About making money off of fandoms?

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About making money off of fandoms?

Postby Reiz16 » October 14th, 2019, 10:52 pm

My friend told me I can make money off of fandoms and I was wondering if I could do it on here.
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Re: About making money off of fandoms?

Postby Reiz16 » October 14th, 2019, 11:38 pm

NOW I'm getting told I CAN'T make money off of fandoms.

Who do I believe?
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Re: About making money off of fandoms?

Postby eishiya » October 15th, 2019, 8:11 am

You can't really "make money off fandoms" here since SJ is not a site to sell stuff, it's just a comic host. You can host your fan comics here, but there are no tools here to directly monetise them, that has to be done via other services (ads, Patreon, etc), which have varying rules. If you mean selling fandom stuff in online stores and at cons... it's complicated.

Legally, it's a grey area where fanart and fancomics are concerned, since they're based on the original work but do not directly use parts of it. I don't think this has been brought up in court yet, so there's no legal test for fanart legality like there is for many other things. In general, it's understood that the owner of the original can shut you down and no one's tried challenging it in court, because it's cheaper to just stop selling fanart of their works.

Disney and certain individual creators have been known to be particularly anti-fanart, which is why you rarely see fanart of their works at conventions. Sometimes this can lead to weird rules like Kingdom Hearts fanart being alright to sell because Square Enix don't go after fanart sellers, but not if it has keyblades, because keyblades are Disney's and Disney does go after fanart sellers.

In addition, selling fanart at cons and other in-person methods is much easier than selling it online via e.g. Etsy, because online platforms tend to be stricter about IP (intellectual property) than the actual IP holders, and will take down fanart if it's reported to them, even if the IP holder doesn't mind.

With all this in mind, if you want to make money from fandoms:
- Focus on doing so at conventions rather than online. It'll be easier to find an audience and you'll avoid the cat-and-mouse game of dodging platform holders.
- Pay attention to the convention scene even if you don't go to them, look out for news about fanart C&Ds and lawsuit threats, so you know which companies' work to avoid selling fanart of, ask around about troublesome companies.
- Avoid any type of merch that's similar to official products, e.g. prints that are similar to official ones, toys resembling official ones, etc. Stick to product types that don't have official analogues, as companies don't tend to mind those as much.

Alternatively, don't sell the fanwork itself, and instead use it to build up your audience and get money from them in ways not directly connected to the fanart, such as Ko-Fi, Patreon, and original art sales. Even successful fanart sellers often take this route with their online money-making, since selling fanart online is such a hassle, but it's also common for those that never sell fanart at all.
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