not the anon but have you ever thought of publishing one of your fics and passing it off as original fiction (ie changing the names a little)
Thought of, yeah, but… ehh, idk. It would take a lot more than name swaps to make fanfic work as ofic because so much of fanfic presentation and structure relies on the people reading it being in the fandom and thus already familiar with the characters and the universe they come from. There’s a lot less you have to do as a writer in terms of character development and backstory this way (although in some ways it’s harder because you have to really pay attention to the source and make sure you’re emulating the characters as accurately as possible). It’s slightly less of an issue in an AU, since you generally have to do at least a little worldbuilding yourself–but if you’re like me, a huge portion of the plot and themes in a well thought-out AU are deliberate parallels to the source work.
For example, like 90% of Luma is a direct reference to Kingdom Hearts. It’s basically the same universe turned on its head, twisted around, and shoved into a new setting with a somewhat altered story and a slightly different set of rules.
So I guess I could theoretically alter a few key trademarked elements and self-publish ebooks online or somesuch but that still seems kinda weird and sorta like a copout. I’d rather be able to have a donate button on my Ao3 profile or something.
Or even just be able to publish small runs of chapbooks to sell at conventions or on storenvy. Why can’t that be a thing?