Kindle Worlds (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1001197421) is a new publishing platform recently rolled out by Amazon which allows you to write fan-fiction for licensed shows, and get paid for it. This is substantially different from writing your own original piece, and like many new opportunities for writers, will probably change and adapt to the publishing landscape over time. Should you consider writing for Kindle Worlds?
Writing for Kindle Worlds is a completely new experience because instead of making your own fiction, you are borrowing from another show. There are currently only three listed shows (Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars), but the list is expected to grow. The success of this new platform will really depend on the number, quality, and popularity of shows available, so Amazon expanding this platform will be key to its success.
Pro: Less Competition
One big thing to consider is that fewer writers are participating in this type of writing, which means that there’s a higher chance of someone buying your story or novel (yes, you can write a novel sized fan-fiction if you want). Your work will also be listed in this special category, which will make it much easier to find.
If you like any of the available shows, then this gives you a great opportunity to make some money.
Con: Lowered Revenue
You will make less money per purchase because the revenue split is different. Instead of 35 or 70 percent, you will make either 20 or 35 percent depending on the size of your work. While the extra money will be used to pay for the licensing and most of the content will be priced higher than original pieces, this is still a disadvantage.
Pro: New Opportunities
Writers tend to get stuck in their own box. They love other characters, but they tend to write their own and they sometimes have a hard time thinking of new ones. Writing about another character and staying faithful to that show’s world and characters can be difficult, but it’s also a new experience that can help you come up with new characters, settings and events with your own fiction.
If you are feeling stuck in a rut or want to write something completely different, then try out Kindle Worlds.
Con: Content Guidelines
You are given creative freedom, but you aren’t given free reign over these stories. There are specific content guidelines for each show, and overall guidelines for Kindle Worlds. For example, you cannot write offensive or pornographic material. You also must respect trademarks and copyrights when writing these pieces.
It isn’t as free as writing your own piece. However, if you don’t normally write pieces with offensive, objectionable or controversial material, then the content guidelines probably won’t bother you.
Pro: Group Project
You can think of Kindle Worlds as a group project because you can build off each other’s ideas. For example, if you like what one person is doing, then you can piggyback off that idea (not steal it) by using certain elements, but adding your own to make it original.
At the same time, other writers might do the same to you, which can be good because it shows that they respect your work.
The copyright doesn’t entirely belong to you, which might be a problem if you like owning everything that you write. You will own certain sections, but others will belong to Amazon or the show. For example, the show keeps the rights to any characters, referenced events from the show or anything that comes from the source material.
You can keep the copyright on original characters and scenes, but you still have to split the copyright.
Kindle Worlds is an expanding opportunity for writers to make more money by doing something fun and unique. Many writers create fan-fiction, but few have the opportunity to get paid for it. This is the first chance to legally allow you to make money by writing about your favorite shows. While there are some downsides, it can be a fun way to explore your creative side and connect with others in the world of fan-fiction.
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