Kindle Worlds went live this week

Kindle Worlds, Amazon’s self-publishing market for fan fiction went live earlier this week. The idea is to allow authors of fan fiction to publish their stories via the existing epublishing model established on Amazon for original works of fiction. However, the copyright holders of the characters must be onboard for the world to be available on Kindle Worlds as Amazon pays the copyright holders a royalty fee for every story sold.

Currently the worlds available include: Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga world and The Foreword Saga world, from the realms of science fiction and fantasy respectively. Other worlds open to writers include the Valiant Comic book worlds, such as Harbinger, and Alloy Entertainment worlds, such as Gossip Girls and The Vampire Diaries and a few others. After a piece is submitted, Amazon will decide if it violates any of the rules of Kindle Worlds and price the piece between $0.99 and $3.99. The author will receive 35% royalties on works over 10,000 words and 20% for works between 5,000-10,000 words.

More details on Kindle Worlds can be found on Amazon’s website:

Personally, I’ve never written fan fiction, and only read it occasionally. In terms of, possibly getting paid even a little for fan fiction, this seems like a good deal for writers as fan fiction now is hardly a paying market. However the royalty rates are relatively low for self-publishing, the number of worlds available is still small, and the lack of author control (i.e. not being able to set your own price, and the unknown enforcement standards for rules against pronography and illicit activities) could all be problematic.

What do you think? Kindle Worlds: The logical extension of fandom, good for authors who would like to profit off their work? Or another problematic example of corporations trying to profit from fans?


Microbiology graduate student, book blogger, science blogger, and sometimes fiction writer.

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Posted in Non-Fiction, Publishing
5 comments on “Kindle Worlds went live this week
  1. misskzebra says:

    I think it partly comes down to whether people are willing to pay for fan fiction.

    I guess 50SoG started out as a fanfic, which is a source of hope, but that has more to do with the erotic nature of the work rather than the fan fiction side of it.

    To be honest, I think Fan Fiction is seen as being low quality fiction. Ordinary self-published authors really struggle, and I think it will be even harder for people hoping to publish on Kindle Worlds.

  2. jhedrick82 says:

    My two cents: I’m hoping – hoping, mind you, rather than expecting – that this becomes a way for “underutilized” or independent sci-fi/fantasy worlds to establish larger “expanded universes” like you see in Star Wars, Dragonlance, etc. The bigger worlds, like the aforementioned Star Wars, Dragonlance, etc., will, I think, be kept as the property of their respective owners. They’re too valuable. However, niche worlds, like those from independent publishers, might see this as a way to publicize and capitalize on a small, if fervent, fan base. Alternately, it could be a way for moribund world’s to get back out there.

    This system might also offer an avenue for a few decent writers to percolate up through this system and inject some creativity into these marginal, forgotten, less profitable worlds. Fan fiction, if it’s to be anything other than a somewhat looked down upon enterprise, needs an institutional set-up like this. What it really needs, I think, is for a fairly established author (probably a super-fan himself) to write a story for one of these worlds. Even better, if a major light in the field, like say Terry Brooks, allowed others to play in his Shannara sandbox through this system, it would go a long way to legitimizing the format. Even then, you’ll have continuity and consistency issues, although a world-wiki might go a long way to helping with that problem.

    At second look, that’s probably my 10-15 cents worth.

    • One of the hidden caveats is that if you as a fanfic writer come up with something that the writer/publisher likes, they can steal it. They since they’ve already paid you for your work, they don’t have to compensate you any further. IMO, better to make your own worlds. More fun too. I don’t think too many people are going to become rich and famous from writing Vampire Diaries spec scripts, but then again, you never know…

      • jhedrick82 says:

        Completely agree. I feel it’s a little bit of a waste of time if you really want to try and make a go of writing. And, it’s creative, but derivative as well. Of course, I’m really interested in the “The Dark Crystal” competition that Nicole posted a couple weeks ago, so who am I to look down on folks who want to play in someone else’s sandbox for a little while. But yeah, it’s definitely tilted towards the copyright owners/publishers and takes away from creating your own stuff. Given it’s popularity though and the ease of transmission through the web, copyright holders, publishers, etc. had to come up with some way to deal with fan fic. Could be worse.

  3. eranamage says:

    The fan-fic I write is Phantom of the Opera or Dragon Age based and I can’t see those appearing any time soon. Still I think it could give new writers something to focus on, that said there are reservations as pointed out already. Not that it is ever going to happen but I am not sure how I would feel if someone fan-ficed my characters and my world.

    I guess it depends how it is managed and what is allowed.

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June 2013
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