Fans of fan fiction and those who like to create it will be excited to find out Amazon’s Kindle Worlds, an online platform devoted entirely to fan fiction. If 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 stories could be based on books, movies, TV shows, games or even music. In the past, these stories have not been officially licensed or published professionally. In fact, many authors strongly object to fan fiction.
But the Kindle Worlds store changes that model. The stories published will be authorized by the authors or copyright holders of the source material and the fan fiction writers will have the opportunity to earn royalties for their story – up to 35% of the sale price for their work.
The self-submission platform allows the fan fiction writers to submit their works for approval. The works will typically be priced between 99 cents and $3.99.
Writers eager to submit works can go here, where they’ll be able to choose from a selection of authorized “worlds” to write about.
Among the choices offered to writers were TV shows Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries and a small selection of comic books and novels. Authors will be limited to those “worlds.”
When a potential author chooses a “world,” he or she will be taken to a page that gives the content guidelines and the instructions for submitting a story.
For example, the content guidelines for Gossip Girl state no pornography or graphic sex, so racial slurs or graphic violence and no excessive use of brand names. They also caution against poorly formatted books, misleading titles, cover art or product description. Crossover material from other “worlds” is not permitted.
Writers must be at least 18 with a valid U.S. bank account, SSN or tax ID number.
The Kindle Worlds Store is now open with more than 50 commissioned works including:
- “Pretty Little Liars: Stained” by Barbra Annino
- “The Vampire Diaries: The Arrival” by Lauren Barnholdt & Aaron Gorvine
- “Shadowman: Salvation Sally” by Tom King
- “The Foreworld Saga: The Qian” by Aric Davis
- “X-O Manowar: Noughts and Crosses” by Stuart Moore
While the selection of worlds is limited now, Amazon says it’s planning on making more deals to license more books, shows, comics and games soon.
The big questions are, how willing are fans of fan fiction to pay for it, when there’s so much of it out there for free and how willing will copyright holders be to authorize other people to write using their characters? As a writer, the idea of others having their way with my characters is almost enough to induce a panic attack.