Amazon has launched Kindle Worlds, a commercial publishing platform for writers to create fan-fiction, and earn royalties for doing so.
Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith. More licenses are coming soon, says Amazon.
Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store. 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.
In another development, Amazon Publishing will pilot an experimental 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%.
The Kindle Worlds store is expected to launch in June with over 50 commissioned works from authors such Barbara Freethy, John Everson and Colleen Thompson.