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Confessions of a #KindleWorlds Author

I am one of the launch authors for the new Kindle Worlds platform. And, I must confess, I am THRILLED about this opportunity. I have been excited to share the news since Amazon contacted me in early March and commissioned me to write for the platform. Finally, the day has come that I can announce my part in this new venture, but with all the negative buzz going around, it now seems as though I should be ashamed. But I’m sorry. I’m not. I mean, Amazon offered me an opportunity to write and earn royalties for stories about The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl…two shows I LOVE. Are you kidding me? Why wouldn’t I be thrilled?

Some of the negative comments I’m hearing are…

Amazon retains rights to the story for the entirety of the copyright.

SO??? I would not plan to publish the story anywhere else. I have a lot of other stories to write. Amazon is welcome to these. Amazon is the only reason I am writing them.

The concept is unfair.

To whom? The World Licensor earns royalties. The author earns royalties. Amazon earns royalties. Readers can enjoy stories about their favorite shows. One of which, Gossip Girl, is no longer airing. This gives fans who miss the show a way to continue enjoying it. Who is suffering in this scenario?

This is unfair to the license holders.

The license holder AGREED to this. That is why Amazon only has three World Licensors they have announced thus far. Only three have entered into an agreement with them. Amazon is not taking anything from anyone. They are making an offer and those interested are accepting. It is just that simple.

Amazon will acquire rights to your new stories, characters, scenes, events.

Uhm…so what. Why would I write something into these Kindle Worlds stories that I planned to use in any of my other works? I would never write a Vampire Diaries character and then stick that character into my other stories. They belong in the TVD world.

If they use one of your ideas, you will not receive further compensation.

FINE by me! These tv episodes are written with a room full of writers tossing out ideas. Only a certain number of the writers are credited. They get paid a salary, just like we will get paid our royalties. Again, not seeing a problem here. Besides, trust me, if I ever had the privilege of watching Joseph Morgan or Ian Somerhalder acting out one of my scenes, I would not complain. Not even a little bit.

The fanfiction community will never accept this

These stories are not ‘only’ for the fanfiction community, although we would love to have them as readers. These stories are for fans of these shows, whether or not they read or write fanfic. It is another venue to enjoy shows that we are obsessed with and a way for authors to share their love of that show with the public.

This is not what the fanfiction community is all about, among other problems with this venue, Fanfiction is building on one another’s stories

I think the fanfiction community will enjoy the stories and the opportunity. The authors writing these do not need to build on one another’s stories. We want to create our own, based on the shows we love. I feel certain this will appeal to many in the fanfiction world, and most definitely to many TVD, GG, and PLL fans. Of course it will not appeal to all. But that’s okay.

If I correctly understand the fanfiction world, pretty much everyone who reads it writes it too. That is not necessarily the case here. These stories are for all readers, even those who have no desire or intent to write, but would love to read more about characters and worlds they’ve fallen in love with. After all, we authors who wrote these stories are just those kind of fans.

This new program is being touted as a way for fan fiction writers to finally get paid. My situation is a bit different. I have never written–or even read–fan fiction. Rather than a fan fiction writer who now has a way to publish my fan fiction stories, I am an obsessive tv fan who now gets to write about two of my favorite shows. Oh yeah…did I mention I’m getting PAID to do it? No matter how many ways I say it, or how many negative comments I hear, it still seems pretty freaking awesome. You know another really awesome part of this? Maybe some TVD and GG fans will read what I write and like it. Maybe I’ll present a new take on the shows that they will  love. GG has been canceled, and fans of the show miss it. I’m delighted to bring it back to them, even in a small way.

This really isn’t much different from the tie-in novels of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Star Trek, etc, which has been happening for years. Right? Or am I missing something?

I’m afraid I just do not understand all the panic and backlash. Seriously. Lighten up folks. This is fun stuff!

Maybe this isn’t for everyone. I would say if you disagree with the program, then you probably shouldn’t submit a story. But for those of us who are ecstatic about the idea, we will continue to write about the characters and the worlds we love. And guess what? We’ll make money doing it. Win-win in my book.

Speaking of submitting stories. When the program launches, submissions will be open to all authors. Click on this link to learn more: Amazon Kindle Worlds for Authors

Please feel free to share your thoughts on the topic…negative or otherwise.

(Something to note, I keep hearing comments about ‘indie authors’ in relation to this new platform. The launch authors who wrote the first stories are not self-published authors, at least not exclusively, and I have a feeling there will be several authors, indie or otherwise, who will write and submit Kindle World stories. Not that there is anything wrong with being a self-published author, I have quite a few self pub titles and plan to have more. It’s just that this program would be a great opportunity for ALL authors…at least, those who are interested.)

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