Amazon announced the launch of Kindle Worlds, a new digital publishing platform for fan fiction, touted as the first legal commercial platform of its kind.
Despite the prevalence of online fan fiction, copyright laws make it illegal to profit from it. Kindle Worlds, however, has acquired licences for three book series from Warner Bros.’ Alloy Entertainment: Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar, Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard, and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith. More licences will be announced soon. Royalties will be paid by Amazon to rights holders of the original work, and authors will receive a royalty rate of 35 per cent of net revenue for works of at least 10,000 words.
Concurrently, Amazon launched a pilot program for shorter works (between 5,000 and 10,000 words), which are typically priced under $1. Authors will be paid a 20 per cent royalty rate.
Fan-fiction submissions are being accepted as of today, with the digital storefront to launch in June.