Amazon.com recently announced Kindle Worlds, a digital publishing platform devoted entirely to fan fiction. It is a broadly-defined term for stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. Unlike when you self-publish your book and load it up to Amazon as seller, with Kindle Worlds Amazon is the publisher and you are selling your work to them forever.
From Amazon’s Web site:
Get ready for Kindle Worlds, a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games. With Kindle Worlds, you can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers, and earn royalties. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, with licenses for more Worlds on the way.
Kindle Worlds for Authors
Kindle Worlds is easy to use. When the Kindle Worlds Self-Service Submission Platform opens, you will be able to upload your story easily—along with a title, editorial description, and other information. Sign up to be notified when we launch the platform.
- Kindle Worlds will accept novels, novellas, and short stories inspired by the Worlds we have licensed.
- Using our Cover Creator, you will be able to design a cover for your Kindle Worlds story.
- World Licensors have provided Content Guidelines for each World, and your work must follow these Content Guidelines. We strongly encourage you to read the Content Guidelines before you commit the time and effort to write.
- Stories will be available in digital format exclusively on Amazon.com, Kindle devices, iOS, Android, and PC/Mac via our Kindle Free Reading apps. We hope to offer additional formats in the future.
- You will receive monthly royalty reports and payments for all copies sold.
Here are the details that will help you get started:
- All works accepted for Kindle Worlds will be published by Amazon Publishing.
- Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to the rights holder for the World (we call them World Licensors) and to you. Your standard royalty rate for works of at least 10,000 words will be 35% of net revenue.
- In addition, with the launch of Kindle Worlds, Amazon Publishing will pilot an experimental new program for particularly short works (between 5,000 and 10,000 words). For these short stories—typically priced under one dollar—Amazon will pay the royalties for the World Licensor and will pay authors a digital royalty of 20% of net revenue. The lower royalty for these shorter works is due to significantly higher fixed costs per digital copy (for example, credit-card fees) when prices for the entire class of content will likely be under one dollar.
- As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of customer sales price—rather than the lower industry standard of wholesale price—and royalties will be paid monthly.
- Amazon Publishing will acquire all rights to your new stories, including global publication rights, for the term of copyright.
Prachi Gupta from Salon.com
“Through these licenses, or “Worlds,” as Amazon has named them, approved fan fiction pitches will be published by Amazon Publishing, who will pay royalties to the rights holders and the writers. Works of at least 10,000 words will yield 35 percent of net revenue, while stories ranging between 5,000 and 10,000 words will yield 20 percent of net revenue. Titles will go on sale in the Kindle store, priced between $0.99 and $3.99. A note of caution to writers, however: Amazon will retain the copyright to the text.”
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