The Launch of Kindle Worlds


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?

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About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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38 Responses to The Launch of Kindle Worlds

  1. Sally says:

    I don’t see any problem with being paid for something you’ve written, but I’d like to see the stats on how much of the remaining 65-80% is going to the original creator. I think that if the fan fic writer is getting paid, the original creator should be paid too, and I think that’s what Amazon Worlds will ensure. How much they put in their own pockets will most likely vary, but if one writer says “I want 60% of anything set in my world with my characters” and another says they’d be happy with only 30%, then surely it’s fair to offer the same royalties to fan fic writers, regardless of the stinginess of creators?

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    • I’d not even found time to get twitchy about what the originators are being paid! I’m sure they must get something, or else why on earth would they have given permission?
      I just interested to see how it all plays out. I’ll be keeping an eye on it, that’s for sure.

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  2. ioniamartin says:

    Reblogged this on readful things blog and commented:
    Interesting!

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  3. Joe Owens says:

    I am torn as you are. I see that fan fiction is just an opportunity to copy another’s great idea. I made apost about it, but I think i will take it down now, because I have changed my mind about it.

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  4. ncreadergirl says:

    Not entirely convinced that’s a good idea..I read a lot of Fanfiction (mostly Twilight based as I can relate to the characters) and I have to say some of them shouldn’t get royalties for the work, it’s just not worth the time/effort to read it…it just seems wrong that someone who has basically ripped off another Author’s work should benefit, yes the original author will get some of that money, but it just seems incongruently wrong to me. Maybe I’m alone in this…

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    • Certainly not alone. There are lots of varied opinions out there and I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to give yours. 🙂
      Thanks for coming along!

      You’re right by the way. Quite a bit of fan fiction is drivel which doesn’t deserve attention or time, but some is very, very good. What irks me is that Amazon won’t take time to sift out one from the other. Like some self pubbed work. Some (but not all!) is terrible. Similarly some (but not all) is fantastic. But because everyone pays Amazon the same amount of money, they really don’t care about the quality.

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      • ncreadergirl says:

        And that is very very sad, personally I wouldn’t be willing to pay for Fan Fiction…let alone bad Fan Fiction, and some of it just isn’t worth the time/effort like you said, and I agree Amazon needs to do a far better job of sifting and sorting, otherwise we’re left with paying for crap while the good stuff gets left behind…

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        • Problem is though, Amazon can make money from both good and bad writing. So why would they sift it? Doesn’t mean anything to them… even if it should.

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  5. I love Amazon, but I worry that the company is just getting too big. Also, I don’t understand why they have so little competition from big publishers for self-publishers and even for the other products they sell.

    For instance, I buy Rishi tea and Good Earth tea from Amazon because the price is good and it’s the easiest and fastest way to get it. Ditto coffee carafes (which I break often), food/nutritional supplements, and more stuff all the time.

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    • They are a large and scary beast, aren’t they (Amazon, not coffee carafes or Rishi tea!).

      The problem, as I see it, is that big publishers (The Big Six, though it might be five now… or even four!) are still behind the times. Amazon was quick to realise how fast the publishing world is changing and raced ahead while everyone else was sitting on their thumbs. Now they have a massive lead and everyone else is eating a lot of road dust while trying to catch up.

      Plus, the way Kindle has been launched and marketed, it ties in perfectly with how they sell books. So it just snowballs into a big, scary ball of unstoppableness.

      I got a Kindle a few Christmases ago and have to use Amazon to put anything on it, because the damn thing only reads .mobi files. They’ve created a tidy little monopoly for themselves and now they’re just watching it grow.

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  6. katemsparkes says:

    I don’t have a problem with people writing fanfiction, if they’re into that. I don’t get it, but I understand that people want to play with characters and worlds they love, whatever. I don’t think they should be able to make money off of it. I guess if the original creator (or in this case the corporation that owns the properties) says it’s OK… Well, I won’t be buying it, but again, whatever. As long as people aren’t trying to make money off of fanfiction (or by writing fanfiction, changing a few details so they can’t get sued, and publishing, which absolutely disgusts me), I won’t say anything against it. I do wonder why people would pay for it, though, and what the consequences will be for people posting work on free sites that directly compete with this one.

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    • Crickey, I’d not thought of that either! Thanks for coming over and commenting, Kate, pleased to have you here. 🙂

      Times like this I wish I had a crystal ball. I’d love to see into the future of this new leg of Amazon because I can’t even begin to project which way it will go.

      All those other sites, free to join, free to run, may find that they run dry after regular posters realise that they can get paid for what they do.
      Who doesn’t want to get money after all? Especially for something they love. Fan fiction is a labour of love, respect and adoration for some. But should they?
      Waaah, I wish I could decide!

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      • katemsparkes says:

        They might run dry, but I think the fact that Kindle won’t allow smut or crossover fiction will keep them well-supplied. 🙂 My concern if I were them would be getting sued by the people who own the properties and could now be making money off of it.

        Let me know if you find that crystal ball, will you? I have a LOT of questions about where publishing is headed!

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        • *snerk* Yeah, all those poor writers of yaoi, slash and yuri (hey wait, that’s me!) will have to go on posting on free sites!

          It would be awful if someone got sued over this. No one is going to sue a poor little nobody posting on a free site catering to a specific taste. But put your work on Amazon, start making buckets of cash and get groped by a publisher looking to take advantage…? Yeah… I can see a law suit there.

          Or we’ll just end up with tonnes of story clones, where enough detail is changed to get away with it being ‘a story in it’s own right.’

          *tries desperately to lay off my usual Twilight vs 50 Shades of Grey rant*

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        • katemsparkes says:

          Don’t even get me started. -_-

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  7. MissTiffany says:

    This is crazy…and sounds like lawsuits waiting to happen. What’s wrong with sticking to the tried and true methods of posting fan fiction? Those kinds of stories aren’t meant for profit, they’re meant to show a fan’s appreciation for characters and worlds they love and to share that with like-minded people. I’m not sure I like the idea of people getting paid to write it.

    P.S. I would love to read your thoughts about fan fiction, should you decide to write that post.

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    • And yet shouldn’t a writer expect a little recompense for their hard work?
      *looks at hands*
      Bah, I’m still undecided and, on the one hand (haha!) since I stopped writing fan fiction a while ago it shouldn’t be an issue for me. On the other hand (oh dear!) if I could get paid for it, shouldn’t I give it a go, since I don’t have any sort of income right now… and I need some…!

      Hmm. I think I will write that post at some point, Tiffany. It’s another can of worms that deserves to be cracked open and examined.

      Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation! ^_^

      Like

      • MissTiffany says:

        I know! It really is a dilemma. I know a lot of writers put a lot of work into creating their fan fictions, and it really shows. So it would be nice to get paid for that. And technically new writers get pulled in all the time to work on TV shows and comics and such…I think it depends on how they do it. Are they going to require writers to get their work edited before it’s published? Because I don’t know about you, but I’ve read some fan fiction in dire need of revising! I’d hate for Amazon to fall into a black hole of bad grammar and poor plots.

        I would definitely read that! I have been thinking for quite a while now about writing a post on fan fiction, since I have written it too, I just need to properly organize my thoughts first.

        You’re welcome, thanks for sharing!

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        • Wouldn’t it be nice if an edit was required? But from some of the pieces I’ve read in the past, it’s just not a prerequisite. I wish it were, but no… 😦

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        • MissTiffany says:

          Oh absolutely. Though I was reading more into it and it appears authors wil have to submit their work for review before it’s published…so there will be some censoring and editing, I assume.

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        • Oh thank goodness! That’s more than anything else gets, which is a start. 🙂

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  8. pagesagemage says:

    Ya, I had a lot of mixed feelings when I heard about this too, I agree with your pros and cons and I’m still not sure where I sit overall on the issue

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    • I’m glad I’m not the only one. 🙂 Part of me feels like I should know what’s going on it my head but the rest acknowledges that this area is just full of shades of grey.
      …ugh… I can’t even say that any more without thinking of that awful trilogy. 😦

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  9. My main concern would be making sure that all of the fan fiction writers actually have permission.

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    • So far there are a selection of approved titles and ‘worlds’ but beyond that unless Amazon has a way of regulating things (which I doubt) there’s nothing to stop anybody posting anything and just hoping they don’t get sued.

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      • That’s disturbing. Now people are going to have to check the site on a regular basis to make sure their work isn’t being used without permission. -_-

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        • Eyup. And if someone does find their work being used in this way, what measures does Amazon have in place to protect them? Any at all? o.O

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        • I guess that for now only three television series can be written for in this program. So I guess Amazon and the copyright holder agree to it ahead of time. The rights, including any new content, belong to the copyright owner and Amazon. There are also certain guidelines that have to be followed. I’m hoping that if someone tries to post something else it will just be removed.

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        • That’s what I’m hoping. If they don’t monitor it seriously (and way better than they do the rest of the Kindle stuff) the idea won’t last long. I know it’s only a pilot, but I’m sure they’ll want to keep making money from it, so they’ll do it properly.

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  10. I really don’t like this idea. I love Fanfiction, it’s where I really found my love of writing and managed to improve it before I moved onto creating my own worlds and characters. But I don’t think it’s something to be paid for. There’s no originality, and there is some massively crap fanfiction out there. It largely outweighs the good stuff, but people still read it (based on my experiences on FF.net), even if it’s some sort of Mary Sue that’s a blatant stand in for the author and very badly written. I think the biggest worry is that if this takes off, it’s going to mean some very bad writers getting paid for something that many of us actually struggle with. But maybe I’ll be proved wrong, and maybe (hopefully) it’ll encourage good writers to expand more and maybe move towards their own original works. Who knows!

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