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Amazon's Kindle Worlds fan fiction publisher draws mixed reactions

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Eric McCandless/ABC Family/AP

(Read caption) 'Pretty Little Liars' is one of the TV shows that has joined forces with Amazon to allow fans to sell their fan fiction written about the program. The show stars (from l. to r.) Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, and Shay Mitchell.

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The literary community seems divided on Amazon’s Kindle Worlds, a new platform that will allow fans to publish their fan fiction through the book giant.

Fan fiction has always been controversial, largely because fans are writing stories about characters that many see as the intellectual property of their creators: the original authors. In some cases, as with J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" books, the characters are in fact copyrighted. 

But as the Monitor’s Husna Haq reported, Amazon is now acquiring licenses from original copyright holders, enabling Kindle Worlds users to legally write stories about the characters in some of their favorite books, TV shows, and movies. and then publish them via the Amazon platform.

But there's a cost for doing business with Amazon: Fan fiction writers will receive 35 percent of the profits (for stories which consist of 10,000 words or more) or as little as 20 percent (for a story that clocks in at between 5,000 and 10,000 words). The rest of the profits will go to Amazon and the company that’s behind the properties.

The only company that’s officially in the Kindle Worlds stable so far is Alloy Entertainment, which has given Amazon permission to have writers pen fan fiction about their TV shows “The Vampire Diaries,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “Gossip Girl.” (“Vampire” in particular is one of the most popular subjects on the fan fiction site However, Amazon says more properties will be made available shortly.


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