May 23 2013
Thursday News: Penguin to contribute $75 million to restitution fund; Beware of blurbs; Amazon to sell licensed fan fiction
Important! My family and I are doing *things* this next week so I’m taking a mini vacation from Dear Author News. We’ll still have our daily reviews and daily deals (of course) but unless I’m feeling really energetic, there won’t be any news again until Wednesday, May 29. That’s when BEA starts and I suspect there will be important news then.
On June 3 the price fixing case with Apple starts. I will be glued to PACER and will bring you what daily reports I can from the filings. Don’t break Dear Author while I’m gone, you guys!
Also, don’t forget we have the Nalini Singh / Ghost chat on Twitter tonight.
I’m hosting a twitter chat with “The Ghost” on Thursday, May 23rd, from 9:00 to 10:00 pm EDT. Even if you are not on twitter, you can follow along at this link. You may not want to come if you don’t want to know any spoilers about Heart of Obsidian.
Nonetheless, Amazon is launching “Kindle Worlds” a “commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so.
Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith; and plans to announce more licenses soon.
Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.” Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both the rights holders of the Worlds and the author. The standard author’s royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of sales price—rather than the lower, industry standard of wholesale price—and royalties will be paid monthly.
It is instructive to look at the licenses that Amazon has secured. Alloy Entertainment is a book packager and all those series are packages to which Alloy (and not the writer who is really just a work for hire) owns. But it’s a movement toward selling actual fan fiction instead of repackaged fan fiction like EL James’ Fifty Shades series.
Authors Guild should set up a licensing agency ala Henry Fox’s music licensing agency but it won’t.