By Toby Neal, author of the Lei Crime Series
There are actually many more than only six powerful ways that Kindle Worlds are great for readers and writers! Whatever you feel about Amazon, they are cutting-edge as a company, and one of the most innovative programs they’ve come up with in publishing is Kindle Worlds. According to Nick Loeffler with Amazon, “Kindle Worlds is the first commercial publishing platform to enable any writer to publish fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters while earning royalties for doing so, and sell them in the Kindle Store. Until the launch of Kindle Worlds, selling stories based on copyright-protected material had been difficult for the vast majority of authors.”
Developed in 2013, Kindle Worlds includes graphic novels, TV shows, and of course, bestselling book lines. Kindle Worlds is licensed fan fiction, in a nutshell, and it captures the urge of writers since the dawn of time to write about characters they’ve fallen in love with as readers, and for readers to be able to enjoy storylines and characters they’ve become attached to long after original creators have stopped writing.
I was skeptical about this when I first heard about it via Hugh Howey as he wrote about his brand-new Silo Saga World (still one of the bestselling Worlds on the site.) But as time went on, Amazon’s vision began to make sense. Here are six powerful ways both readers and writers benefit from Kindle Worlds:
- Readers get to keep reading about characters and a world they love long after the series has ended. Readers who love a World enough to try works by other authors starring their favorite characters and situations are definitely the engine driving the whole thing.
- Readers are the boss. One of the concerns readers have voiced is that the writing won’t be as good as that of the original content creator. That is a risk, and one Amazon has dealt with by pricing the books in the World low and having high content standards for submitted works. Readers are also relied upon to review the works to help others find stories to their liking. According to an Amazon company source, “The reader response to Kindle Worlds so far has been great. Since launch, Kindle World stories have held a consistently high customer review average, ratings indicating the time and effort the authors are putting into story preparation.”
- Writers joining an established world have a chance to show their stuff. This is an excellent reason to try writing in a well-established World—authors will have access to a huge potential reader base! And stars have been made on Kindle Worlds, writers so popular doing fan fiction that they grew their own brands enough to get their own World.
- Writers get a fun creative challenge. Many of the writers who helped launch the Lei Crime Series Kindle World had never written a police procedural or a mystery before (you don’t have to write in the genre of the original series, but it may help sales) and they all reported how easy, fun, and inspiring it was to “step into the shoes” of already-known characters and that the writing went much more quickly than for their own original works.
- Writers have a chance to join forces. We get to know each other, share each others blogs, review each other’s manuscripts, hijack each other’s email lists and Twitter audiences, and the overall effect is POWERFUL for all involved!
- Kindle Worlds lifts all boats. Steven Konkoly, originator of the popular Perseid Collapse Kindle World, was kind enough to share tips on how to nurture and support authors with me. He wrote this blog post collecting both anecdotes and data on how overall sales were lifted for all titles in his books and those of the authors writing for his World. If that’s not a powerful reason to try writing for Kindle Worlds, I don’t know what is!
Kindle Worlds is yet another innovative way Amazon has proved forward-thinking, by developing a way to bring the shadow world of fan fiction into the light of mainstream profitability, benefiting readers and writers.
Find out more at Kindle Worlds on Amazon, and browse some of the interesting spinoffs.
Visit Toby Neal’s website for more information on her and the bestselling mysteries that have spawned the Lei Crime Series Kindle World.