In 2013, Amazon launched Kindle Worlds as a way to let fans write fan fiction and sell it via the Kindle digital publishing platform. It was kind of a brilliant idea since it keeps fans engaged with a franchise when it's off the air and it nets the licensees extra money for work it doesn't have to do. Since then, the program has expanded to include a few more big name franchises, but this week's addition might be its biggest yet.
Amazon announced this morning that it has entered into an agreement with Hasbro to add G.I. Joe to Kindle Worlds. Fans can now write and sell fan fiction based on their favorite characters, like Duke, Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander.
“Since 1964, G.I. JOE has inspired the imagination of multiple generations by providing a backdrop of excitement and adventure. Whether exploring the secrets of the mummy’s tomb, or defending freedom from the evil plots of COBRA, G.I. JOE has been there,” said Michael Kelly, Hasbro’s Director of Global Publishing. “It is with equal excitement that Hasbro now enters a new segment of the business by embracing the concept of open-source storytelling, and officially unlocking the world of G.I. JOE to our fans through Amazon’s Kindle Worlds.”
While G.I. Joe fan fiction is nothing new, this is a big step for Hasbro as the company has traditionally been very protective of its brands. If this goes over well, the company may very well add its others franchises, like Transformers and My Little Pony, to the program as well.
G.I. Joe isn't the only big license this time around, however, as Amazon has also worked with Warner Bros. to get the Veronica Mars license. Now fan fiction writers can continue the story of their favorite detective as they eagerly await the arrival of the new film.
Alongside Veronica Mars, Warner Bros. has also given the okay for Kindle Worlds writers to create worlds based on Ravenswood.
“Our Kindle Worlds collaboration with Amazon Publishing has been tremendously successful since its introduction last year,” said Leslie Morgenstein, President of Alloy Entertainment. “Adding Ravenswood and Veronica Mars to the platform is a great way for us to gain deeper engagement with fans as they explore their own creative story adaptations.”
Finally, Amazon has licensed content from two best-selling authors and comics:
“Kindle Worlds continues to grow quickly with new licenses across the pop culture spectrum, and we are excited to expand our World selection for writers,” said Nick Loeffler, General Manager of Kindle Worlds. “In just a few months since our launch, we’ve published hundreds of new stories with great customer reviews reflecting the high quality of so many of these submissions. While it's very early days, we are thrilled with the initial reception from licensors and readers and look forward to adding additional Worlds soon.”
If you've got what it takes to write G.I. Joe fan fiction for a living, you find out more here.
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