Discussion Amazon Kindle worlds, Licensed paid Fanfic

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by newdawn12, May 22, 2013.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. newdawn12 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2013
    star 4
    What's your opinion on this development?

    Do you think Lucasfilm and Disney, would take advantage of this?
  2. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Ummmm Link? Information?
  3. newdawn12 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2013
    star 4
  4. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    Sourced directly from Amazon

    I'm honestly not sure yet what to think of this, but it doesn't really affect Star Wars unless Disney/Lucasfilm decide to participate. And I can see that going either way, really... both Lucasfilm and The Mouse tend to be very proprietary, but, on the other hand, you'd be amazed how quickly The Mouse can move when it sees dollar signs. If they can profit off the work of their fans, it wouldn't surprise me terribly if they decided to go for it.

    I'm not sure I think this is a good idea, for fanfic in general, but seeing the success of fanfic-turned-"original" a la Fifty Shades of Grey, it doesn't surprise me that companies are looking to skip the middle step entirely and just profit off fanfic directly.
  5. mavjade It's so Fluffy Fanfic & New Movies Manager

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    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    Wow... yeah.

    I don't think I'm a fan of this idea. Who governs what gets on there and what doesn't? I've read some pretty bad fanfic that I'd be really angry that I paid for, even $0.99. I've also read some that I'd be happy to pay for, but I doubt I'd be willing to front the money first. I also think it opens this up to people trying to sell their fanfic when they don't have a license with whoever owns it and that's bad for all of us if it becomes a problem. I'm sure all of us want to make money from our writing, but I don't think this is really the way to go about it. I see fanfic as by the fans for the fans, not something to make money.

    But who knows, when they get it up and running, it may be awesome, but I'm skeptical.
    benknobi1 likes this.
  6. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    It makes me wish I was a better writer. I wouldn't mind making some extra money. I bet there would be some sort of rating system so people don't buy bad fiction. I would also hope that the writing would have to be of some quality to be put up for sale in the first place.
    Last edited by Jedi_Lover, May 22, 2013
  7. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Whoa. o_O I don't know what to think, good or bad, though this does sound like the sort of thing that amazon would come up with.

    There will be a lot of bugs to work out in this kind of thing. Rating system? Will works be edited? Will the rights holder have approval of what goes into the Kindle store? Plenty of wonderful works have inspired many pages of bad fan-fiction. Some rights holders might be worried about getting a bad reputation if too much of the Kindle fanfict is not satisfying the readers and a lot of bad reviews are posted. And who gets paid if a fanfic is written about a SW book? Does the book writer get a cut, too, along with Lucasfilm/Disney and the fanfic writer? Will the fanfic writer have to delete all the free fanfic that they have already posted, even if it is not accepted for the Kindle store? Will they even be allowed to post any free fanfic, 'cause who would want to pay if you can just get it for free? And if some stuff has been online for a few years, will that be allowed in the Kindle store even if lots of people have already copied and saved it for themselves? Yeah, things could get complicated fast.

    Oooooooooh, yeah, there are a lot of bugs to work out. I would expect Lucasfilm/Disney to take a 'wait and see' attitude on this, though they might already be sharpening up their lawyers if things go sour.

    It sounds like the original copyright owners will be compensated, but only if they give permission -- if they don't give permission and Amazon uses their stuff I would expect big lawsuits.

    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.

    I suppose 'Fifty Shades of Gray' might have inspired this. I've heard a lot of reviewers say it's bad (I haven't read it - I'm not into Twilight) but that did not stop it from making a lot of money.

    Last edited by ardavenport, May 22, 2013
  8. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I'm on the fence about this. On one hand, it would allow authors to reach a wider audience, and (hopefully) to better their skills as a writer. After all, who would want to pay for and read something that looks like it was written by a second-grade gorilla wearing oven mitts? On the other hand, it could also very well backfire as due to the ease of accessibility and just the very notion of having their work "published" would prompt writers to churn out utter garbage as fast as they can because it's a way to make a quick credit. It may also further tarnish the reputation of fanfic writers.

    If Lucasfilm was on board with this, I would consider cracking down and rewriting my fanfics so that they can grace an eBook reader. I'd rewrite bad plot threads, excise needless scenes, redo other scenes, copy-edit it to hell and back again before I'd ever, EVER put it up for review. I don't want the paying public to see my terrible writing! I'd polish that poop nicely, first.
    Last edited by TrakNar, May 23, 2013
    Valairy Scot and Lady_Misty like this.
  9. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    I have seen and written some fan fics that pretty bad. 99% of the bad stuff I have written I have deleted from the Internet and will never see the light if day like it is.

    Some of fics that I have seen are bad plain and simple. The author has Star Wars characters wearing t-shirts, jeans and sneakers. As far as I know boots are the footwear of choice for most beings that live there, they apparently wear tunics and the only character that I have seen wearing pants/trousers/leggings that could have been jeans is Leia on Endor.

    If a fan that I know and love their work published there I might not hesitate to fork over .99 to have it. Two of them post here and the other one posts in ff.net.


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    "The Starman and Moon Goddess."
  10. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    I want to shake people who buy these fanfics and say "YOU CAN GET FIC FOR FREE ON THE INTERNET!!!"

    I really don't like the idea of making money off fanfic. It strikes me as completely against the point of the endeavor. Club Jade said it more eloquently than I, as did Emily on the Tosche Station blog.

    Edit: Also, Scalzi offers some thoughts.
    Last edited by JediMara77, May 23, 2013
  11. amidalachick Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    star 5
    I don't like the idea of paid fanfic. Fanfic, to me, should be something that's fun and done out of love for the characters/fandoms. Getting money, commercialism, and legalities involved just doesn't seem right.
  12. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    I wonder if this is amazon's attempt to stick their toes into online publishing? Whatever they're up to, the pay aspect will have an effect on free fanfic. I just don't know what it would be.
  13. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    I'm going to go against the grain here: I fully support this idea.

    If my understanding from the Amazon.com statement is correct then what is happening is that a select number of properties (currently a small number in a very particular demographic niche) have essentially chosen to issue specialized profit-sharing licenses, offering the rights to their worlds in turn for a percentage return. The Star Wars equivalent would be LucasBooks saying they will now accept and publish all submissions in return for a cut, Amazon is simply the only entity with the capability to make this happen logistically.

    This is not so new as it seems: WotC beat Amazon to the punch almost a decade ago with the Open Gaming License which functioned in a similar way (though WotC didn't take any cut and allowed third party publishers to handle the logistics). The OGL was hugely successful, enough that WotC got out-competed by the creation it had unleashed and tried (futilely) to put the genie back in the bottle.

    Besides, it's always been possible to make money on 'fan-fiction' provided the world in question came into being before oh ~1920. Rescinding your copyright while still grabbing a handful of cash from the ingenuity of others is a different way to monetize a fictional world, potentially long after the original stories have faded.

    Yes there are some legal red flags here, it's a giant corporate deal, big surprise (I'm given to understand Amazon's self-publishing industry is already pretty shady). Most tellingly, free fan-fiction in universes that sign up for this deal is probably going to get crushed. However, considering that any copyright holder who has wanted to make the effort has been able to do that for a while now, it's not really a big change in the status quo.

    As for the quality issue, well, consider this a massive experiment in the market's ability to differentiate.

    If a property that I'm interested in signs up, I will participate. That's not likely (Star Wars is an essentially zero chance and Japanese anime even less) for present, but who knows what the future holds.
  14. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Might be a good avenue for putting up some public domain fiction, if the licenses to other properties haven't been bought, yet.
  15. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    I doubt that Star Wars will be allowed on there, to be honest.

    Though I equally intend to put the Missing Chapters of Invincible up there if I can :p
  16. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Amazon doesn't need to "dip their toes" into online publishing. I've been published with them for over a year now, with my original fiction. And I made $600 on my February release of a somewhat crappy romance novel that I wrote ten years ago.

    Even if Disney goes for it, I won't be putting any of my stuff up there. I think it's exploitative of Amazon and the copyright holder to have unqualified and likely untalented people (in the majority, I mean; there are a lot of really good writers here!) getting paid pennies on the dollar so that they don't have to go to the effort of overseeing a pool of "real" writers. Granted, that's my pessimistic view of things, but given that I know how Amazon Kindle publishing works, I don't see how this could be anything but bad in the long run.
  17. moosemousse CR - FF:UK South

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2004
    star 6
    I don't know how to feel about this. On the one hand, fanfic is a great starting point for budding authors. Doing well on this could build the confidence needed to go into original works and thus make more money. I did see this though: "The standard author’s royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% of net revenue", so writers need to write something fairly lengthy. Another thing is that I know there are a small few who try and make money off of fanfic. With this, the creator is benefiting from derivative works based on their intellectual property.

    On the downside, there is no quality control and anyone could put up anything. If I were a published author, I'm not sure I'd want just anything being sold on there. I'd also worry that fans would confuse the stuff on there with what's canon, and that could go badly for both the one who wrote the fanfic and me.

    I'm definitely going to wait for more info on this, but I'm not sure I'd go for it myself.
  18. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

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    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 4
    I'm not sure where I stand on this. I think the devil will be in the details, but I haven't read all the legalese. From what I understand, it isn't like self publishing at all. You 'submit' your work and once you submit it to them, they now own it with all the rights and they decide what gets 'published', so it will be no worse writing than the dribble original fiction being sold now.

    Fanfiction is already a grey area in the eyes of the law, so my first instinct is to go THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA. And buying fanfic COMPLETELY DEFEATS THE MAIN IDEA OF WRITING FOR FREE SO YOU CAN READ STUFF FOR FREE!

    And, while it would be nice to make a few extra bucks, I don't think anyone who submits anything to this will be quitting their day job anytime soon. This might be a cash cow for the owners of the licenses, but for the average writer, I think it'll be just pocket change. Sure there might be one or two 'fifty shades' success stories, but no more than in the original publishing world.

    Edit. And like other people said, I think the mouse is going to sniff the trap before going for the cheese. Personally, I hope Disney/Lucasfims doesn't go for this, then I don't have to even think about it.


    EDIT 2: I just thought of something. What is stopping someone from copy and pasting my fanfics I've posted here to the submission box and if someone does, what action can I take? Will there be any screening process to see if something has been posted before, and if it has does that mean I get to sue? I DON'T LIKE THIS ONE BIT.
    Last edited by Briannakin, May 26, 2013
  19. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    . . . Or, the copyright holder does it and you can't do diddly.
  20. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 4
    Yeah, but I think that is a risk of fanfic in general. I mean any Lucas executive could come on here and say, hmm, I like that storyline for EP VI. It's so unlikely that we don't even consider it a remote risk (because it's really not a possibility). But it is plausible that a reader could go, hey, this person wrote and posted a ton of great fanfics on TFN or FFN and isn't into Kindle words; I'll submit them all and make a couple bucks.
  21. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    I think that the risk of plagiarism is one of the bugs that they will have to work out. Will they be screening fanfics they receive to see if they are already online? Will they require proof that the person submitting the work is the one who first posted it? Plagiarism would create A LOT of bad PR and they'll want to shut that down.

    On their Kindle Worlds page for authors there is a marvelous little euphemism under 'Content Guidelines':

    Poor Customer Experience: We don't accept books that provide a poor customer experience. Examples include poorly formatted books and books with misleading titles, cover art, or product descriptions. We reserve the right to determine whether content provides a poor customer experience.


    I assume that they will have someone evaluating the submissions for likelihood of 'Poor Customer Experience'. ;)
  22. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    I just hope it doesn't affect the continued existence of the rest of Internet fanfic if this somehow goes up in giant explosive drama apocalypse fireworks. Pessimistic, me?
    Last edited by Kahara, May 26, 2013
  23. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Legalese aside, presumably you could just append a review linking to the original, free, location of the posted fanfics in question. At that point, the custumers have only themselves to blame. I imagine this service will require that works posted elsewhere be taken down, though how on earth Amazon could monitor that I don't know - though the Fanfic.net categories for these new Kindle Worlds are almost certainly doomed.
  24. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    You know... Kindle Worlds would give me an opportunity to draw and/or paint book covers and negotiate a percentage with the author...
  25. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 4
    That's a good point. Amazon does have their work cut out for them if this is ever going to run smoothly. Something tells me that Amazon Kindle worlds may have a short lifespan. I mean, who is going to pay for a fic when you can find 20 other ones for free? Yeah, there will be those few people who find a summary of a fic that they positively have to read, but for the most part, I don't think very many people will go for it (or companies for that matter). I think it will be too much trouble and make too little to last long.
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