Amazon has found another way to rape the casual reader/writer for more money to stuff into their bulging pockets! Don’t believe me, take a look at this press release.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that there is now another way for writers to get paid for their work. Fan fiction is no less of an art form (though the whole of my thoughts in that regard will need a separate post) and the desire to be paid for it is not unusual. Nor should it be considered such. But fan fiction, to my memory, has always been posted to blogs, dedicated sites and forums where it could be enjoyed without lining some massive giant’s pockets.
Following this announcement, all those fan fiction writers wanting to get paid for their work will be able to do so. A measly 35%. And, if you’re really unlucky and writing in that dead bracket between 5,000 and 10,000 words you’ll get 20%.
I used to write fan fiction. I posted it to places like FanFiction.net and FictionPress.net so I could share it with others. That’s all I ever wanted to do because those characters and those worlds, amazing as they were, weren’t mine. I didn’t want to profit from someone else’s hard work and I didn’t think anybody else should. Besides, if I was going to get recognition and pay for something, I wanted it to be my own. I don’t think that’s unusual.
I’m so torn over this new development.
In recent months I’ve become more and more of a cynic and these days all I can see is companies like Amazon, Google and PayPal clutching at the few lose pound notes floating around with superglue on their grubby little fingers. They catch them all and leave nothing behind for the rest of us who actually need to be able to put food in our mouths and roofs over our heads. When we do make a little money, they chase us down, pin us to the floor and steal it like playground bullies.
On the other hand, isn’t it lovely that there are more opportunities springing up to be paid for the hard work that goes into writing?
On the other hand, hasn’t someone (ahem E. L. James) already been paid significant amounts for fan fiction, proving that this is an idea late in coming?
On the other hand why should somebody with no time, desire (skill?) to come up with their own characters and worlds, get paid for ripping off someone else’s?
How many hands do I have, anyway? O.o
Not enough for this post, that much is plain. What do you guys think? Will you be hopping on board the Amazon Express, next stop Kindle Worlds? What do you think about fan fiction anyway? Should somebody be paid for using someone else’s ideas, even if they have been given permission?