Kindle Worlds: what is this all about?
I write fan fiction. I do it because I think is fun, is a wonderful way to experiment with my writing and is also the perfect way to develop some ideas that through common fiction would not work that well. I’ve been doing it for almost 10 years now, and through them I’ve discovered and read some real gems of writing.
So you coud also say that fan fiction is the best platform for potential writers (as well the resource some bad ones use to become famous, stealing other people’s ideas, but that’s not gonna be the topic of this post). Well, looks like publishers are starting to take this small but important part of fiction writing, seriously.
If you’re into the world of fan fiction then you’ll be glad or part glad about the news that Amazon announced today on Kindle Worlds, a Publishing Model for fan fiction writers, inspired by the amount of works produced and inspired by titles from Warner Bros series (Aka Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries or Gossip Girl).
Wait… sounds good, but… What does this mean? (gratutuous Ian gif just because I can :P)
Well, it leans you’ll be able to write all the fanfics you want and MAKE MONEY OUT OF IT!
Great, right?… okay, no, not so great, as with most of things in life, there is a catch. You’re not being offered a publishing platform for free, you have to give something back, and that something is… well, a delicate matter for many people.
Basically, if you’re publishing your work with Kindle Worlds you’re giving the rights of your stories to Amazon Publishing, like, forever and ever and there is no way back, also, you’re not allowed to publish the story somewhere else other than the Amazon complex, meaning, you can’t publish here on Tumblr or fanfiction.net or even archiveofourown.org… none of it. That’s closing the door in our faces… and the faces of other fans it seems. There’s another thing, all the original ideas, not the ones inspired by the original source that inspired your fanfic, also become property of Amazon, so, if you have the ideal villain for a Gossip Girl story, you can only use it and publish it inside the stories you share in Kindle Worlds, not outside.
Okay… sounds pretty dramatic, some don’t have big issues with that but… what’s gonna happen? well, basically, you’re gonna be able to sell the fanfics you write and get money out of it, something many of us has dreamt of for years, but in exchange you’re kinds selling the soul of your work and is almost working as any other contract with the publishing industry.
I think the heart of this proposal is mostly positive for fan fiction writers, it’s the perfect chance to get some visibility through one of the most thriving publishing companies in the digital world, something that you can hardly get in other platforms and unless you already have a name in the fan fiction world. Is also the final chance to get some retribution (economically speaking) for that hobby you have, in case you wanna explore that side.
In the case of more serious writers, I find it kind of tricky. In the first place, original ideas give you better money, a little more freedom speaking of copyright terms and is much safer to develop your own publishing strategy than relying on this. Creatively would be a loss, in case you have an icredible original story but with, as an example, Vampire Diares characters, it would make you lose all the effort you put on it and give it on a golden tray for Amazon to do with it as they please, and, honestly, as a writer, I consider that as clipping your wings.
Kindle Worlds is a two side story. I think is a wonderful opportunity for writers who dedicate to the fanfiction world and intend to make of this a small path of their journey into becoming great original ones, in the end, people’s feedback is what keep us going, but is not the final goal.
I look forward reading many stories in there, I’ll definitely be a user and might even publish a little of what I’ve done through the years. Who knows…