The publishing industry once seemed fairly divided on the issue of fan fiction–taking an author’s existing characters and setting and writing whole new story lines and adventures for them–but the new Kindle Worlds platform has meant some increased credibility for the genre. Whereas some authors consider fan fiction to be akin to theft as other writers “steal” their characters and world-building, still other authors see it is a genuine expression of the impact their work had on their readers, essentially viewing fan fiction as readers’ efforts to keep the story alive because they were so affected by it.
Amazon announced today that its fan fiction platform Kindle Worlds is open to submissions and reading. This move from the world’s largest online book retailer may seem to some critics like just another way to make a buck off of books, but to the authors and fans who are participating, it is actually an affirmation of the writing ability of supporters of fan fiction.
A number of authors and rights’ holders are already lending their characters to the platform, allowing fan fiction authors the ability to write new stories with these characters and to publish them via the Kindle Worlds platform for a profit. Authors like Hugh Howey and Anita Clenney have already unleashed their characters on the writers, and well-known and beloved authors like Barbara Freethy have already contributed fan fiction content for readers to enjoy.
“I believe Kindle Worlds has the potential to increase writership in much the same way the introduction of the Kindle expanded readership,” explained Howey. “I am thrilled for the Silo Saga to be a part of this program. It’s a natural fit because for the past year, talented authors have been exploring Silos of their own creation, and I look forward to reading more and to crafting some Worlds stories of my own.”
“Today, we launch the Kindle Worlds Store and the platform that will enable any writer to benefit from writing in one of the Worlds we’ve licensed,” said Philip Patrick, Director, Business Development and Publisher of Kindle Worlds. “We look forward to hearing feedback from readers and writers, and hope to learn and improve as time goes on.”
Readers and fan fiction authors can find out more about the writing and self-publishing options at kindleworlds.amazon.com.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.