If you go to FanFiction.net and do a quick search, you’ll find that there are currently 6,415 stories written about Harry Potter that exceed 100,000 words in length. These aren’t official books by J.K. Rowling, of course, but fan fiction, where everyday folks write stories in character universes by established authors. Harry Potter is easily the most popular (with more than half a million stories, when all story lengths are taken into account), but if you’re a fan of the Twilight novels, the Star Wars movies or Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, there are thousands of stories to read.
Not all of these stories are professional quality, of course (as is to be expected), but some of them, frankly, are amazing, and well worth the time it takes to hunt down and read them. Of course, since FanFiction.net is advertising-based, you’ll need to read the stories through your web browser, or at the very least download the HTML files, chapter by chapter.
Unless you use FanFictionDownloader, a fantastic program that allows you to not only download complete stories, but to save them in a wide variety of formats, perfect for reading on your computer, printing, or putting on your eBook reader.
The first step is to head over to fanfictiondownloader.net, where you can read about the program (available for Windows and Linux), look at screenshots, and get a general idea of what it’s all about.
When you’re ready, click the big black Download button near the top of the page.
There are a couple different download options for Windows (the standard .exe installer, or a zipped package), as well as a zipped binary for Linux.
Once you’ve downloaded the installer of your choice, go through the installation process. It’s a bit more complex for Linux than Windows, so we’ll do a quick walkthrough.
First, extract the archive to your Desktop, Home folder, or wherever you downloaded the zip file.
Now open the folder and choose the Properties option (right-click on the fanficdownloader binary).
When the Properties window appears, select he Permissions tab.
Now, make sure the Allow executing file as program box is checked.
Once you’ve done this, you can place the binary wherever you want. It can be opened by double-clicking, or by choosing Open from a right-click menu.
When you open FanFictionDownloader for the first time, you’ll see a welcome screen.
When running FanFictionDownloader, you’ll also need to have Calibre installed. This is a requirement if you want to use FanFictionDownloader to convert your downloads into any of the available formats, but isn’t necessary if you want the plain HTML files.
Once you’ve dismissed the welcome screen, access the Configuration options by clicking Menu and choosing Configuration.
While here, enter the path to the ebook-convert binary (typically located in your /usr/bin folder, and choose a location you would like your files to be saved.
Now we’re ready to use FanFictionDownloader. First, head over to FanFiction.net and find a story you’d like to download. Look at the URL bar and copy down the entire URL of the first chapter.
Now return to FanFictionDownloader and paste that URL into the Storylink box.
Beside this field is a Check button (see above). Click this button and FanFictionDownloader will scan the story URL, finding each individual chapter. It will then show you the results below.
You’ll be able to see the author and story title, as well as how many chapters. If you want the entire story, you don’t need to do anything more, but if you only want certain chapters, you can enter that.
All that’s left is to choose a format to save the story in.
Finally, click the Download button and wait while FanFictionDownloader downloads the story.
You’ll notice that as it nears the end (typically 98 percent or so), the process seems to stall. This is to be expected, and happens while FanFictionDownloader is using Calibre to convert the downloaded HTML files to your selected format. When the process is done, you’ll see your saved document in your chosen save folder.
And that’s it! You can now use the file FanFictionDownloader downloaded and converted however you see fit. Read it on your computer or place it on your Nook, Kindle or iPad; it’s up to you. Thanks to FanFictionDownloader, you now have a compact, easy to read version of your favorite piece of fan fiction, ready to be used however you see fit.a