Club Jade clued us in this morning to Amazon’s new plan to pay fanfic authors to publish their works via Kindle. Introducing Kindle Worlds, which is getting around the fuzzy legal grey area of fanfiction by officially licensing these Worlds, and the first to sign on has been Warner Brothers’ affiliated Alloy Entertainment, who owns the license for Pretty Little Liars, Vampire Diaries, and Gossip Girl.
On the surface, this looks great. Star Trek has been doing this for a long time–anyone who has ever submitted a story to one of the Strange New Worlds anthologies has certainly been aware of what has been, in the past, a relatively willing openness to fan work, and many fan writers have broken into professional publishing through writing for these anthologies. It also seems like a way for fans to get generally professionally curated (?) writing for their favorite universes at a reasonable price.
But there is, I fear, a dark side to all the bright, shiny, happy togetherness Amazon is toting. Continue reading