I found this article about how this 16-year-old girl is publishing a book based on a popular fanfic she wrote about One Direction. Obviously, she's going to change the names and some other things to avoid copyright laws, but it's basically the same.
And I don't know how I feel about this.
If you didn't know, Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series and the E.L. Jame's Fifty Shades trilogy were originally created as fanfiction but grew so popular that they became published as books. I read the first book of The Mortal Instruments series the summer before I went to the ninth grade and didn't think that it was that great, and I refuse to read any book of the Fifty Shades trilogy.
Both series/trilogy has been given a lot of flack for not being well-written with terrible characters, plot, messages, etc. But they are fan favorites and popular, with many fans. So, even though the books are terribly written in the literary sense, they are guilty pleasures/easy reads that consumers enjoy reading about?
What I'm trying to get at is this: popular fanfics made into books are a double-edged sword. They have no literary merit; they are popular more as guilty reads or just as fan-favorites. And they always have a bad backlash, which hurts the YA community.
How can you take a genre seriously when it seems that so many popular books are being published from fanfics off of the internet? When the stories aren't original since they use characters from other books or even real people?
Don't get me wrong; if you haven't figured out by now, I love fanfiction. Hell, there are many fanfic authors that I follow that I would read anything if they published a book--but an original book. One where they made their own characters and world, because I'm pretty sure that I would love it anyway since I fell in love with their writing and world-building and characters.
So I don't know about you, but I would prefer fanfiction to stay as fanfiction, and books be written from scratch. Ideas can come from fanfiction, sure, but to just change the characters' names and location and then publish it? That is not a book.
That is just renaming something and claiming that it is original.