What is AO3? A review of the popular fanfiction empire and safe haven

What is AO3? A review of the popular fanfiction empire and safe haven

Are you a content creator looking for a platform to publish or showcase your talent? Then AO3 is the site for you. It is a noncommercial and non-profit central holding site for transformative fanworks. You can showcase your artworks in the categories of fanfiction and fanart.

What is AO3?
The logo of the popular fanfiction empire and safe haven platform AO3. Photo: @iconfinder
Source: UGC

AO3's structure is an open-source archiving software created by and for enthusiasts. AO3's open-source software hosting is on GitHub (a platform for software developers). The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) owns the servers, whose funding comes from donations. Users do not have to pay to use the site, and there are no adverts.

What is an AO3 account?

An AO3 account enables users to establish profiles, create works, post comments, award kudos, build collections and bookmarks, engage in challenges, import works, and more. In addition, the account enables creators full access to the platform's features. Without the account, users cannot be able to access the website.

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How do I create an AO3 account?

If you are coming from other fandom platforms or a new user, creating an account on AO3 is relatively straightforward. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. You will require an invitation. An invitation can come in the form of a link or a string of letters/numbers (known as a token).
  2. For the invitation link method, you will need to provide an e-mail address for confirmation. You will receive an invasion e-mail that will lead you to the account creation page.
  3. If you've received a string of letters and numbers but not a link, type https://archiveofourown.org/signup/#### into your browser's address bar, substituting "####" with the series of letters and numbers you've received. It will redirect you to the new registration page.
  4. After creating an account, AO3 will send an e-mail link to activate it. To authenticate and start your new AO3 account, click the link in the e-mail.

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There you have it. By following the steps above, you will have successfully registered a new AO3 account. However, if you don't verify your account within 14 days of registration, your account will not be activated, and you'll have to repeat the registration process.

Does AO3 cost money?

What is AO3?
A screenshot of the AO3 website. Photo: @AO3_Status
Source: Twitter

No, the platform is a non-profit website used for transformative fanworks. Donations to the Organization for Transformative Works fund the Archive entirely. In addition, the website doesn't run advertisements, thus ensuring that it doesn't generate any income.

Is AO3 just for fanfiction?

Yes, the website's dedication is to fanfiction, but it is open to all kinds of fandoms. The site also allows all ratings, including general audience content to adult content. Certain fandoms (including Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles) and story styles (including songfic) that were previously prohibited on FanFiction.net are now permitted on AO3.

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Is AO3 illegal?

No, the platform itself is not illegal, and it allows content that is legal in the United States. However, users should note that fanfiction works are unlawful in that they use characters and expressions from original creative works. Ultimately, this is an infringement of copyright, which is why many users inquire about the legality of AO3.

How to post an image on AO3

If you have tried to post an image on the platform and failed, worry no more. We have compiled the required steps to upload a pic to the fanfiction site successfully.

  1. Open your story in AO3 by logging in.
  2. Click on edit and scroll down to the work text box
  3. Then change from HTML to Rich text.
  4. Open a separate tab or window and go to the website where your picture is.
  5. Right-click while hovering your cursor over the image.
  6. When the text box appears, go to the bottom and select copy.
  7. Return to your other tab and place your cursor where you want the photo to appear in your text.
  8. Select "Insert/edit picture" from the menu icons at the top of the worktext field.
  9. When the text box appears, click ctrl+v inside the "source" box.
  10. Go to "dimensions" and tab out. The photo will have automatically populated, but you may want to fiddle with it to achieve your desired size.

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One thing to note is that you cannot upload photos from your computer. Instead, the desired pictures have to come from websites online.

What happens if you delete an account on A03?

The action of deleting an account on the site is permanent. You cannot undo the action. Therefore, one must be sure when deciding to delete their account. So, what happens to kudos left when one deletes their account?

Any kudos you've earned with that account will be attributed to a guest rather than your username once you remove it. It may take some time for this modification to appear in the "Archive."

What popular works can I encounter at A03?

What is AO3?
A mug with the popular fanfiction website logo. Photo: @ANGIE_fic
Source: Twitter

There is a ton of quality entertaining content on the platform. Some of the most notable are the A03 Supernatural and Swan Queen fanfiction A03 works. You can also find Marvel, Supernatural, and Harry Potter on the platform.

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Indeed, A03 has made it possible for creators to share their work and connect with their audience. It is a non-profit platform that has grown as a result of its popularity. The findings presented above intend to assist the newcomer in setting up and joining the forum.

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