Much to the happiness (I’m guessing) of authors who haven’t had the luck or connections to have been adopted by a major publishing house, Amazon will soon launch “Kindle Worlds”, a new fan fiction platform for independent authors.
I’m curious to see the results. New authors can write stories based on another author’s work (known as the right’s holder) — and both earn money. What happens if an untalented (as deemed by the majority of readers) expands on something like “Ender’s Game”? Could drek taint, or even destroy, the original work’s “amazing-ness”? Will some authors be surprised by their possessiveness once someone else starts playing around with their characters, having them act in ways the original creator would find abominable? (“Jonathan would never do that!”)
I was surprised enough last month when I found out that some authors were allowing crowdsourcing to embellish published works – this takes that kind of ornamentation to a whole new level.
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.
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’s rights holder and pay authors a digital royalty of 20%.