Fan Fiction is awesome, right? It's a way for fans to better engage with their favorite brands, and some franchises actually gain new fans thanks to fan fiction. Amazon wants to capitalize on it while paying authors for their trouble.
Amazon announced Kindle Worlds today - a new publishing platform that licenses popular series and then allows amateur authors to publish fan fiction based on those series. Right out of the gate, Amazon has secured the rights to Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries. I can already see the latter inspiring plenty of fan fiction.
“At Kindle, we’re not only inventing on the hardware and software side of the business, we’re inventing new ways to create books,” said Philip Patrick, Director, Business Development and Publisher of Kindle Worlds. “Our goal with Kindle Worlds is to create a home for authors to build on the Worlds we license, and give readers more stories from the Worlds they enjoy. We look forward to announcing additional World licensing deals in the coming weeks.”
So, how will the payment system work? Here's how Amazon describes it:
Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both the rights holders of the Worlds and the author. The standard author’s royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% 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.
In addition, with the launch of Kindle Worlds, Amazon Publishing will pilot an experimental new program for particularly short works—between 5,000 and 10,000 words. For these short stories—typically priced under one dollar—Amazon will pay the royalties for the World’s rights holder and pay authors a digital royalty of 20%.
It's not a bad deal for something that people generally write while expecting no monetary return. It might even be a great platform for an aspiring author to launch their own career. There's numerous stories out there of fan fiction authors getting their big break after somebody discovered their work.
Kindle Worlds will officially launch in June with over 50 commissioned works from famous authors. After that, anybody can submit their fan fictions to the Kindle Worlds publishing portal. To get a head start, head over to the official site to learn more.