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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Amazon's Kindle World- paying for fanfiction?

Has Amazon gone too far? I think their self-publishing platform is great, but now they are delving into the world of fan fiction. I understand that Fifty Shades of Grey has garnered a lot of attention but, honestly, if that's the material that Kindle Worlds will be churning out, my trust in them will plummet. What ever happened to people wanting to produce quality products?

Right now it seems that the copyright licensing is in the hands of the original authors and any companies they sell it to. So, ultimately the original authors still have the right to say whether or not Amazon may create a 'Kindle World' around their fan fiction. I've never been comfortable about the idea of someone taking my work and making fan-fiction out of it. I've read too many fan stories that totally pervert the characters so that the writers can fulfill their personal fantasies with them, but if the other authors are okay with it then there's no problem.

The only problems I do see with this is the amount of low quality works that will be turned into products, unless they implement some sort of gate keeping. Also, this deal seems to fall more in Amazon and the copyright holder's favor than the fan fiction authors. I would read the contract very carefully before jumping on board.

Fan fiction is built upon sharing work with fellow fans, but I could see how many of them would leap at the chance of being paid. I hope that more writers will put their creative energies into developing their own characters and worlds. Don't get me wrong, some fan writers are have insane talent and have entertained me, and I would understand how this would help them start a name for themselves, but honestly, this seems to be a money hungry scheme.

What are your opinions?


  1. Interesting, BH.
    I've always viewed authors of fanfic as juvenile; as having no real imagination. Perhaps, as I read back through your post concerning talent, I'm wrong. But for the life of me I wouldn't ever consider using, say Pi Partel as a character in a book/story. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. That is one thing, and for an author starting out, it is often the case. But fanfic seems more like Trekkies gathered at a convention, lol.

    1. What you said about imitation is absolutely true and most of the fan fiction out there is total nonsense, nothing worth publishing. I think Amazon is hoping for those few shining gems to put their work on Kindle Worlds to squeeze whatever they can from the devoted followers. We'll see how it goes after they launch.