Just a while ago I read this post on Telegraph UK, stating that Amazon just recently announced securing licenses for fan fiction to sell on their market. This was a way to monetize the franchise popular now with a lot of people who don’t quite get what they want from TV shows or books in the flesh. Some authors have criticized this decision, saying that it’s an invasion of their work and ideas. Others are completely for it- and as for me? Well it does leave me thinking.
I’ve never tried my hand at fan fiction writing before, and I’m not exactly an aspiring book author so much as I am an aspiring blogger. But the whole concept of the business, as in taking a story you like and making it your own- it hasn’t really bothered me much, despite the fact that it gets too wish-fulfilling, and characters tend to get hooked up with one another in crazy scenarios by hardcore shippers. However, I’ve read some of them myself, and there really are some great writers out there capable of creating quality content, and I think it’s only fair that they be given a chance to showcase their talent when they can’t do it without an effective partner in actually promoting their work.
I’m happy for all the fan fiction writers interested- there’s honestly some crazy good stuff out there. But the idea of Amazon’s involvement scares me. Of course the driving force behind that super-company isn’t exactly a bunch of selfless, sincere employees who only want to help amateur writers make a name for themselves. Of course they’re going to manipulate the circumstances such that it aligns with their own interests. And of course we can’t expect that the situation is as simple as that- we don’t know for sure if all these writers with huge potential are just being played into the web of a greedy predator. That horrible metaphor aside, I wonder if, in the end, it’s going to be a win-win or a win-lose situation. And you and I both know which end of the bargain is getting the win side on both accounts.
Additionally, a lot of issues may potentially arise from Amazon’s decision. There could be copyright issues between the authors and the fans, both of which now have their takes on the same series selling out. And if they don’t work against each other, then Amazon could work against them by granting themselves access to the content of their work and exploiting their ideas by making money out of it. And the money is obviously not going to find itself inside the pockets of the one who actually deserves the credit. But of course, who can blame fan fiction writers for completely buying the whole license idea? After all, they get paid, and their work gets labeled as a little less illegitimate. As for the authors, they profit as well from fan fiction based on their original creations, and a little extra credit with no extra work hardly sounds like a bad idea at all. Those are some perks even I would not pass up. I guess we can only really know what effects this marketing strategy will have on the writing industry after it’s been in effect for some time. I’m hoping for some good coming outta this, but sometimes we have to expect the unexpected.
It’s your turn! If you have thoughts regarding this issue, please leave a reply!
Here’s the link to the article I read:
- Amazon launches fan fiction publishing platform (telegraph.co.uk)