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Old 05-22-2013, 11:06 AM   #1
John Carroll
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Amazon publishing fan fic

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix....219&highlight=

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Today, Amazon Publishing announces Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so. Amazon Publishing has 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 Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith; and plans to announce more licenses soon. Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.

Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both the rights holders of the Worlds and the author. The standard author’s royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of sales price—rather than the lower, industry standard of wholesale price—and royalties will be paid monthly.
This, in my opinion, is a semi-brilliant idea. I know so many people who write fan fic. Although, it does say 'authorized stories'. I don't think it's enough.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:19 AM   #2
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http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix....219&highlight=



This, in my opinion, is a semi-brilliant idea. I know so many people who write fan fic. Although, it does say 'authorized stories'. I don't think it's enough.
Semi-brilliant, I agree. Although I expect 'authorized stories' will have to be enough. The copyrights holders have to protect the value of their property. They cannot be having their OK attached to a use of their characters and trademarks that trashes their interests or that would rouse a boycott by their core audience.

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Old 05-22-2013, 12:08 PM   #3
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"Authorized stories" means they can weed out the pure crap and the amateur porn. Otherwise this would drown in dreck.

I'm guessing they're trying to find the next 50 Shades of Gray (which started out as Twilight fanfic).
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:33 PM   #4
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Perhaps semi-brilliant will be bumped up to brilliant as time goes on. Keep in mind that it's hard to keep give up control of a franchise, and having success on this project may open the doors a little wider. That will benefit almost everyone involved.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:43 PM   #5
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Cool Amazon publishing fan fic

The last week of March I posted this and the next week I posted this! I guess that Amazon may have been testing...and/or maybe an oops?!?

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Old 05-22-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
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Hm. This seems like essentially a self-published tie-in program. I'm not at all sure it will work, although they've chosen their trial fandoms reasonably well. A lot will depend on the scope. If it's just a way to find good tie-in novels for cheap, that could be successful. If they want to become a fan space in their own right, I can see many problems.

Fandoms have usually defined themselves as exploring narratives that authors won't or can't, and publishing tie-in works won't play into that narrative. Fanfic writers already have several places that they can publish to for free, lots of electronic and physical third spaces to meet and collaborate, etc. AO3 is growing daily and a wonderful place to find and publish fic, including downloading every fic in epub and mobi.

How are they going to handle the illiterate hordes who want to write and publish a fanfic? The quality issues with fanfic are huge. I don't think Amazon has the infrastructure for the discovery methods fans are familiar with, although that could change.

How will they handle well-known authors wanting to publish through them though? Will they ask that all the author's free works be taken down? All the free works in the specific fandom? I know that's happened with fanfic authors who decided to go pro before.

And I'm curious to see how Amazon will adapt to fandom terminology. Going to need more specific filtering and searching for this.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
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There are restrictions in place though.
  • Pornography: We don’t accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.
  • Offensive Content: We don’t accept offensive content, including but not limited to racial slurs, excessively graphic or violent material, or excessive use of foul language.
  • Crossover: No crossovers from other Worlds are permitted, meaning your work may not include elements of any copyright-protected book, movie, or other property outside of the elements of this World.

So I can have Harry Potter team up with my super hero but I can have him team up with Batman.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:37 PM   #8
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But if they outlaw porn, how will they find the next 50 Shades of Gray?
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:12 PM   #9
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I can see this going over like a lead balloon in the fandom circles I'm familiar with. Again, TPTB simply do not get it: creating "officially approved" (a.k.a. controlled and Disney-fied) fanfic -- and art -- is simply NOT what we're about.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:21 PM   #10
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It's a very small step in the right direction, but the restrictions and licensing terms stink.

But it's still, if ever so over-trepidatious, treading new ground – and hats off for that to Amazon!

I've read many a marvellous fanfiction where I longed to pay the author for it. Many ones better and even more original, creative and entertaining than the "original work".

Ultimately, copyright law must evolve and create a way for fanfiction authors to make money without approval or censorship by the corporations and creators controlling the IP of the original. Some kind of compulsory mechanical licensing scheme. And the classical "I don't own any of this" disclaimer at the start of fanfiction chapters will just change to one stating that "this work is, while compulsorily licensed, in no way endorsed by the original IP owner and they cannot be held liable for it".

Last edited by Dylan Tomorrow; 05-22-2013 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 05-22-2013, 03:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Tomorrow View Post

Ultimately, copyright law must evolve and create a way for fanfiction authors to make money without approval or censorship by the corporations and creators controlling the IP of the original.
Why? Let them have their own original ideas. They don't have some divine right to make money off someone else's work.

What I think we DO need is for copyright to EXPIRE in a reasonable time, like was originally intended, and THEN fanfic writers, and society as a whole, can profit from all of it!

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Old 05-22-2013, 03:57 PM   #12
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I'm not much into the realm of fanfic, but this seems like an intriguing way for up & coming writers to get paid (legally) for writing something they love, for brands that can't support a full-on publishing program to live or live again, and for the rights owners to make some money while giving fans what they want. It could also see the emergence of more pro fan fiction (a la Steven Brust's Firefly story).

I especially like the potential for smaller fan segments to get a chance at a bigger pool of attention. Sure, there's loads of quality fanfic out there if you know where to look, but Amazon gives it a whole different level of attention in the general reading public's eye. Would love to see stories for Firefly, Babylon 5, Smallville, Quantum Leap, etc.

Not sure if I agree with Dylan on the idea of a compulsory mechanical license. That seems overstepping of bounds, especially if rights holders have an active publishing program. If you can legally get paid for it, where is the line between fanfic and pro-fic? (Arguments of "quality" aside.) Under a compulsory license scheme, what would prevent Marvel from making money off of publishing a Superman comic?

Still, it should be interesting to see who they get on the rights holder side to go for this, other than the handful of teen series mentioned.
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Tomorrow View Post
It's a very small step in the right direction, but the restrictions and licensing terms stink.

But it's still, if ever so over-trepidatious, treading new ground – and hats off for that to Amazon!

I've read many a marvellous fanfiction where I longed to pay the author for it. Many ones better and even more original, creative and entertaining than the "original work".

Ultimately, copyright law must evolve and create a way for fanfiction authors to make money without approval or censorship by the corporations and creators controlling the IP of the original. Some kind of compulsory mechanical licensing scheme. And the classical "I don't own any of this" disclaimer at the start of fanfiction chapters will just change to one stating that "this work is, while compulsorily licensed, in no way endorsed by the original IP owner and they cannot be held liable for it".
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Why? Let them have their own original ideas. They don't have some divine right to make money off someone else's work.

What I think we DO need is for copyright to EXPIRE in a reasonable time, like was originally intended, and THEN fanfic writers, and society as a whole, can profit from all of it!

ApK
I know many writers in several fandoms who are simply not interested in being published professionally, or being paid for their writing. Why is it so difficult to accept the idea that not everyone writes for a living, but for fun, as a hobby? Is it because writing is hard work? I paint. That too is hard work. Should I stop because of it? Should I leave academia to become a professional artist? No; I will continue to paint in spite of it being difficult and in spite of spending money on art supplies and not earning anything on it.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by citac View Post
I know many writers in several fandoms who are simply not interested in being published professionally, or being paid for their writing. Why is it so difficult to accept the idea that not everyone writes for a living, but for fun, as a hobby? Is it because writing is hard work? I paint. That too is hard work. Should I stop because of it? Should I leave academia to become a professional artist? No; I will continue to paint in spite of it being difficult and in spite of spending money on art supplies and not earning anything on it.
If you quoted my post because of my reference to 'society profiting from it', then understand I didn't not mean only monetarily (though fanfic writers would indeed have that opportunity after copyright has expired).
I mean society would profit in the sense of benefiting from the advancement in arts, science, philosophy, culture, learning, etc which is exactly what copyright protection was meant to encourage.

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Old 05-24-2013, 09:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApK View Post
If you quoted my post because of my reference to 'society profiting from it', then understand I didn't not mean only monetarily (though fanfic writers would indeed have that opportunity after copyright has expired).
I mean society would profit in the sense of benefiting from the advancement in arts, science, philosophy, culture, learning, etc which is exactly what copyright protection was meant to encourage.

ApK
I actually quoted you because of the comment that they don't have a divine right to make money off of someone elses work (I agree, and so do most fanfic writers, though mere existence of 50 Shades of Grey says not all of them do and think they should indeed profit from it), and because you said they should have their own original ideas. I suppose you meant that should include original characters as well.

But you see, I am (mostly) not interested in original characters in reading fanfiction. I get plenty of that in my other fiction. But I disagree they don't have original ideas in fanfiction. Lets see... Tony Stark, we all know him, yes? So he gets shrapnel in his chest, and a guy operates on him in the desert so that a heavy duty magnet keeps the shrapnel from his heart. He gets found and has the crude device replsced by a high tech shiny gadget. He walks off the plane on his own two feet. Later in the film Pepper sticks her arm how deep in his chest?? Now I don't know about you, but I want to know what the bloody hell happened for him to be able to function after what seems like a very short time in the film for an aftermath of such serious injury. And where the hell is his sternum and lungs if someone's arm can fit that deep into his chest. I don't remember this being addressed in any official source, so I go looking, and it turns out a fanfiction writer did. .

Or, to stick to the Avengers MCU: Loki is a very polarizing character right now. People are complaning about him being woobified, or excusing his behavior when he's just plain evil, see? But as pointed out by several Scandinavian fanfiction writers, that is simply Marvel's take on the villain stemming from what are heavily Christianized texts. As noted by one of them, sin and the devil as instigator of sin are ideas rooted in Middle eastern religions; such concepts were unknown in pre-Christian Europe. Myth Loki was a force of nature, of chaos, and chaos isn't evil - you cannot hate tornadoes and earthquakes no matter how much death and destruction they leave in their wake. So people explore what would happen if there was an actual breathing personification of chaos with thought processes completely alien to how we think and feel.

And people sometimes just want to write about G.I. Joe and Barbie having the hots fir each other after a chance meeting and acting on it.

(Sorry for the wall of text; I just have very strong feelings about this issue of "everything you write must be original!!1!" Actually it doesn't - not even Shakespeare was all original all the time. Numerous sequels and prequels also show that there's a demand for "But what happened before?" and "What will happen next?" and "But what if X was Y instead?" within a specific universe to justify their current production.)
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