Fan fiction is a rather murky topic, given that it often combines beloved characters and franchises in rather unusual scenarios. Regardless, the medium has proven to be incredibly popular on the Internet and it’s clear that Amazon sees an opportunity to earn some additional profits.
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The company has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith. All three are also incredibly successful TV shows in their own right, which should add to the interest both from fans and aspiring writers.
Amazon says it plans to announce more licenses “soon”.
The new Kindle Worlds platform will enable any author to publish stories based on these characters and then make them available for purchase through the Kindle Store. Amazon will then pay royalties both to the author of the fan fiction and the original rights holder. The standard author’s royalty rate – for fiction that is at least 10,000 words in length – will be just over a third (35 percent) of net revenue.
“As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of sales price—rather than the lower, industry standard of wholesale price—and royalties will be paid monthly,” the company said today in a statement.
To coincide with the announcement, Amazon is also launching a pilot program to give additional exposure to short stories of between 5,000 and 10,000 words. For these works, Amazon promises to pay the royalties for the rights holder and authors a digital royalty of 20 percent.
The Kindle Worlds store will launch in June with over 50 commissioned works from established authors such as Barbara Freethy, John Everson and Colleen Thompson. The self-service submission platform, which will allow fan fiction writers to file completed work, will also open simultaneously.
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