Midweek #ROW80 Check-in and Amazon’s Going To Monetize Fanfic?

So the Hammer and Gobsmacker are still working their way through Riven.  I’m not bleeding too badly yet.  There’s nothing being mentioned that I didn’t kind of expect.

While I’m waiting on that, I’m up to my ears in historical research, dipping into all kinds of interesting stuff, figuring out what I want to keep, what will change and how that will impact the course of my alternative universe.  Kid.  Candystore.  SO FUN.

I’m on the Chapter 14 lecture for my new class.  There are only 15 total, so I’ll finish WRITING lectures at the end of next week.  Then I get to start recording them.  Joy.

Last night I tested organic (or at least grass fed no hormone) beef.  And it’s the crap that’s in regular beef I’m apparently sensitive to.  No swelling or inflammation or feeling like I’d been hit by a truck.  Which makes me wonder if I’ve developed a sensitivity, or if there’s a lot more crap in beef now than there was even a few years ago.  I’m still kind of scarred by watching Food, Inc. and some other documentaries on the commercial food industry.  But anyway, it does mean I can still have beef, it’ll just have to be a rare thing since it’s so SO expensive.

So also in the world of writing, Amazon is monetizing fanfiction.  I…don’t quite know what I think about this yet.  First off, this isn’t opening the doors willy nilly to anything.  They’ve acquired rights to particular worlds from particular companies (including stuff like Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, and others).  From an author’s standpoint, nobody is going to be stealing your world and darlings without your permission (unless you’re traditionally published and your publisher decides this is a good idea and doesn’t care what you the author think).

The bigger concern from an authorial standpoint is competition.  This will be particularly salient to those of us in the self published category.  It means we have to work even harder to get Mary Jane to spend her limited discretionary income checking out OUR work, when she could go over here and get a story she knows she’ll probably love because she’s a rabid VD fan (aside–this abbreviation bugs me as it also stands for venereal diseases, which given the way they’ve taken that franchise, is not entirely inappropriate).  Of course, there’s also nothing stopping us from writing some kind of fan fic that’s awesome and pulling those people in as potential new fans of our original work.

On a broader scale, one of my long term big problems with fan fiction has been the absolute crap quality of most of it.  You have to DIG to find the gems, the well written stuff.  And I have neither the time nor patience to do that.  For the free stuff, I can’t really trust ratings because people tend to have different quality criteria for that.  Will that change with a paid format?  I would expect at least SOME standards to go up given people are having to spend money on it, but I’m not sure.  I mean, the 50 shades franchise books have an average of 4 stars or higher and I know they fall into the crap prose category, so…

I have mixed feelings about fan fiction as an author.  On the one hand, I always wonder why people would waste their time and talents writing about someone else’s characters instead of creating their own.  I have a zillion and a half ideas and have no intention of wasting my time on somebody else’s characters.  For my own part, I’m also divided on how I might feel about somebody playing in my sandbox.  On the one hand, if somebody loved my world enough to want to play in it like that, that’s amazingly flattering.  On the other, it’s mine, MY PRECIOUS.  I’m so small potatoes, I have no concerns that anyone would ACTUALLY want to do this, so it’s entirely a theoretical argument at present.

Apparently there is a thing where for all the fan fic sold, the world owner does get a percentage of the sale.  Which is kind of cool.  It’s a sort of…passive income stream, which is not to be underestimated in this changing publishing world.  The writer gets a bigger percentage of the pie (which makes some sense, I suppose, as they did the writing of that particular piece).

There’s a lot of concern, a lot of talk going on about this in the Twittersphere this morning.  It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.


9 thoughts on “Midweek #ROW80 Check-in and Amazon’s Going To Monetize Fanfic?

  1. I need to figure out where to get beef like that around here. I suspect the answer is “nowhere, you fool,” but I’d rather eat less of that than more of the regular crap, you know? I’m glad you can still have it once in a while, anyway.

    So many thoughts on fanfic, but I don’t want to eat up your comment area. Let’s just say I agree with you on pretty much everything.

    At least this Amazon thing only applies to specific “universes” and won’t be porn and “Care Bears meet Harry Potter” stuff. It will definitely be interesting to see how it all pans out.

  2. Laughing. I loved your thoughts on FanFic because I feel the same dichotomous split — it’s flattering that someone might want to take my characters and write more about them, but also, don’t touch my people! But I hadn’t heard that Amazon is developing a paid FanFic section, so thanks for sharing that news. I’ll go read more about it. (And probably be irritated/upset by it.)

    As for Beef, I’ve started buying some “safe” beef from a local company. It runs $5-$7 a pound for ground beef. My rule is that we have ONE ground beef dish each week. The hubs wants meat at every meal; I’d be fine with going vegetarian. This is our balance. Damn “Food, Inc.” for creating heightened awareness of meat issues!

  3. Since the stories have to follow each licensed World’s established-by-the-creator guidelines, I think Kindle Worlds will be a pool of “vetted” fan fiction.

    I’m ambivalent about the “earning money from fan fics” part, because that’s always been the major rule for fan fiction: Don’t try to make money doing it. Yet if there’s a legal way to do so, that also pays the original creator(s), well…cool!

    The downsides are the low royalties, Amazon sets the price, not the author, and Amazon holds the rights to your Kindle Worlds works for the length of copyright.

    Which to me, means that even if Amazon scored a license for say, the XMen World, I wouldn’t be submitting any of my XMen fan fics (Because yes, I have written many of those, most prior to beginning to write original fiction. Writing fan fiction is good practice, IMHO.).

  4. I’m glad you found beef you can eat. You’re like me…we LOVE our beef!

    I mentioned this on a post of Susan’s, but I’ll say it again. I did fanfic when I was a teenager. I think it’s time for us to grow up and make up our own stuff. I know a lot of people won’t like me saying that, and you know I hate controversy, but this time I’m speaking my mind about it. I think fanfic is juvenile. Even when it’s erotic, which much of it is. I just don’t GET why adults would write fanfic. I know a lot of times it’s because writers want a different outcome, or they want the story done BETTER. But I say, get over it and let’s write our own stuff.

    I almost deleted this whole comment, but I’m going to be brave. LOL

  5. I don’t think Amazon fanfic will make it harder for authors to get their work read. It might actually create more opportunities. The Vampire Diaries fans who read the fanfic ( I think most will stick with the TV show) might decide they want to read other stories like Vampire Diaries. And the ones who don’t, were never going to read any other books to begin with, so not a potential sale lost.

    And like you said, It’s also an opportunity for authors to draw in more fans should they decide to write some. As to why an author would want to waste time and talents on it? Well, your statement kind of answers that. I look at fanfic as a labor of love. It’s one thing to be a fan, but to be so immersed in a world you want to create your own stories? That’s uber love. And probably doesn’t feel like a chore to do. If an author falls into the uber love category, why not write a fan fic and make a little extra money/gain more fans?

    But it’s not for everyone. If an author would rather put his energy in his own stuff, I don’t look at the fanfic as putting a huge dent in his chances of getting noticed. Bookbloggers and the average reader will still talk about good books. And that’s the keyword: good. All the bad fanfic will sink to the bottom like the everything else. Yes, more people will try it out because of the built in fanbase, but the bar is way higher for that stuff to be good. If I decide to read Buffy fanfic, I already have a deep knowledge of the world and voice for the characters. If it doesn’t live up to that, I won’t read it. But if I’m reading a Mirus book for the first time, I only know the blurb and the sample (If I read it) and all I want is a good read.

    At any rate, I don’t think this fanfic thing will be a big deal for authors.

  6. Where’s that penny? Interesting thoughts on fanfic, which I haven’t thought about as I’m deep in historical fiction. Interesting that you build your writing around research and then ‘what if’. Do you also draw or use photos to prompt your world-building? May your edits go well int he coming week.

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