The Word: Amazon is now in the fanfiction business

 Blake Lively at the 'Gossip Girl' press conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Credit: Getty Images
“Gossip Girl,” which starred Blake Lively, is one of the franchises partnering with Amazon to publish fanfiction.
Credit: Getty Images

Whoa, this sounds like a game changer: Amazon Publishing announced Wednesday that it will soon debut Kindle Worlds, the first commercial platform designed for officially sanctioned fanfiction, according to Deadline. Fanfiction writers can not only publish their work on Kindle Worlds; they can earn royalties for doing so.

Here’s how Kindle Worlds will work: Rights holders will license their content to the platform. They’ve already got Alloy Entertainment’s “Gossip Girl,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “The Vampire Diaries” books signed on, and they expect to announce more soon. When a writer puts their fiction on Amazon’s platform, every sale generates royalties for both the author and the holder of the rights for the original content.

It’s not surprising to hear that someone’s trying to aggressively monetize fanfiction: Last year’s megahit book series, the erotic trilogy “50 Shades of Grey,” was originally written as “Twilight”-inspired fanfiction. But will writers be able to release control of their creations from their inkstained little hands? At least some seem willing to embrace it.

“I loved writing the characters in this world, the dynamics of the friendship between the four girls as they deal with life-threatening situations,” says “Pretty Little Liars” writer Barbara Freethy. “I also really enjoy the ongoing mysteries and surprising twists that always keep the reader guessing. It’s great that Amazon Publishing has given those who put passion into fanfiction the opportunity to commercialize this work.”


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