From Amazon’s Media Room:
The Kindle Worlds Store and Self-Service Submission Platform are now open. Customers can enjoy works from dozens of authors including Barbara Freethy (writing in Pretty Little Liars), Charles Sasser (Foreworld Saga) and Anita Clenney (The Vampire Diaries). Kindle World’s Self-Service Submission Platform enables any writer to publish fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so. To browse the store and learn more about Kindle Worlds, visit www.amazon.com/kindleworlds.
Kindle Worlds is a new publishing model that allows any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store, and earn up to a 35% royalty while doing so. Kindle Worlds stories will typically be priced between $0.99 and $3.99 and will be exclusive to Kindle. To learn more and get started writing, visit kindleworlds.amazon.com.
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“It’s actually a gift to be able to take someone else’s creation and see whether you can take it in a new direction. Watch every show; read every comic book. Honor the canon and honor the fans. There is a reason these stories have become so popular. And don’t feel restricted by the universe that has already been created. It reminds me a bit of writing a haiku or a sonnet. There are rules that must be followed, but within those rules, you can go anywhere. Your imagination is the only limit.” —Carolyn Nash, writer in Archer & Armstrong
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“Today, we launch the Kindle Worlds Store and the platform that will enable any writer to benefit from writing in one of the Worlds we’ve licensed,” said Philip Patrick, Director, Business Development and Publisher of Kindle Worlds. “We look forward to hearing feedback from readers and writers, and hope to learn and improve as time goes on.”
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Amazon Publishing has already 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 The Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith
- Valiant Entertainment for Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger and Shadowman
- Best-selling authors Hugh Howey for Silo Saga, Barry Eisler for his John Rain novels, Blake Crouch for his Wayward Pines Series, and the Foreworld Saga by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo and more
Link to the rest at Amazon Media Room
This is basically author-approved and Amazon-published fanfic. Both the author of the original book/series and the fanfic authors get paid when a fanfic book is sold.
There are some interesting copyright and rights issued involved in pulling this off. You’ll see how Amazon has handled some of those in the Kindle Worlds Publishing Agreement that governs fanfic authors. As with all contracts, it is important that prospective fanfic authors read the contract carefully to understand their rights and obligations before jumping in.
Indie authors will note the 35% royalty rate for ebooks of more than 10,000 words and 20% on shorter ebooks. On the other hand, sales of fanfic books will receive marketing benefits from the familiarity readers have with the original books.
As you’ll see at www.amazon.com/kindleworlds, fanfic short stories and novellas are offered, so a prospective fanfic author can dip a toe in the water without committing to a novel. Amazon calls the original works the “Canon” and the fanfic pieces are part of “Kindle Worlds.”
UPDATE: For a little clarification on the fanfic publishing agreement, this is not the same as the Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions that indie authors are accustomed to.
As one example, under the KDP terms, an author can withdraw some or all of his/her books from Amazon at any time. If an indie author wants to enter into a traditional publishing agreement, this is very important.
Under the new fanfic agreement – Paragraph 4.(a) – once Amazon releases the fanfic work, it has an irrevocable license to that work for the full term of the copyright (the rest of the author’s life plus 70 years in the US and a similar period of time in other countries). In Paragraph 4.(b), the author gives Amazon very broad rights to make derivative works based on the author’s work with no additional royalty payments. There are no out-of-print or reversion rights the author can exercise.
In these and some other respects, the fanfic agreement is similar to some traditional publishing contracts.