OTW Fannews: OTW and the Press

  • The Kindle Worlds story didn’t just result in hundreds of media outlets running pieces on the story, but also quite a few requests to the OTW for comment. While some have been previously linked to and some have yet to be published, several more have made an appearance. The Verge talked with OTW Communications staffer Nistasha Perez about the Amazon’s new move as well as similar efforts to commercialize fanfiction in the past. “In 2007, former Yahoo executive Chris Williams decided it was time to make money off fan fiction. ‘I work for a brand-new fan fiction website called FanLib.com and my colleagues and I want it to be the ultimate place for talented writers like you,’ read an email sent to hundreds of authors.” But “[a]fter barely over a year, FanLib’s infrastructure was bought by Disney, and the fan fiction archive was quietly shut down. Six years later, media powerhouse Amazon is giving the idea another try.”
  • In “Kindle Worlds: Do fan fiction writers want to make money?”, the BBC spoke to Jen West, Naomi Novik and Francesca Coppa about fanfiction writing and the potential impact of Kindle Worlds. “The thing that people don’t get about fandom, especially now that it seems to be an internet phenomeom is [the idea] that fans are very isolated and are having these relationships with consumer products. But that’s not true, they’re having relationships with other people. There are fans they might have known for 20 years.” (No transcript available)
  • Naomi Alderman interviewed Francesca Coppa last year for Radio 4 about how fanfiction is a huge chunk of the literary iceberg, with fiction published by large commercial publishers being only a small fraction of this. A small part of the interview was run again in the BBC Arts Hour. In discussing the crossover, Coppa stressed what a natural impulse this would be for writers yet due to copyright restrictions, characters need to stay in separate boxes. Alderman then did a brief reading of a Lord of the Flies crossover with The Walking Dead noting how the juxtaposition of characters and storyline revealed similarities in those tales. (0:33 to 0:38 minutes – No transcript available)
  • The CBC Radio show Q with Jian Ghomeshi interviewed OTW staffer Naomi Novik about Kindle Worlds and fanfiction’s role in culture. Speaking of Kindle Worlds’ vague content guidelines, Novik said “The problem with those restrictions is that it lends itself so easily to unpredictable enforcement…When you post your story, do you know if it’s going to be “all right” or not? If they take it down, do you now have the rights back to it?…And part of the wonderful aspect of fanfiction is that fanfiction is about having all the tools in the box, and being able to write anything and follow a story anywhere, even if it’s not the thing that’s going to sell the most copies, even if it’s not the story that whoever owns it wants told.” (0:54 – 1:09 minutes – No transcript available)

What other discussions have you seen about Kindle Worlds? Write about it 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.