What does Amazon’s new fan fiction category mean for Indie authors?

Kindle Worlds

A few days ago Amazon announced the creation of Kindle Worlds, a place where authors can write stories, or novellas or full length novels based on works of fiction that have already established a strong fan base.

Here is part of the blurb about the new program.

Get ready for Kindle Worlds, a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games. With Kindle Worlds, you can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers, and earn royalties. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment for Gossip GirlPretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, with licenses for more Worlds on the way. 

The Kindle Worlds Self-Service Submission Platform will launch soon and enable you to submit your original works for publication. Can’t wait to start writing? Learn more on our Kindle Worlds for Authors page.

On the Kindle Worlds for Authors page, authors can find more details about the program.  Here is the summary from Amazon.

Kindle Worlds for Authors

Kindle Worlds is easy to use. When the Kindle Worlds Self-Service Submission Platform opens, you will be able to upload your story easily—along with a title, editorial description, and other information. Sign up to be notified when we launch the platform.

  • Kindle Worlds will accept novels, novellas, and short stories inspired by the Worlds we have licensed.
  • Using our Cover Creator, you will be able to design a cover for your Kindle Worlds story.
  • World Licensors have provided Content Guidelines for each World, and your work must follow these Content Guidelines. We strongly encourage you to read the Content Guidelines before you commit the time and effort to write.
  • Stories will be available in digital format exclusively on Amazon.com, Kindle devices, iOS, Android, and PC/Mac via our Kindle Free Reading apps. We hope to offer additional formats in the future.
  • You will receive monthly royalty reports and payments for all copies sold.

There is more detailed information about the submission process on the remainder of that page.

In addition to the formats already mentioned in the sections above, Kindle Worlds will also soon begin a pilot program for very short works in the fan fiction genre. These will be shorts with a word count of 5,000-10,000 words.

So what does the advent of Amazon Kindle Worlds mean for Indie authors?

The jury is still out.

From the guidelines, I take it that Kindle Worlds is a long way from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s self-publishing portal. By this I mean that Kindle Worlds is a part of Amazon Publishing. A writer will have to comply with the guidelines for submission of works to Kindle Worlds and will have to make the cut.  If Amazon Publishing does not accept the author’s Kindle Worlds submission, it will never see the light of day.

However, I must admit that fan fiction is an interesting concept for Indie writers. It presents them an opportunity to bootstrap on another’s writer’s success, to tap into an established fan base.  And it won’t surprise me a bit to see some Indies make the cut and find their way into Kindle Worlds.

I suppose the big question is whether the chances of making the cut are any better for an Indie trying to break into Kindle Worlds than they are for Indies attempting to crack the nut with any big publisher.

I guess we will just have to wait and see.

What do you think about Kindle Worlds?


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