OTW Fannews: Marketing fanfiction

  • Australia’s Business Review Weekly put a local angle on Amazon’s expanding properties for Kindle Worlds. “The e-book market has enormous growth potential but it is also fraught with pitfalls. Australia’s biggest book retail chain Dymocks tried its hand at e-book publishing but struggled to get the business model right and closed its D Publishing venture in March this year after 15 months. However, it is not just about size; one of the big stories in the e-book world is Australian-based Writers Coffee Shop, a small e-book fiction publisher that shot to fame with the success of erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.”
  • Canada’s The Province Book blog posted about Kindle Worlds as well with a different sort of “local” angle. “Amazon has made a fortune off of KDP, and it is well aware that many indie writers either got their start writing fan fiction or continue to write fan fiction even as their writing careers take off. Bestselling author Naomi Novik, for instance, whose Temeraire series has been optioned for film by Peter Jackson, is a supporter of fan fiction…The Organization for Transformative Works, a ‘nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms,’ has a pretty good roundup of responses to this latest move by Amazon. While some fans certainly celebrate the announcement, others have concerns about what Amazon may want in terms of intellectual property — are they going to make films out of the fan fiction others publish?”
  • Digital Book Wire claimed Kindle Worlds Has First Imitator: Outlier Digital From Twilight Producers. “The problem with the recently released Kindle Worlds’ platform, is it traps writers within the confines of Amazon’s as yet unestablished fan-fiction community instead of the extensive network already at their fingertips,” said Mark Morgan, one of the company partners, in the statement. “Their idea is close, but it actually prevents fan-fiction writers from posting their stories anywhere else, halting their existing fan-base outreach on other free portal options. It’s like saying they can write whatever they want as long as they do it for Amazon.”
  • Gamma Squad talked about the Jim Henson Company’s pitch to fanfic writers to write a prequel story to The Dark Crystal. “To be fair, this is a bit more of a deal than Amazon’s attempt to get the next Fifty Shades of Grey for dirt; the winner, if there is one, will receive $10,000 as part of their contract. Of course, one doesn’t see the word ‘advance’ anywhere in the official rules, so you might be forking over your writing ability for little more than a pat on the head, but at least they don’t put ‘valuable exposure’ as a prize.” Of course, given how media outlets are now ready to slap a fanfiction label on anything, the spotlight moment seems more and more likely.

What fanfic marketing promotions have you come across? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.