From Fan History Wiki
IntroductionFanLib is a multi-fandom fan fiction archive.
FanLib is a fan fiction archive/fan fiction community that was created by with the long term effort of becoming a viable fan fiction community. To this end, it is funded by commercial interests. The company has a staff of 11: six males and five females. .
Fanlib was closed on August 4, 2008 due to financial considerations.
FanLib allows adult material in the fan fiction so long as it appropriately categorized. They do not allow chan type content in their fan fiction or fanart. They have a policy of investigating plagiarism claims.
Usability and features
ClosingOn July 23, 2008, FanLib announced its closing with a notice on its home page. Frantic members immediately innundated the forums with questions about the closing and plans to continue to stay in touch, as well as finding other sites to host the content they had created at FanLib. The site admins were unable to give the members any reasons behind the closure, but the site did create a content download function so members could save HTML copies of their written works. At the time of this announcement, FanLib had over 42,000 submissions, and over 25,000 members.
- On March 2, 2007, FanLib began invited fanfiction writers to their archive.
- On May 10, 2007, Yourlibrarian made a post about FanLib on Fanthropology.
- On May 17, 2007, Chris Williams, one of the CEOs, responded in the LJ of Telesilla. Rather than reassure fandom, his response merely added to the flames.
- On May 20, 2007, Quicksilvereyes made a post to Fandom Lawyers.
- On May 20, 2007, the Livejournal community Life Without FanLib opened.
- On May 21, 2007, icarusancalion wrote a summary of the fandom response to FanLib which was then posted on Fandom Wank.
- On May 22, 2007, Henry Jenkins summarizes the conflict and offers and invitation to CEO Chris Williams to answer the questions of fans. 
- On May 23, 2007, Lis Rib posted information about FanLib's parent company My2Centences.com. The marketing message included in the web site's brochure clashed with FanLib had been claiming about their intent.
- On May 25, 2007, Chris Williams responded to some of the fandom's questions at Henry Jenkins's blog.
- On July 24, 2007, a power outage hit San Francisco.  Several sites went down as a result, including LiveJournal, ProBoards , Puzzle Pirates  and FanLib.  While the other sites were back up quickly, LiveJournal was down for more than four hours. 
- On August 3, 2007, FanLib announced a Weeds contest. 
- On August 23, 2007, FanLib announced a Harry Potter contest. 
- On September 20, 2007, FanLib announced a Dexter contest. 
- On September 21, 2007, the New York Post mentioned the FanLib Dexter contest. 
- In early December 2007, FanLib launched a Battlestar Galactica contest.
- By January 2008, FanLib had over 15,000 members.
- By March 2008, FanLib had over 15,000 members.
- On July 23, 2008, FanLib announced it would close. Closing date was announced as August 4, 2008.
- On August 4, 2008, FanLib ceased operations.
- On August 27, 2008, members of Fanlib, who called themselves FanLib Refugees, opened a new archive and forum called FanNation.
Fan blowbackangiepen's LiveJournal:
However, by submitting the Submissions to FanLib, You hereby grant FanLib a non-exclusive, worldwide, and royalty-free license to use, reproduce, distribute, and display the Submissions in connection with the Website. 
In addition, the original TOS stated that any legal trouble that could possibly arise would fall onto the shoulders of the writer. As of May 22 has been removed, Angiepen copied portions of the TOS to her own LJ:
To summarize, FanLib would not only not be responsible for any lawsuit brought against fanfiction archived at FanLib, but the writer would have to defend FanLib in addition to his/her should such a suit occur.
The FanLib advertising campaign also upset fen, as Icarusancalion summarized in his/her LJ:
Their current ad campaign, featuring a 98-lb weakling (who doesn't read fanfiction) alongside an muscleman who reads fanfiction on FanLib.com, left fans mystified. It seemed to be aimed at a stereotypical Star Trek fan with Spock ears in an ill-fitting uniform and a Klingon phrasebook. The fact that FanLib's founders were men counted against them as well with several prominent writers. According to one 2003 survey, 96% of fanfiction writers are women, and the exploitation of women writers is a current hot topic. Among the feminists, an attempt to make money off of women fanfiction writers with no compensation went over like a lead balloon.
For a company claiming to understand fandom, the advertising campaign seemed off-putting, if not insulting, to the majority of fandom.
Posts about FanLib popped up around LiveJournal, and the Metafandom community featured numerous essays about the archive. In her LJ, Telesilla posted her thoughts on the subject, and Chris Williams, one of the CEOs of FanLib (posting under the LJ name of mimbo), replied:
hey everyone, I'm Chris one of the founders of FanLib> it's really late and i have been working on the site all day. I'm exhausted but i just realized what was going on here and all of the commentsts are making me sick. we're a small company with 10 emplyees who work 16 hours a day to try and make a great website. we're real people! with feelings and everything! we have been working on this and dreaming about it for a long time and you are just here to shit on it without giving us a chance. i care deeply about what you think but this is crazy. we're good people here and you make us sound like we're an evil corporation or the govt. sending your kids to war or something. we really are all about celebrating fan fiction and fan fiction readers and writers. im sorry this is so short and please excuse the fact that i am cutting and pasting this across a bunch of ljs but i gotta get some sleep. chris
This comment, however, only fed the flames.
Despite criticism over Fanlib's marketing policies, their forums, contests, and easy to read format were very popular, and helped create a strong and active community consisting of writers from a wide variety of fandoms. The cross-fandom base of Fanlib was the major strength of the site, and the community that was built through the forums and contests, especially for authors writing in rare and obscure fandoms, was strong.
When Fanlib.com closed its website, there was an active and concerted effort for the community to move en masse to an alternative fanfiction site. For a while, there was a mass migration to Myfandoms.com. With the opening of a new fanfiction site called FanNation, many of the members of this community are trying to recapture the community spirit of Fanlib. FanNation was designed to be ad free, and there are no membership fees, but still rely on a cross-fandom community.
Blogger Lis Riba discovered a marketing brochere at My2Centences.com, Chris William's main web site, and posted portions from it in her journal on May 23. This brochere advertised that FanLib would be able to turn fanfiction into a "marketing service":
Here's how they're pitching FanLib to industry:Introducing the new, turnkey entertainment marketing service
That's right, it's not primarily geared towards fans, it's a "marketing service.
Read more in their 6-page PDF brochure, with revelatory quotes like:See How To: Grow Audience! Enhance Brand! and Increase Revenue!
[let] a mass audience collaborate democratically in a fun online game that you control.
Increase audience -- if they build it, they will come
Massive Viral Marketing
And how about Page 4, describing how their site is "MANAGED & MODERATED TO THE MAX," including the following:As with a coloring book, players must "stay within the lines"Yes, a restrictive TOS isn't a bug -- it's a feature!
Restrictive player's terms-of-service protects your rights and property
Moderated "scene missions" keep the story under your control
Full monitoring & management of submissions & players
Teresa on Making Light noted that this was contrary to FanLib's "About Us" information, and that it clashed with most of fandom's notions about the purpose of their work:
Isn't that interesting? It's a perpetual motion machine — excuse me, an automatic content generator. This content generation will be done by fanfic writers, who'll be moderated to an inch and made to color inside the lines. Their work will be used as raw material to be finished and exploited by professionals. And all shall be done for the profit of FanLib's backers and customers. 
The enormous Harry Potter fandom dwarfs all of the non-Anime fandoms and the success of a multi-fandom fan fiction site requires support from their lion's share of fandom. A large number of the American Harry Potter fans happened to be at a Harry Potter convention when FanLib went live. Icarusancalion is a Harry Potter fanfiction writer, and her report on FanLib was printed and circulated at the convention by Bookshop. It was also given to Henry Jenkins, there to give a presentation, who quoted it in his blog post hosting a discussion about FanLib. The devisive Harry Potter fandom, which is scattered over numerous websites such as Fiction Alley as well as having a large presence on Livejournal, overwhelmingly decried FanLib.
The Stargate fan fiction writers were among the first and most strident protests against FanLib. Stargate Atlantis in particular contains a strong feminist contingent, and these fans in particular questioned the male-orientation of FanLib's advertising. Stargate writer Astolat in response launched the Organization for Transformative Works to create a multi-fandom website that, unlike FanLib, the fans would control.
Lord of the Rings
FanLib caused a disdainful stir among the Lord of the Rings fans in April, 2007. David Williams of FanLib apologized when he learned utilizing private messaging to spam the members of Lord of the Rings Fanfiction was a breach of courtesy. When members voiced concerns about FanLib's corporate ownership and TOS, David replied that they must have mistakenly browsed the TOS of a different site. The Lord of the Rings writers were insulted and unamused. Word traveled throughout the Lord of the Rings fandom, which is hosted on websites and on Livejournal, that FanLib was not to be trusted.
FanLib is being embraced by parts of the CSI fan fiction community, most notably by members of yourtaxdollarsatwork.us. This community is 13,730 members strong as of May 23, 2007.  Members of the site appear to be variously involved in helping the site. This is evidenced by a May 9, 2007 post by LosingInTranslation which states:
- Yes... And the FAQ isn't up yet, because it's currently in the *open beta* stage of development, so they are trying to get everything in place before writing up the FAQ's.
- The alert system is almost ready to go online, but we threw a little monkey wrench in there when we told them everything that should be in there. laugh.gif So, it will probably take a little bit longer for it to be ready. We'll just have to see. You can, however, "subscribe" to authors to make it easier to see what's going on. 
- No Hiatus, the FanLib official blog
- Battlestar Galatica, A FanLib contest
- Looking Back at FanLib 2007
- Wank summary on F_W
- LoTR Fanfiction
- LJ post by Angiepen
- LJ post by Icarusancalion
- Fanthropology post by Yourlibrarian
- Some thoughts on the FanLib thing (way back in pre-history, but newly refreshed in my mind): flourish.dreamwidth.org/449416.html: Flourish on October 30, 2009
- Some FanLib thoughts, from a distance: Flourish on October 29, 2009
Media coverage and academic responses
Post-FanLib archives and messageboards
- FanNation: a multifandom fanworks archive
- FanLib Refugees: a messageboard on invision free.
- FanLib Forever: a LiveJournal community.
Below is a partial list of articles and academic sources to help you continue to learn about this fan fiction archive.