Amazon Kindle Worlds: Can it Thrive?

22 May

If you haven’t heard (which you probably haven’t, considering the news is just two hours old), Amazon Kindle has created a program, Kindle Worlds, that allows fanfiction writers to publish their works from $.99 to $3.99. To cover those icky copyright laws, Amazon acquires licenses from the original copyright holders, and then fiction writers grab their laptops and churn away, creating stories.

Unlike normal fanfiction publishing, where the fanfiction writer can write in (almost) any fandom but not get paid for it, Amazon Kindle World’s gives the author 35% of the net revenue, as well as paying the original owner royalties for allowing them to use their work.

Are there downsides to this? On the surface, it doesn’t seem like there are. So far, there are only a few series that have given their rights to Amazon, being the Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, and Pretty Little Liars, with plans to add more to the pile. Amazon Kindle Worlds is planning to officially launch in June, with 50 works from well known writers.

Also, fanfiction writers will finally have the opportunity to earn money on their hard worked on fanworks. Fan artists have been seen as entities in the money making world, being able to sell their beautiful works of art at cons or online to interested buyers. However, for a long time, fanfiction writers have been only been able to make money off of published “fanfiction” or fanfiction that has had names changed to enough of an extent that the original copywritten work isn’t as noticeable (I’m looking at youuuu, Fifty Shades of Grey).

However, here’s where the funny aspect that might halt the business prospects of this come in. Amazon Kindle Worlds is looking to earn more rights for more series, but unless they go after the big ones, such as Harry Potter, The Avengers, and Supernatural just to name a few, they will never be able to grab the bigger writers that will earn the biggest amount of money.

There is also the concern that none of the fanfiction published on Kindle Worlds may have porn in it. Well, let us be frank. There goes half of your audience.

And if I’m going to be incredibly honest, what is the point? I am a huge reader of both fanfiction and published work, but nothing will get my money unless it’s really well written. And although there are fanfiction writers who write so well that they deserve to be paid for their works, how many fans are going to pay for it?

You also have to add in the fact that certain websites, such as Archive of our Own have ways to download fanfiction from their website with a touch of a button. There are also very simple ways to turn fan fiction from other aspects of the web, such as fanfiction.net and livejournal, into files such as ePub for the nook and mobi for the kindle. In truth, the only positive things about Kindle Worlds is the fact that it gives fanfiction writers the ability to earn money on works that they have poured their time and soul into, as well as opening a new type of self publishing that expands fanfiction to new readers.

I suppose we’ll see how Amazon Kindle Worlds ends up. As much as I may not like it, things are happening in the world. Fifty Shades of Grey will actually become a movie, and people will make money off of what was originally a fun past time.

It was only time until businesses tried to cash in on us.

More about the Amazon Kindle Worlds:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2013/0522/Amazon-s-Kindle-Worlds-will-allow-writers-to-sell-fan-fiction

 

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