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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

Techonomy: With Fan Fiction, Amazon Continues to Remake the Book Business

As an author who is also a digital innovation strategist, and, perhaps most importantly, an avid fan fiction reader, I was intrigued when Amazon announced Kindle Worlds two weeks ago.

If you missed the May 22 announcement, Amazon struck a licensing deal with Alloy Entertainment, a subdivision of Warner Brothers that co-produces some of the CW Network’s most popular television shows. Kindle Worlds will let writers create stories about certain shows with the same characters, setting, plot points, and story universe, producing original derivative works of fiction. Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici cleverly calls it, “an API for IP.”

The first three “worlds” to be licensed are The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, and Pretty Little Liars. Writers who want to participate in the program are invited to submit their work in the Kindle Worlds store. Accepted stories must be at least 10,000 words long. Participants who follow the guidelines (more on those in a minute) can earn 35% of every sale. Authors of works 5,000 – 10,000 words long will be compensated 20%. Alloy Entertainment, which retains the rights to these franchises, will also take a portion of every sale made.

Amazon has already engaged several prominent authors, including New York Times best-selling author Barbara Freethy, to write inaugural pieces to help promote the platform set to launch in June. Once the program goes live, anyone has the ability to submit their work for review in order to support the program.


Read the rest of my analysis on Amazon’s foray into this digital space on Techonomy here.


The Second part of this series, where I dive into the implication of these terms for authors can be found here.

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