When Amazon announced it would allow writers of fan-fiction to publish and sell officially licensed work in the Kindle Worlds Store , it wasn’t too much of a surprise that shows/books they were permitted to spin stories about were teen-centered works like Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries or things with fan-boy appeal like Bloodshot. (f you aren’t familiar with fan fiction, it’s a term for stories written by fans of an original work instead of the original author. )
The unusual set-up allowed writers to select officially licensed “Worlds” and submit stories for publication in the Kindle Worlds Store. The writers could then earn money when their fan fiction was purchased. Normally fan-fiction is frowned upon by the holders of copyrights and the writers certainly don’t get paid for their efforts. They’re more likely to get sued.
Now Amazon is taking fan fiction into the world of serious literature, by adding the works of the late Kurt Vonnegut to the “worlds.” That means fans of of his work can create their own stories using his characters and settings and then publish and sell eBooks on Amazon.
Vonnegut authored well-regarded novels like Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat’s Cradle. Slaughterhouse-Five was picked by Time magazine as one of the 100 best modern English-language novels.
“Since the launch of Kindle Worlds a month ago, we’ve published over 120 stories and the customer response has been overwhelmingly positive, said Philip Patrick, Director, Business Development and Publisher of Kindle Worlds. “To include the work of an American literary icon in Kindle Worlds is a thrill for us and a golden opportunity for Vonnegut fans everywhere.”
The works of fan fiction are typically priced between 99 cents and $3.99 with the author of the fan fiction receiving up to a 35% royalty. The worlds are not allowed to cross over, so you won’t see any lovelorn teen vampires popping up in Vonnegut’s work.
I’m sure there are a lot of English majors who need to lie down with a cold cloth on their forehead about now. Vonnegut died in 2007, after falling down a flight of stairs.