Well my inbox this morning was stuffed with people telling me how big an announcement this is: Basically, Amazon has licensed Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries from WB’s Alloy division, and will allow peopl...
Well my inbox this morning was stuffed with people telling me how big an announcement this is: Basically, Amazon has licensed Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries from WB’s Alloy division, and will allow people to write legal fan fiction based on these properties and sell the result on Kindles. The profits will be split between the writer, WB and Amazon, of course.
Why is this such a game changer? Well, for the first time you’ll be able to make money legally and safely from your fanfic. I’ve reproduced the PR below, as it goes into detail on the royalty spilt and other business detail in a depth unusual for PR. It’s all part of a push for Kindle Worlds, which will sell short — 5000 to 10,000 words — pieces on the Kindle as cheaper “singles.” The service launches with 50 commissioned works, but soon will be open to anyone to submit.
Of course, with WB involved you may be asking yourself if you’ll soon be able to write that Stephanie Brown/Cassandra Cain fanfic you only published on Dreamhost up to now. That’s a tough question. The problem of “brand dilution” is very important to WB and DC’s superhero characters. You’ll note the three properties that were licensed are female-centric and already had a very engaged and passionate fanbase — write your own adventure is perhaps less potentially damaging.
Even more importantly, these three properties are owned and created by Alloy. They aren’t anyone’s special child, and thus no one is getting butt hurt by opening the doors to unvetted writers.
OTOH, crowd sourcing and sharing and social mucking about is the future. As is self epublishing, Fifty Shades of Grey (which began as Twilight fanfic) changed everything. This is also a way for Amazon/Alloy to find hot new writers without even paying an editor.
Speaking of 50 Shades, what about those slash/yaoi and other naughty pairings so prevalent in fanfic? Well, these will still be APPROVED works so…yeah still a gatekeeper.
But if this is a hit, who knows. Maybe there will be licensed Wonder Woman/Birds of Prey/Stephanie Brown fanfic someday. These characters are also company owned corporate brands. It fits into the spirit of female-driven fandom and wouldn’t seem to tarnish brands that WB/DC isn’t really that interested in to begin with.
Game changer? I agree.
Today, Amazon Publishing announces Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith; and plans to announce more licenses soon. Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.
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%.
Beginning today, interested writers are encouraged to visit Kindle Worlds (www.amazon.com/kindleworlds) to learn more and