Huh? What? Did I read that right?
I’m babbling today, but these are my initial thoughts about this.
Amazon just announced their new publishing platform to help new and established fanfic authors for their stories. I wrote Buffy fanfic way back when. I had fun, and it made it easy for me to work on my writing skills while I was commuting to school for my credential and working full time at a new job where I was learning the ropes. I got flamed, I got positive feedback and I read many amazing stories. And maybe if someone said “we want to publish your Buffy story” I would have jumped at the opportunity. But I don’t know how I feel about this opportunity. Granted, Amazon is acquiring licenses from places like WB television and they intend to pay royalties to the authors and the original rights holders. That makes me feel a little better. So far, they’ve got licenses for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries.
Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a wonderful opportunity, but I’m not sure it’s right to make people pay to read fanfic. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but when I was writing and reading BtVS stories, the authors I read and met wrote their stories because they loved the show. They wanted to be part of it, and this was how we did that. The stories I encountered ran the gamut from teen-friendly pieces to completely unconventional ‘shipper stories and some adult content. I’m sure there are guidelines for the contributors as far as how much leeway they have for the stories Amazon will publish as far as characterization goes, what subject matter they will allow, etc. but, still, I don’t know how to feel about this. I guess it’s okay if the rights’ holders are okay with it, but even saying that doesn’t sit quite right with me.
Tell me, what are your thoughts?