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The campiest of happers.

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  • 14 weeks

    Hey, horsefic folks. How it's hanging?

    I hope "in Bellevue" is at least some of your answers, because that's where I'll be in a few hours and will remain through the EFNW weekend. I'll be, as always, six-foot-four and affably daydrunk, so say hi to anyone who meets that description and sooner or later it's bound to be me.

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    12 comments · 190 views
  • 75 weeks
    Regarding Less-Than-Positive Interpretations of Pride

    Let's get a quick disclaimer out of the way before we really get going: I don't like foalcon. By "foalcon" here, I refer specifically to M-rated stories that depict characters who are very clearly meant to be minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct with other minors and/or adults. Not a fan of it! I find it gross on a personal level, I think it's morally reprehensible that a site of this

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    37 comments · 1,636 views
  • 84 weeks
    The Life That Was Given to Us (Or: The Unbearable Betrayal of Sincerity)

    Got a comment on my last blog a little bit ago that went something like this:

    "Why not get a life instead of taking Internet horse drama so seriously?"

    I'd like to talk about this comment a bit. Not the lazy insult itself, but rather the perspective it represents, and how I both sympathize with and can no longer accept that point of view.

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    33 comments · 1,282 views
  • 85 weeks
    Not Being Vague Anymore

    (4/21/21 10:15 AM EST: Slightly edited so as to play slightly nicer with others.)

    (4/21/21 IDK when: more edits from site mods; there used to be screenshots of the original post and a particular comment that prompted mine.)

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    158 comments · 3,441 views
  • 103 weeks
    Look What I Did Instead of Anything of Substance Today!

    Posh did this, and then Present Perfect and Jake the Army Guy did it too, so now I'm giving in to completely imagined peer pressure to

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    9 comments · 600 views

The BronyCon Bookstore: Let's Do Something Crazy, Y'all · 4:31pm Aug 25th, 2018

This past July 27th through 29th marked the sixth incarnation of BronyCon I’ve attended in a row. That means six years of sleeping on hard hotel floors and corners of beds not built for two people, six summers of spouting wild story ideas over typewriters and crabcakes and heckling fan panelists before and after being heckled myself, six times I’ve attached dozens of screennames to faces and learned how friendly/funny/gifted/Majin the people behind those names really were.

Next year will be my seventh and final BronyCon, as it will be for all of us. It’s been a wild, exhilarating, and absolutely life-altering ride, and one that the rest of my life neither has matched before or likely will in the future in quite the same way. I imagine it’s been like that for most of us too, which makess the fact that BronyCon will end next year all the more bittersweet.

But if there’s one thing this fandom has taught me, it’s how to follow an idea to its end, even if it’s hard--and especially if it’s crazy. And at the end of my sixth BronyCon, as I helped a friend pack up their merch hall booth, I thought of something that I don’t think anyone else has tried before.

It’s gonna be hard. It’s definitely gonna be crazy. But I think it just might be the best thing we ever do for the fandom that brought us together and a fic-writing community that deserves its time in the spotlight at the last, best, and biggest horsefan convention ever.

One year from now, at BronyCon 2019, we’re gonna open a My Little Pony fanfic bookstore. Here’s how we’re gonna do it.

Part 0: I’m Sorry, You’re Gonna Do What?

No, not me. All of us. We’re gonna open a bookstore. Together, as a fic community, to send off BronyCon with a well-deserved and ego-trip-tastic bang.

But yeah, in all fairness, I should probably clarify a few things.

(And also, a brief update for my actual followers: Hello! I’m not dead! Life’s improving, mental state is great, I’m working in my field and not struggling financially to do it, and DC traffic was put on Earth by the Devil to lead mortal men to murder. Sorry about the whole thing where I talked at length about how suicidally depressed I was and then didn’t blog again for a literal actual year. That was… wow, that was awful of me. Christ. My bad.)

So while we were all at BronyCon this year, I’m sure many of you noticed a couple things in particular. First, some probably drunk asshole set up a window in the merch hall haphazardly crafted out of cardboard, hawking—in true Schulz-ian fashion—the services of a “doctor” who’d listen to you talk about your OC for five minutes if you paid him $5. Between said asshole, myself, a Celestia cosplayer we snagged for two hours on Sunday, and the merchant running the booth co-opted for this illustrious purpose, this actual real-life shitpost pulled in almost $250.

Elsewhere in the merch hall, a few booths had 400-plus-page hard-cover prints of a Fallout Equestria fic titled Duck and Cover on display. This book, written by hahatimeforponies, was available for purchase for $65 at both TrotCon and BronyCon, according to the author’s blog on FIMFic. I have less specific sales info for this work, but I’m told anecdotally that more than a few copies of this book did in fact sell at these cons—at least, enough to seemingly justify a pretty respectable (if, I presume, author-funded) print run.

These two noticeable things prove two important points. The first point, credited to the good OC doctor, is that congoers will pay real money for really stupid things. The second point, proven by the aforementioned FO:E fic, is that congoers will pay real money for stupid stuff that takes the form of professional-looking fanfic prints. Perhaps the first point has been obvious for some time, but the second one has only been recognized in fits and spurts, if at all.

The fact is, out of all the various kinds of fanwork this fandom produces, fanfic is the only kind that—to date—hasn’t really ever been monetized directly. Artists can sell prints and the like at cons, most videographers and animators can monetize their content through YouTube and other platforms, and even Equestria Daily still gets enough ad revenue for Sethisto to make a pretty okay living off of it.

Fic, though, gets shafted, because fic is the most easily copyright-claimable form of fanwork out there. Of course, all fanwork is done primarily as a labor of love/Internet ego trip, so monetary compensation for it doesn’t necessarily have to be a factor. But here’s point number three I want to syllogistically draw from BronyCon 2018: it could be. Maybe it even should be.

And as far as how to do it without getting any antsy lawyers involved goes, I refer to my central thesis: we do it by opening a bookstore.

Part 1: Honestly, Just Skip to This Part If You’re Impatient and Don’t Like Backstory

Here’s the pitch: for BronyCon 2019, I’m going to spearhead an effort to get us, as a collective group of technicolor horsefiction scribes, a spot in the Merch Hall. Whether that takes the form of a full-on booth, an Artist Alley spot, or a separate con-supported thing remains to be seen—I do have a couple people in the BronyCon organizational network I’d like to run this concept by to see what’s possible—but regardless of the location, the core concept remains. This booth would be where we open a store selling professionally made prints of our horsefandom work: full-length novels, collated anthologies of short stories, cute little novella booklets, whatever’s fit to put on paper.

The actual physical design of the booth will of course depend on how much space we have to work with, but as far as written-out concept art goes: imagine a Scholastic Book Fair, with multiple shelves of books laid cover-out for kids to peruse. Congoers could come to the booth, browse the fics out on display or flip through a catalog listing everything we have available, and fork over cold hard cash that—with careful accounting at the point of sale—would all go directly to the author of the book/booklet/anthology sold.

To reiterate: there would be no overhead charges and nothing skimmed off the top. I’m not trying to make money off this; in fact, I’ll likely lose money all-told covering costs for the booth itself (although crowd-funding that is a not-impossible possibility). In any event, though, I want this to be our swan song in the BronyCon scene, and our way of saying, “Hey, we were here too, and we made some kickass stuff.”

But to have a bookstore, we of course need to have books. And that, I hope, is where all y’all will come in.

Part 2: So Who’s Cool Enough To Get In On This?

Why, everyone is, hypothetical skeptic. Like I said, it’s a community thing.

For anyone reading this who’s wondering how many followers they have to have or how high a story will have to be rated in order to be allowed into the bookstore, let me say this right from the top: pool’s open, kids. The only limitations I want to have on this thing are practical ones—specifically, things that will make this booth look and actually be professional.

Pool Rule #1: Bring Your Own Toys

First and foremost, anything we sell at this booth would need to be formally printed as real grown-up-style books. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be big honkin’ hardcover volumes, though—softcover is much cheaper to print and looks just as good on a store shelf, with or without a glossy finish on the exterior and whatever size you can stand to see your story in. I would, however, like to draw the line at spiral-binding and keep size dimensions relatively consistent. Anything from 7” x 5” to 9.75” x 8.25” should be fine in that regard, and my current estimate for a soft word count minimum is 40,000 words per volume, though that latter mark is definitely subject to change.

As for what specific types of fics to bring to the table, almost nothing is off said table so long as you’re the one who wrote it. We definitely won’t be able to stock anything M-rated per con rules, but beyond that, people could go for popular old fics their fans--or they themselves--would love to see printed, combine a bunch of short fics into an annotated collection, even debut entirely new stories for the first time as real-life books at BronyCon (though to be safe, it’d probably be best for legal reasons if you later put any such stories up on FIMFic for free eventually, but more on that later).

That being said, I feel like I should also make an implicit prerequisite explicit here: to get into the bookstore, you would of course have to front the costs of printing whatever books you want to see in it. I know this could be cost-prohibitive for some folks, but that’s one of the reasons why I want to announce this with so much time left before BronyCon, to give people time to save up if they can or need to. At present, I only have plans to make this a physical bookstore without an electronic/E-book section, but if anyone does have thoughts on how the latter concept could work, I’d love to hear them.

Pool Rule #2: Clean Up After Yourself

With the expectation of paying for a book comes certain expectations about quality and craftsmanship. In other words, anything we put on a shelf at BronyCon should be thoroughly edited. I’m talking multiple read-throughs, reviewing each line with a fine-toothed comb, “cleanliness is close to Godliness” levels of making sure your work is flawless before sending it to print. Again, another reason to announce this now: if you want in on this thing in a year, the time to break out the red pens is right about now.

I should clarify that this is more just general advice than a hard-and-fast rule--there will be no pre-reading for this project done by this Equestria Daily staffer, I can tell you that. That being said, if you’re paying to get your work printed for sale, you don’t want anyone opening it up to find an “everybody” where you meant “everypony.” I mean, God, can you imagine?

Pool Rule #3: Share the Water

Since this is a community showcase, I want it to be for the whole community. Read as: I don’t want any individual authors monopolizing display space, or even overwhelming potential buyers by taking up half a page in the accompanying catalog. So, at the risk of being the fun police, I’d like to institute a hard limit of three volumes per individual author that will be stocked in the BronyCon bookstore.

I’m setting this limit for two reasons: one, to save shelf space, and two, to save you money. To be frank about it, there’s a very real risk that this entire operation bombs like Jagermeister. I’m personally confident that we can sell some books at BronyCon, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that we can sell all our books, or that some fics/authors won’t be more popular than others.

Ultimately, it falls to you how much you want to invest into the bookstore. If you’re interested in doing this, I’d recommend planning on a print run of 10-15 copies for each book if possible and no more than 25 maximum. Many print shops do require a 25-copy minimum order, but this one allows for smaller orders and seems relatively affordable, and I’m sure there are others out there that could be dug up. Remember, we could be featuring a lot of really talented authors in this bookstore, and from a personal finances perspective, selling out and taking preorders for another print run is way better than eating a big red L on your balance sheet because you overestimated sales.

Part 3: How Would This Actually Work, Though?

By that, do you mean, “How is this legal when selling fanfic is historically a super not-okay thing to do?”

Part 3.5: I Mean, Yeah, That Was Part of It, But--

Okay, fine, I’ll sidetrack a bit.

To a certain extent, that’s a really good point to bring up: the reason we haven’t ever monetized fanfic is mostly because, legally speaking, we can’t. Making money off of fanfic is seen as a much more enforceable example of copyright infringement than, say, fan art or fan videos, even though both still feasibly fall within the same category of using someone else’s intellectual property for your own financial gain.

And in that lies what we’ve referred to as a double standard for years: artists can sell prints and mousepads and giant pillowcases covered in all kinds of copyright violations and Hasbro never even blinks, whereas the second we try to make a dime off fanfic…

Here’s the thing, though: every merch hall at every fan convention is one giant lawsuit waiting to happen, but the sternly worded letter never comes. By the grace of our corporate gods, convention merch halls are generally given a pass on the whole “cease and desist or we’ll get medieval on your ass” deal—in fact, according to this perspective from someone with what must be a veritable sequoia up their ass, we as fans shouldn’t even be buying from merch halls at all because they’re just so goshdarn illegal.

So what does that mean for us? It means that while I can’t point to any law that says we can legally make a BronyCon Bookstore, well-established precedent seems to show that we’d very likely get away with it if we did, because fan conventions in general are generally allowed to slip into the “plausible deniability” aspect of corporate copyright enforcement. Basically, if Hasbro hasn’t crashed this party before, they’re probably not gonna do it this year either, so we should be fine as long as we’re selling what’s ostensibly physical prints of art that’s available for free online, rather than exclusive art not available anywhere else.

(And if someone does get on our case about it, I have a cheeky backup plan that, to be honest, probably won’t work but would be really funny to try. Still, we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.)

Part 3 Again: So…

Right, back to fun stuff: how would this actually work in a real live convention space?

Pricing is an area that I’m not firmly settled on yet. I believe standardized pricing would be an optimal solution for everyone involved, since it would mean books would be judged more on what looks interesting rather than what’s cheapest, but differentiating between, say, novel-length fics and anthologies might be a good move. So, more on that specifically in the future.

As far as community input during the con goes, the vision I have for the bookstore is—to spin that broken record once again—as a community effort. That means the fanfic community would not only stock the booth, but staff it as well. In a nutshell, multiple people staffing the booth means multiple authors giving advice on what stories a shopper might enjoy, helping to rotate displayed books throughout each day, and better odds of congoers connecting badge names and faces to the books they’re thinking of buying.

If we have enough space, we could even try instituting something like the OC booth, but more formalized. Character consultations, story critiques, one-hour typewriter commissions—you name it, somebody in the merch hall likely has some loose change they’d be willing to throw at it. So if you don’t feel like selling is for you, you could potentially post up nearby as an illustrious person-who-knows-things-in-residence instead.

In the end, though, I know this is my project, so if that means spending most or all of the con’s daytime hours in the merch hall, I’m fine with that (I’m a born kiss-ass-y salesman, to be honest, and the real fun at cons comes after sundown anyway [I’m referring to getting drunk at room parties, you reprobates]). In the meantime, the booth is ours to advertise how we wish. We could set up a satellite booth in Quills & Sofas, take sample copies around to our panels so we can tell attendees where they can buy them, and I’m sure I could convince/pay at least three unique people I’m thinking of right now to have a cardboard sign pinned to them reading “PLEASE BUY OUR BOOKS OH GOD WE NEED ATTENTION.” There are options, is all I’m saying.

In short, we’ve had a great hangout space established at BronyCon for years in Q&S and a pretty decent track record at representing our side of the fandom in and at panels (not that you’d know it from the time slots we get). This is our chance to establish the long-missing third portion of the trifecta and make a mark in the merch hall too, which I at least think is an endeavor worth undertaking, if only to see if we get a little well-earned dosh into the pockets of peeps who worked their asses off to produce a fundamental component of this fandom’s online footprint.

Part 4: This Is Amazing, Aquaman, But What Do I Do Now?

Why, thank you, Now-Self-Aggrandizing Voice In My Head. But to be honest, the answer to that question is “nothing quite yet.” While I’d certainly love to hear everyone’s thoughts and gauge general interest in the concept right now, the BronyCon Bookstore is still very much in the conceptual stage right now. If you’re interested in participating, have any suggestions about how to make the Bookstore better, or noticed any snags I haven’t thought about yet or didn’t mention here, I’m very much open to hearing from you.

There’ll be more posts to follow this one regarding a formal submission process for books to be stocked in the store, updates on where the store will be physically located and what signage will look like, rough deadlines for when you should look to have prospective prints edited and ready to bring to Baltimore, and anything else worth bringing up. In the meantime, though, thanks for reading, and I hope you’re as absolutely stoked about this idea as I am.

(Seriously, though, please be stoked. There’s like three thousand words in this post and all of them amount to me explaining how I hope this isn’t stupid.)

Comments ( 106 )
Wanderer D

I'm in. I'll signal boost this :twilightsmile:

Alright. I'm in. One person who PMed me asking for a copy is grandfathered in, but the last remaining copies of Twilight's List (9 i think) are going to be sold at your bookstore. Also, if anyone needs a writeup of my experiences getting a book printed, let me know and I'll try to be less than worthless.

Addendum: I'm looking for someone(s) who may want to smoosh 20-40k words with Who We Are and go for a compendium. If only Benman was around we could do Changelings Everywhere with that.

Getting a limited print run and helping man a stand might be worth it for the story alone, even if I don’t sell anything. I’m in.

I'm normally of the "avoiding C&D's" school (especially if they might come down on FiMfiction as a whole.) But you addressed those issues well, so... I think I'm in. This is an awesome idea.

I have more thoughts, and I need to talk to some people, but I will address them later.

You have my attention, my support,
I'm in! Though I assume we have to limit it to Teen or Everyone rated stories.
Signal Boosting this.
Spread this like wildfire!

You got the idea off of me and my OC booth!

This sounds just crazy enough to either work or ruin everything forever. I, for one, am willing to take that chance. :pinkiehappy:

I'm in! :pinkiehappy:

N.B. I'd like to point out to people who are thinking of participating, that Lulu is a great print-on-demand site that makes it very easy to put your horse-words into physical form without having to put up a big chunk of cash up-front. They do a great job, whether you're looking for a hardback or trade paper version and there is no minimum print run. You only pay for each book you order, and there's no setup fee.

Just one thing... What I've got to offer is this four book series: The Alicorn Mysteries. Does your three-book limit apply to individual stories, or is it a limit of three from each author?

I've sold and printed out one of my stories on Lulu before, granted they are soft covers only. (Not entirely sure if they do hardcover) The link to it is still up there.

I dunno if this helps, but I had an idea a while ago for a flash drive shaped like one of Twilight's book from the show. You'd plug it in and have instant access to the fimfic archive.

I'm in. I'll make a print copy of my story "Something You'd Regret" in a limited print run, and donate all proceeds to charity. I'll get started rn.

I'm down like a two dollar whore on the docks on payday. Under A Luminous Sky will be fit to print.

So I'll make a more detailed post later but here is the TL;DR on my expirience with making a book.

  • It takes a long time to get your shit printed, proofed, approved, and shipped to you. Even with UPS overnight, it can take weeks
  • Cheap, Fast, Quality: pick two. I've seen Lulu mentioned several times. I'm not a huge fan (but I am a massive asshole for physical quality.) I used Book 1 One for my prints. It's indistinguishable from any one B&W interior hardback I own.
  • DO NOT RELY ON GDOCS, WORD, OR ANYTHING THAT ISN'T LAYOUT SOFTWARE. No, not even that. You want Front Page (bleh), InDesign, or (at least) something like LateX to do your layout. You want a PDF to send to the printer. Let's pull out the quality stops and make something grand.
  • Do not use Times New Roman. You'll need to Pick a Typeface. (Garamond 5ever)
  • Get it edited again. And then again. Then one more time. I fucked this up and am slightly ashamed. So yeah, anyone trying to do this should also offer to read/edit someone's PDF.

I don't have anymore off the top of my head, but if anyone has questions, feel free to ask

I’ll signal boost!

Wanderer D

4925488 Well, worst case scenario we can always make sure to have something like a bookstore approach to it:

"If you liked this, you'll probably like: (insert story name here whether it's printed of online)


I just kinda like the idea of Tonal Whiplash: Changelings Everywhere, Who We Are, Spring is Dumb, and Bubbles

Edit: "business cards" with fimfic links QRCodes on them.

I want to toss out one more idea now, as people are forming plans: there is a grand literary tradition of chapbooks which may be something to consider for a short story or small poetry collection if that's what you're most proud of.

Lad, why the fuck wasn't I following you until just now? :rainbowhuh:

Anyway, I'm kind of interested in this. Thing is that I'm Britain-bound so paying for shipping and then lugging a bunch of books across to America next year gonna be a colossal pain. Also, not sure whether people would actually want to buy any of my shit, in all honesty.

Still, this is a really fun idea that I want to check out so I hope it all works out!

This is an awesome idea! Still not sure yet whether I'm making it to BC, but if I do go I'd love to get in on this.

I'm in.

I'm in!


The only problem with Book 1 One, is that you'll pay a fortune if you're only ordering a couple of books. A 250 page hardcover will cost you around $130US unless you order a minimum of 25 copies, and then you'll pay $30. (A total of $750 for the order, which is a bit high to lay out unless you're doing a pay-up-front print run.)

Lulu lets you order a single copy, and a 250 page hardover costs about $20. Also, your customers can order direct from the site, so you don't have to manage a print run and mailing yourself. Also... no print runs. People don't miss out on a book because they didn't have the money at the exact moment you were raising funds.

I'm not criticizing you for your choice of printer, I just want to make sure that anyone who wants to participate in this thing has the easiest possible route to doing so. I agree that a PDF of the book is critical to getting a good product, but I disagree (somewhat) about Lulu's quality; I've found their hardbacks and paperbacks to be excellent. Their casewrap books have paper that is a bit too thin for my taste, however.

Oh boy...

Let's do it. I'm game. I've got nothing to lose.

Oh. No doubt. I just have several Lulu prints that do not meet my expectations. For me, a fanfic print is not about having something printed. It’s about having a story you really like printed in an exquisite form. But I will admit that my standards are stupidly high and I have the luxury of being able to afford to go with book1one. And the lulu issues are more about the layout and paper quality than the actual print job itself

I would suggest anyone attempting to do this use some form of crowdsourcing/preorder system to get non BC attending fans to help defray the cost. In theory, you could set a price point you like, find out how many copies you need to sell to reach that point, then crowd source finding. Anything over that amount you need can go towards 25 extra books for this table.

For reference, at $50 List has sold around 120 copies over 3 print runs. If I had overbought about 8 more I could have sold them at 2013 bronycon almost surely.

This may be madness, but let's see if we can make this happen. I am prospectively in.

Hay, maybe I'll have Desert Spice complete by the time this happens.

“cleanliness is close to Godliness” levels of making sure your work is flawless before sending it to print.

We'll be keeping Pascoite chained to the desk on standby, then?

Oh man, I don't know if I can finish my desired contribution in time. I'm barely entering Act 2 and I've been at it for four years. TPOTW is all but dead, so my only real contribution would be AppleJack Learns to Rock Smash. Which I could give a few more passes but I REALLY want to make The Secret of Ponyville a hardcopy. I need an accountability partner if I'm gonna do this.

Btw I'm pretty sure we can get a pass on mature fics that don't delve too far, given what /fic/ got away with on Ponychan due to the idea that art is pretty much all there, whereas fiction you have to open it and read to find the juicy bits. We were so self moderated by way of most reviewers preferring not to view adult content that the kind admins basically gave us a free pass.
Given a pre-approval system I would be more than willing to volunteer my services for, I think we could screen any mature stories that users want to submit for content that strays too far into adult territory. Obviously no straight up porn, but I would say tasteful sideboob, and a bit of spilt blood is acceptable. Any mature copy brought in that isn't on our pre-approved list gets axed. I think it could work, and I'm pretty sure you could convince the nice folks at Bronycon to go for it (not me though because Jenna hates me).

Yeah, piggybacking on a general print run is the way to go if there's a price-point break involved.

I have something of a short story that should be finished in time for this. If anyone is interested in putting it in a Luna or princess themed anthology, they’re more than welcome to it.

I'm all for it... not sure how far back this will be put me though...

THIS IS SO AWESOME! I'm not an author, only a reader, but this sounds so freakin' epic!! Like, to the point where I'm thinking I'll have to figure out a way to get to BronyCon even though I've never been before, just so I can see this bookstore :pinkiehappy: Oooooh, ahhhhhhh! PRINTED FICS!!! Woo! I would even be interested in helping to man the booth. Oh man, SO EPIC :rainbowkiss:

Also, um, I'm available if anyone needs any help proofreading or minor editing. I don't know if I can help rearrange your story, but I can darn well fix spelling/grammar/typos and awkward wording and suggest minor improvements. I'm something of a grammar nerd.

Also, I would totes signal boost but I only have 6 followers (since I haven't actually written anything...)

Oh geez I forgot about that thing.

Did you do your crunches today?

I'm up for a collection of short works, too. I have a short story or two that wouldn't make a decent book on their own.

That's fine. You just work on improving your eagle eyes. We need lots of sharp eyes for an undertaking of this magnitude. There aren't enough Pascoites to go around.


I'm a bit tempted to put together some sort of collection of The Flash Sentry Papers, but now I'm wondering how screwy the footnotes would be in formatting. HMMM.

Excellent idea. One problem, a vast amount of fanfics that people really enjoy most are those that are tiny oneshots, ore very short chapter stories. For that, we would need groups of writers to print one book containing a collection of short works by each of the group members. Which makes things a bit complicated, but that's a problem for the writers, separate from the bookstore idea.

In the end, though, I know this is my project, so if that means spending most or all of the con’s daytime hours in the merch hall, I’m fine with that (I’m a born kiss-ass-y salesman, to be honest, and the real fun at cons comes after sundown anyway [I’m referring to getting drunk at room parties, you reprobates]).

Another idea I wanted to toss out: I think it would be fair to strongly suggest that writers (especially ones with more than one work for sale) take time slots at the booth. Even if they're not the best sales people, it could double as a meet and greet/autograph time. A lot of what we're going to sell will be to people who already read and loved the story, so they might very well like the chance to meet the author and chat or get the book personalized.

At the very least it would give Aqua company, and possibly give him a chance to see a panel or eat things.

I'm stoked! :D
The budget (even, alas, attendance) is uncertain this far out, but even if I personally end up not buying anything (despite what I'm pretty sure will be significant temptation... unless a great swarm descends upon the store and picks the shelves bare before I get down there), the best of luck to you! Very nice idea, this. :)

I don't know what kind of time I'll have, but I'm more than willing to volunteer my services as both a proofreader and a layout designer. I'm not super skilled at layout, but I at least know my way around LaTeX and would love to help folks get off the ground towards making this a reality.

This is a great idea, Aqua. I really hope it happens and I hope I get to see it :pinkiehappy:

Question: does it have to be fanfic? Because I just so happen to have a box filled with unsold print copies of my first two novellas from before I joined the fandom sitting and collecting dust. Assuming that's fine, I could just, like, tape 'aka Thought Prism' onto each book under my name. That would give me an excuse to jump the fence and commit to attending the con, potential future work schedule be damned.

I have to admit, this sounds amazing. My longest story to date is only 21k, but I’ll mull over what I might be able to do...

Damn I won't be attending but I want to see this so much.

If anybody is considering preparing their first print and is looking for tips more specific than the good stuff that's already been said here, or just help in general, djazz's Discord server have been somewhat of an hub for print projects lately and it's always nice to see new people around.

I'm in, and I'll definitely give this a boost when I get home and have a conputer to typenon again.

I don't think I've ever been more down in my life.

I also hear tell of a self-printing site called The Book Patch, although I have yet to experiment on it. I do hear, however, that they got good quality and do soft cover only.
(Info from guy that printed FOE: Starlight through them)

For people who primarily write shorter stories but don't feel like they have enough really good ones to stock a 40k-word book with, it might be an option to go in as a group and each contribute a few of their favorites. If you pick 4 or 5 stories that total 20k and get 5 other people to join in, then you have a pretty substantial book.

This is a really cool idea. I need to ruminate on this.

And get more writing done. I haven't published anything in ages. :raritydespair:

I suppose a few writers who are close friends could collab.

This next year might be a good time for me to polish up my first fanfic and bring it up to my current standards. It's already 25k, 40k shouldn't be too far away.

Hmmm, if I could manage to finish something up, it would be over 40,000 words collectively...

I do think this is a great idea, personally. I'd be all in on supporting it, whether it's manning the booth or providing something to sell, or even chipping in for the booth.

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