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- Fanfiction is a type of written work created by fans who are inspired by existing content.
- Publishers work with authors to transition popular fanfiction stories into physical books.
- With the help of Goodreads and Reddit, we rounded up books that started out as fanfiction.
Fanfiction — fan-created works of fiction based on existing characters or stories — has long had a huge following online. Writers can rack up millions of views on work posted to social reading platforms like Archive of Our Own, Wattpad, and Fanfiction.net. As such, these platforms have become frequent places for new talent to get noticed.
In recent years, some publishers have collaborated directly with authors to transition works they’ve posted on the platforms into physical books. Fanfics have to be fairly heavily revised when updated for publication to make the book its own unique work — this process often includes changing character names, settings, and more to avoid copyright issues with the existing work on which the fanfiction was based. However, many books still contain details that nod to the original version with clever cover designs or character name choices.
Writing books inspired by existing content isn’t exactly a new prospect. New spins on tropes, retellings of classics, and other reimaginings are just a few of the practically endless places authors can find inspiration. By using existing character dynamics and adding them to a new setting, an author can tell a story that feels completely fresh and new. Below, we rounded up 10 popular books that began as fanfiction, whether inspired by “Twilight, “Harry Potter,” or “Star Wars.”