Jul 16, 2013

So, I can now get paid for writing Fanfiction

(I'm a little late on commenting on this, as the venture was launched during the end of June)

I've mentioned it before, I write fanfiction. It's where I busted my writing chops and learned a lot. It's been something I do because I love the worlds and characters of other authors so much I didn't quite want to leave behind.  Fanfiction, and other derivative works, keeps my love for things I have enjoyed reading (or watching) alive for more than the time I spend with the original work.  It's always, always been an act of love and fun.  (And fair use.)

And now, I can do it for profit? Through Amazon's new Kindle Worlds?

At first it sounded like a dream come true, but I'm not really sure.

For one, it's super selective as far as fandoms goes.  And it sounds like the program only accepts really well written fanfiction (which is nice for readers) but doesn't really help those writing for love.  And what has always been part of fanfiction is the community - authors and readers regularly communication and work together, are inspired by others' works and give credit.  And one of the joy's I've had is watching authors develop as writers.  There is no connection with Amazon's new venture. So what's the difference between watching a movie and then reading an official prequel to it, like Ghosts of Yesterday?

Granted, I'm happy license holders seem to be more accepting of fanfiction now. It does propel the popularity of a fandom (crossovers have made me more interested in shows than I would have been otherwise) and doesn't deserve the negative rep so many people give.  (Yes, some is badly written, but so are many free Kindle books and yes, there is a lot of sex, but you can find the same in romance novels and really in some of those is sex is just so bland).  This is away to allow shows/movies/whatever to expand their audience and maybe (hopefully) interact better with their fans.  It allows worlds to develop, officially and not just in the minds of fans. And it certainly will encourage reading.   From a marketing perspective, I think it's genius and the fact that Gossip Girls is okay with fanfiction makes me more inclined to pick up a book and start reading.

Of course, some fans just see it as a way to make more money, and at the expense of others' works of love. Fanfiction has never been about money, and to monetize it seems to go against the core of it.  Fanlib tried to do it before. And failed. Maybe Amazon will be better working with fans, maybe it won't. Time will see. 

Will I sign up? Probably not.  None of the fandoms (or worlds as Amazon is calling them) available are what I have dabbled in. And I will always see fanfiction as a place to grow, trying new genres and structures, character types and writing styles.  Something polished, like Amazon would publish, I feel like should be original fiction that I put out there.

At least at this point.  If things start changing and Transformers becomes and option, we'll see what happens.

Thoughts from you guys?


  1. Hi Gwen .. it seems to be me all new things need to bed in - and we need to see what others think before we jump in the deep in where we might be swallowed up ..

    One day I shall have to look at all the options for now - I'm glad I can skirt the edges looking over!

    Cheers Hilary

    1. That's true, everything needs time to be adjusted to and have the bugs worked out. Which is why I'll never be standing in line for a brand new Apple product ^_~

  2. I've never written or read fanfiction, but I know it's not just about the writing but the community. I have reservations over how much Amazon are trying to control at the moment.

    1. Amazon does seem like it's been interested in grabbing power lately. Heard anything about what their plans for Goodreads are?

  3. I've never written fanfiction, but I have read some Harry Potter stuff that I thought was cool!

    That's too bad that they don't have the fandoms that you're really interested in. Kind of defeats the purpose, eh?

    1. There is talk of expanding, but like I said, not quite to sure what to think about this yet. I'm just glad that this seems to be a step in the right direction of removing the negative stereotype from fanfiction.