Yesterday morning, news broke that Amazon had just kicked off what they are calling Kindle Worlds.
“New stories inspired by books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games people love.”
So, uh, you mean fanfiction, right, Jeff?
As I understand it, Amazon has licensed certain characters and shows so that they can be written about…and sold.
People can now earn royalties on their DamonXStefan slash fic*. I’m not sure how I feel about this.
Here’s the thing, I love fanfiction. I think it’s often a great supplement to the original work. It’s a great way to gain camaraderie in a fandom, to see the trends of what is and isn’t popular. And it’s a way to get what you want while still respecting canon.
And there is good fanfiction. Wide Sargasso Sea is a wonderful book. It is also total fanfiction. It’s Jane Eyre, but from Bertha’s perspective. And it’s awesome. And in 2006, the Pulitzer prize winner for fiction was a novel called March. Which is, as you may have guessed, Little Women from Mr. March’s POV.
So why is it that this Amazon promise of royalties puts such a pit in my stomach? Is it the self-publishing aspect? Or is it that these are currently running series and books? Or… is it that a lot of Fanfiction is poorly written and usually just an excuse for fan service?
Amazon’s already said no pr0n, so the denizens of AFF.net are fairly displeased. And as many on Twitter have attested, Fanfiction is already free. Why in the world would people want to pay for it? Does Amazon think it can monetize everything? (… Probably.)
Here’s a rundown of reactions on Twitter. They seem to me largely negative, but among all the HAVE YOU EVEN READ FANFICTION, AMAZON? tweets, there were some who were pretty excited about the prospect of getting paid for what they love to do.
Twitter responds to Kindle Worlds
*Please don’t do this. They’re brothers.
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