me a picture! I still don't know what the gloss and paperback versions look like, and it sure would make me feel all tingly inside to see them as well.

Stay brony, my friends! I promise to update soon!

-TheUrbanMoose

Report TheUrbanMoose · 1,726 views · Story: The Stranger and Her Friend ·
Comments ( 43 )

Hey, everyone: submit this to EQD. You never know!

Also- you're welcome. :trollestia:

Wow man, It looks fantastic. I'm definitely going to grab myself a copy (ehm, when I've got the cash). Also, I'm glad to hear your still alive and kicken! :rainbowkiss: Anyway, the Stranger and her friend is still on the top of my Favs list. :twilightsmile:

Is the story done then?

1805276 Did you read the blog at all? It's not over.

Dear TheUrbanMoose,

I NEED THIS


~Signed, InfiniteBrony

Dammit, I want one! But I'm too poor, so eh.
Still, looks amazing. I'm drooling just looking at it.

As soon as a printed version of Book 2 comes out, you can bet I'll buy the entire collection. :twilightsmile:

i missed my chance for a copy of past sins, ill be damned if i miss another of my favorite fics in hardback!!! :ajbemused:

1805556 It's gonna be a little while. :twilightsheepish:

Ok I'll be the brave one to ask this and display my ignorance on the issue. What is the difference between gloss and matte hardcover? Also 1 question about Lulu, do they take Paypal?

That looks smexy...I can dig it. :twilightsheepish: I might get one....when I can pay! :derpytongue2:

That looks rather swank. I keep meaning to do that to one of mine, but eeeh

I'll grab the set once the fic finishes... but not before, sorry. I have faith in you and all but you might end up pulling an "Antipodes"

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go re-read Stranger

All of the yes I possess, I'll be picking one up.

1805318
Just wondering this he's talking about a print and bound copy of the story

RBDash47
Site Blogger

I hate to be "that guy," but this is in violation of Lulu's Terms of Service. I specifically asked them some time ago if using their service to print fan fiction was acceptable, and they said it was not.

1806817
....**crickets**.... :facehoof:

1805167 http://www.equestriadaily.com/2012/05/story-stranger-and-her-friend.html
Its already on EQD. Infact it was the first fan fic that I ever read, found via EQD.

1806817
Yeah. I bet it will be a problem soon, unless there's some quirk that allows a few through occasionally. It's unfortunate. Especially since I suspect that fanfiction is a pretty dar gray area regarding copyright/trademark in the sense of being truly enforceable (i.e. if you could afford the potential lawsuits you could probably win).

In any case, the main character isn't technically Celestia from the show. I mean, she might be named that and she will be that, but she's not yet. Major elements of 'Princess Celestia' are essentially absent and the world this is set is chronologically outside of canon.

RBDash47
Site Blogger

1807243
Some people don't like breaking the rules; I thought Moose might want to know, in case he was unaware, especially since his real name is attached to the project. From what I understand he's also a fairly religious person, and might not have fully considered the moral implications of the project.

1807425
I spent some time a while back researching this, in an effort to see if I could legally start a ponyfic publishing house without securing Hasbro's permission. It boils down pretty simply: fan fiction is a derivative work of an existing intellectual property, and only the creator/owner of a given IP has the right to create derivative works based on that IP.

The traditional cries of "fair use!" or "no infringement intended!" don't change anything. The latter just doesn't make any sense; it doesn't matter what your intentions are, you're still infringing on another party's rights. Fan fiction would also not qualify as fair use under current laws. Fair use is granted for things like criticism (including parody), reporting, education, and research. Fan fiction is used for none of these things.

Fan fiction in general usually flies under the legal radar, because most IP rights holders don't consider it a threat to their business (though some authors do; FF.net has a list of authors who do not approve of fan fiction and so they will not host it). It's less of a gray area when you start actually printing fan fiction books, and here's why.

Say you set up a ponyfic book through Lulu. You dial it down so that the purchase price is just the cost of manufacture. Surely Hasbro couldn't care about that! No one is profiting from the misuse of their IP! Well, even if you set aside the fact that you don't have the right to produce the work in the first place, someone is profiting from Hasbro's IP in this scenario: Lulu. Lulu is earning money producing Hasbro content without Hasbro's consent.

So there are a couple of levels of problems with printing ponyfic through Lulu: you're breaking Lulu's rules, and you're breaking the law, and you're using Lulu to break the law. Even if you find a publishing house that doesn't care about you using them to print IP you don't own, you're still breaking the law.

The closest to a legal way around this I can think of is to hand-print and hand-bind your own copy of a ponyfic without making them available for wide release. This is how other artists in the fandom work -- plushies, customs, etc -- hiding behind the idea that they're charging the customer for their time and materials, not anything to do with the actual content. I don't know how well that would stand up in court, but going on a couple years now Hasbro hasn't seemed to care despite some of these plushie makers earning thousands, so it seems relatively safe.


Regardless, I'm not here to judge, and am not interested in playing tattle-tale; if the project gets yanked from Lulu, it won't be thanks to a report from me. Any time I see a bookprinting project, especially one using a publishing service I've personally investigated in the past, I make sure to mention the same things I have here. I'm just pointing out some information.

On a personal note, the book looks gorgeous. Ganelon did a great job.

1807267 I mean submit the fact that you can now but it as a book.

1806817 I read the terms carefully. It's not listed on the Lulu marketplace.

RBDash47
Site Blogger

1807715
I've spoken with their personnel via live chat to confirm their policy in the past. Here's their FAQ on the subject.

So if I was to order this now, and it got taken down in the future, what would that mean?

1807905 It would still be sent to you. After you pay for it and they start printing it, even if it's taken down, your order would still get fulfilled.

Wouldn't be better to finish the story first before going to print? Just asking.

1808837 The completed book would be far too long to put into a single copy. So, we'd have to split it in two anyway.

That's like saying to Christopher Paolini "why'd you release Eragon as a book when the story's not over?"

1807671
I wasn't suggesting you would do such a thing, just that if they don't take it down eventually it would suggest a lack of diligence and awareness on their part.

The way I see it though, certain parts of the IP regarding MLP are probably weaker than others. Anthropormorphized animals aren't anything new, and neither are pastel colors. If you really write only using OCs, then I think you could argue that some parts of the stuff are so ill-defined that your interpretation of Canterlot can't really be construed as infringing. At worst you are borrowing names and basic concepts. Of course, corporations, and others always abuse the legal system as much as possible to make sketchy edges solid in legal cases... -- The show itself has very little solid backstory anyway, at least insofar as any viewer could be aware of... So the only thing you could really be sued over is characters or the world. Neither of which are really all that well defined.

** My arguments aren't really based at all on "fair use" or "no infringement intended" anyway. It's more about whether they can really call that IP anyway and whether it's really too generic to be copyrightable, trademarkable, etc, etc. It's not like a benevolent monarchy with a royal guard is really anything new.

I really wish we could get the laws adjusted to accommodate fanfiction/fanworks somehow. It's pretty stupid that we can't give fanfic authors some basic legal protection from being sued and certain rights to reproduce what is technically their own work and give IP holders some limited protection so that they can comfortably read fanfic of their own works. It's BS that an author won't read a book just because they might incorporate "someone else's" idea by accident. Or rather that their publishers force stuff like that on them.

Just my two cents anyway.

1807671 1809450
Thank you both for the words of warning.

This was something I was vaguely aware of when getting into this, but never fully considered or knew the details of. Copyright law is a ponderous beast, something I don't think I'll ever really comprehend. I appreciate the way you both have pointed things out on either side of the isle.

Of course, I never intended to be illegal or subversive about anything (when it comes to issues of legality like this, I doubt many people really do). The "moral implications" are not something I ever worried about -- it's being printed nearly at cost, and I imagine the final quantity will be so little it will hardly make a dent in the wide, wide world of self-publishing. In fact, I hardly ever considered it a "published" thing at all, just a chance for people to print words on pages, if that makes sense.

But, as always, there's a difference between the spirit and letter of the law, and the latter is what can get you into trouble, intentions be darned. As I understood it, fanfiction goes unnoticed by the rightful IP holders because of two things: it's not a threat, and there's just so much of it. A print presents a chance to subvert these things. Real money is changing hands, and it just isn't as common.

In any case, I'm don't want to argue the legality of it, because let's face it -- it's probably not. I am banking on the fact that it either A) goes unnoticed by people that care about such things, or B) nobody cares. There are countless artists, writers, youtube channels, and even this very site, that all make money in some degree from the success of popular franchises (even then, I'm not making money). Hasbro's lawyers could fight a battle with a million different people, and win every single one, but they would be fighting for a long, long time. Even if they decided to crack down on fan material, the chances they draw my card are (I imagine) minuscule.

I've been talking with people, Ganelon included, and here are some of the things I've considered doing.

1) It stays up and I don't make a fuss about it. If someone decides to report it, then so be it -- it will get taken down.
2) It stays up for another few weeks, after which, once demand tapers off, I'll have it unlisted.

I'm still thinking hard on it, but in the meantime, the book is still up for grabs for anyone who wants it. If the page were to be taken down before your order arrived, worry not -- it would still go through. You just wouldn't be able to order a second one for your friend.

On a final note, I'll say that receiving my own personal copy of this book has been the coolest thing to happen to me in weeks. I seriously can't describe how awesome it is to see it, to read it. The whole thing is just so magnificently crafted. Ganelon did an amazing job. And while I doubt anyone will enjoy it quite as much as I have, I only ever intended to give people that same chance. The responses of this blog post have been seriously stressing me out (of course that's not your fault, guys, you were only pointing out the facts). I can't stop thinking about how some Hasbro lawyer-assassin is going to kidnap me one night and slit my throat with the knife of legal justice. This was supposed to be fun, not frightening.

So... I'll do my best to lighten up a little! :twilightsmile:

Anyways, thanks everybody for your comments and support! And if you ordered a copy, I hope you like it as much as I did.

1811490
If things should go pear-shaped or otherwise and you'd like to see this more widely in print, you could try seeing if the people behind the Past Sins print (http://www.equestriapublications.org) could help you or maybe look into the company they did printing through (Colorwise, I think, they link to this page over at eq pub. ->http://www.bestbookprinting.com/). Just remember that you can't really use Paypal for that sort of thing if you want people to fund the printing by paying for copies in advance since Paypal expects you to ship the product before you get the money.

Frankly, you'd probably want to do compile the whole story, consider whether it's over-written (could use/benefit from being shorter), do a lot of editing/revising. etc before you even think about that sort of thing.

1819105
Thanks! I'll look into that. Though I'm not really looking too much into getting it more publicity. Like I said, this was just supposed to be for fun, and for the benefit of the people who happen to actually want it in the first place. Maybe I'll do more when I actually finish the whole thing.

As for it being over-written... well yeah, it's a bit too late for that. :derpytongue2: But no, if the rest of the story is as long as I think it's going to be (read: roughly 200,000 more words), I would never print it all in a single volume. Assuming I print it, and assuming I get there in the first place, they would be in two separate books, "book one" and "book two".

I would never cut the story short for the sake of making it fit neatly into a book. Remember: this print is a random byproduct of the writing, not the other way around! :twilightsmile:

When I say overwritten, what I mean is that it might be possible to write the same story, with the same details and impact in less words. From what I've heard that is one of the things that sometimes happens when authors revise their work. For what it's worth I'd bet that most of the stories on FIMFic fit somewhere between a rough draft and a first revision. Obviously spell-checking and grammar are most important (on here at least) since they are they are generally obstacles to pleasant reading and can confuse the reader as to what the author is trying to convey.

Basically, if you do any revision/rewriting at some point, you may want to consider how many words you really needed to convey the idea. If it's two volumes of story, then that's what it is, but if you want to be a "better writer" (guess that can be a bit indistinct in definition, eh?) you should learn not to be permanently attached to one particular of words (the first draft) when it could be made better by rewriting.

If that kind of work just happens to make things fit neatly into a book, wonderful. If not, well, that's book two I guess.

For the sake of amusement, you may be aware of Douglas Adams and/or his book, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". It is part of a series and on the back of one of the later books, "Mostly Harmless" it is described/describes itself as "The fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhikers Trilogy". Note the word trilogy there. Obviously a trilogy is made up of three parts (three books where books are involved), and you can't really have a fifth book in a trilogy, can you?!

i just got my copy.... :rainbowkiss:OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH!!:rainbowkiss: I have several friends willing to at least look into pony fanfiction and they said they would read if i could find a good way to get them too. you have handed me a way.... after i've read it 5 times.... and maybe another 5.... can't wait for more! keep up the awesome work

1849659
That's awesome! I'm so glad you like it!! :pinkiehappy: What kind did you get, hardcover or paperback?

Hey, congrats! That's pretty awesome! Looks really high quality too! Ganelon sounds like one heck of a guy! I'd love to support you and buy one, but... well, I'm not exactly open about my brony-ness. If there's another way I can support you and your phenomenal work, let me know! Anything for the author of the most intriguing, well-written, and underrated story on Fimfiction and beyond. :pinkiehappy:

1850515
Hey, I appreciate it! I'm not really all that open about it either, to be honest. It was a huge deal for me when my family found out (and it somehow became even stranger when they basically shrugged and said, "Okay. So? Oh neat, you wrote a thing.")

Also, like I said, it's not really "supporting" me (unless you count the fact that it supports my self-esteem, in which case, heck yes it absolutely does that). So no worries! Your fave and comments are support enough! Thanks, friend! :twilightsmile:

1850320 hardcover, I love the feel of it.... And the smell.... Dont judge me lol

1852750
Dude, I love the smell too. When I got my copy I seriously just breathed it for a few minutes. Ahhh... paper.

1853453 good literature smells wonderful

I'm glad I found out about this; I'll certainly be adding a copy to my collection, incomplete or not.

5157013
Glad to hear it! It really is a beautiful print, completeness notwithstanding.

5157134
It’s a beautiful story, too. C:

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