Captive Prince, a Livejournal webfic/ serial acquired by Penguin

8 years ago | SgL (Member)

The author broke it this morning.
Her serial transitioned into ebooks this year and a self-published format.
IT had been running a long time on livejournal and acquired a pretty passionate fanbase.

Pretty interesting news -- definitely a long-term investment (in the format/platform she chose to write) that has paid off.

Read responses...


  1. Fiona Gregory (Moderator)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Congratulations to Ms. Pucat! Captive Prince is an excellent story. Also great that Penguin is open to a novel that was serialized online, and one with gay erotic themes.

  2. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Thanks for posting this SgL. Such great news for her! I never heard of Captive Prince but I love the title and web design is great. I look forward to reading it! I wonder what's going to happen to the online versions now that it's being printed by Penguin? Her story gives me hope for Rema. I come from the publishing world so getting Rema published is the logical next step in my mind, as potentially unrealistic as that may be. I always worry that the fact it was serialized online would detract publishers from considering it, but this story gives me hope.

  3. SgL (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Her post makes it clear they're coming down and volume 3 (which is in progress) will not be posted online.
    However she gave her fans a grace period in the sense that if they REALLY want to download it, I guess they could since they have a few weeks to do so.

    That said, many who read it online did go to buy it as an ebook and print. I think they will support her by buying yet again.

    Very happy for her... I know of other authors who have had LJ success as serialists but I think she's the only one who has maintained that momentum this far. It also helps that her story, while definitely kink/erotica, has enough political drama to keep people involved.

    Also - yeah, she got some fantastic coverage which I referenced back in March (

  4. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    That was a fun read! Not at all what I was expecting. Thanks for pointing it out, SgL. :)

  5. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Yeah, thanks SgL! I bought both volumes in paperback. I'm not really into erotic (?) fiction or like "pleasure slave" stories, but the reviews are so enthusiastic in regard to character development I thought I'd give it a try. I've been desperate for something compelling to read that's in print because it's become difficult for me to read on a glowing screen ironically. If I'm looking at my phone or computer, the kids get cranky, understandably. They don't seem to care if I'm reading something in print though.

    Also correcting the link you posted above (the parenthesis was making it not show up):

  6. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    Don't worry about the "pleasure slave" thing, Amy... it's part of the background, but the plot doesn't dwell on it. Enough, in fact, that I am puzzled that it's marketed at all as an erotic novel. Or even a romance, when the romance doesn't consummate until nearly the end of the second book! It feels more to me like a fantasy novel with a romance subplot, that happens to be set in a place with human slavery.

    I was pleasantly surprised. The sex-slave trope exploded after Kushiel's Dart and one gets tired of the same sorts of situations/plots/characters. The author did a great job of subverting them. :)

  7. Senna Black (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    As you know, SgL, I've been following CP for a very long time. I'm trying to remember when I first started reading it, and it was probably the middle of Volume I? Sometime in 2008?

    I've always thought that the way it's marketed (as basically a story hitting the "pleasure slave" kink which is/has been quite popular as you say, MCAH) does it a disservice in terms of the massive complexity of the political plot and the exquisite characterisation and writing. I suspect it started as a kink story that at some point (as many such stories do) got legs and took off running.

    Would it have done as well if it was marketed as a courtly intrigue political fantasy, which is really a more accurate genre tag? I'm not sure. I think that excellent writing will always have an audience, but it is also true that Livejournal has always had a strong network of people who like to read M/M fic that hits kinks like this one does. So although I don't think the "Damen is captured and sold as a pleasure slave to a rival prince" synopsis really does the story justice, it's probably been more successful as a "come for the kink, stay for the plot" story that it would have if it were marketed from the outset as a political fantasy with M/M elements.

    Which is an interesting lesson to reflect on. I've tried to use some of the learnings from observing Captive Prince in my own marketing, but really I think the lesson is, "write really, really well," and I'm still working on that. ;)

  8. Jim Zoetewey (Moderator)

    Posted 8 years ago

    I can only speak for myself, but being a slave involved in courtly intrigue might make an interesting book. By contrast, the emphasis on marketing the kink is why I've never even considered reading it.

  9. SgL (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    The initial marketing/descriptors have a lot to do with the Livejournal community and the fanfic community the author comes from. SHe's been writing fanworks with a m/m focus for a long time and as such, I think most of her initial base probably expected her story to go that way.

    The m/m fandom is pretty passionate. One only has to look at the surprising viability of Teahouse and Starfighter to realize that the fandom is the sort to support with dollars and massive sharing. (And if you look at the drama, oh boy.)

    That she kind of subverted expectations and was weaving something else is pretty smart. And I think it's true - most people came expecting an original work in the vein of her fanwork and then were hooked because she wove an interesting story.

    As it gets pushed out by Penguin, obviously they'll change the whole angle of how it's marketed. But I do worry that they'll try to sell it as a political Fifty Shades because it will alienate a whole section of readers who don't want to be affiliated with a "Fifty Shades" type of work.

  10. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    I can't imagine marketing it as a 50-shades-of-grey sort of thing. It's not at all erotic! There's maybe one sex scene in it that I think might deserve the label, but I don't think one scene in two books makes a series erotic. :,

  11. Senna Black (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    There's maybe one sex scene in it that I think might deserve the label, but I don't think one scene in two books makes a series erotic. :,

    Which maybe takes us to a conversation about the different thresholds for 'erotic' in m/f verses m/m fiction...

    Or perhaps just reflects the fact that, again, the graphic elements are heavily stacked towards the front of the story, so they sort of set the framework for the rest of the story, even if the MC doesn't get any action for the next 90,000 words, haha. And interestingly, the author herself talks about it as romance/erotica, which again might be a clever (or at least providential) piece of marketing on her part given the relative size and passion of romance/erotica community on the internet.

  12. M.C.A. Hogarth (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    By that standard I should be calling Even the Wingless erotica. o_O

  13. Amy Kim Kibuishi (Member)

    Posted 8 years ago

    So I got my copies yesterday and blew through both volumes in one sitting. It was so entertaining! Definitely not erotica to me, but what do I know? Anyway, great characters and a good story. I'm excited to get the Penguin editions when they come out. Thanks again for posting about it! :D


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