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Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Continues Disrupting the Publishing Model

Amazon Publishing recently announced the release of Kindle Worlds, the first publishing platform that allows any writer to create fan-fiction based stories.  This innovative commercial publishing tool will allow any fan to publish authorized stories that have been inspired by their favorite tv shows or stories and make them available for purchase in the Kindle Store.

Amazon Publishing initially retained licences from Warner Bros.’ Alloy Entertainment division for the book series Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries.  Recently in mid-June, Amazon poublishing unit gained licenses for the popular World of Valiant superhero comic books series Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger and Shadowman. 

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Publishing pays royalties to both the right holders and the authors who create the stories.  According to Amazon, the standard rate is 35% of net revenue, and Kindle Worlds says they will base net revenue off of sales price, rather than the industry standard of the wholesale price.  Royalties are paid monthly.  Also, an experimental pilot programme has been launched that allows authors to create short stories between 5,000 and 10,000 words that will sell for one dollar a piece.  Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) will pay the right holders and the authors each 20% royalties of the sales price.

The benefits of Amazon Worlds for world licensors and writers.

First, the world licensors benefit from it because it invents a new way to monetize the value in their franchises, and extend their Worlds through the creation of new ideas, stories, plot lines, characters, themes and settings.  The possibilities are endless, and who better to write your new stories then the very members of your loyal, avid fan base?  And don’t worry, Amazon Publishing has also guaranteed to establish content guidelines that create a balance in the flexibility and openness for writers with what is reasonable and permissible for the franchise guidelines.

Leslie Morgenstein, President of Alloy Entertainment states that:

“Our books have generated a massive amount of fan fiction, and we see this as an evolution in publishing and a valuable way of broadening our brands and engaging fans”.

 Sara Shepard, author of Pretty Little Liars says that seeing fans create their own storiesbased on what she has created is both exciting and flattering and a great way to reward the fans’ ingenuity and loyalty.

The writers benefit from Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Worlds because they are being offered a secure publishing network that has already been established and has taken care of all the legalities.  They are also given an opportunity to create and discover new Worlds within their own favorites and the content they create is available on all Kindle devices once it’s purchased.

The goal of the programme, according to Philip Patrick, Director, Business Developer and Publisher of Kindle Worlds, is to design a place for authors to build on the Worlds they licence and to give everyone a chance to read more stories from the Worlds they already enjoy.  It allows people to take their favorites works and put their own personal twist on them, like when your band in high school covered Teenage Dirtbag by Weezer.  You can do whatever you’d like, as long as it fits the guidelines that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has agreed to with each right holder.

Amazon has also assured the public that they are engaged with several other rights holders from other areas of entertainment, those being books, games, TV, movies and music.  They look forward to building their library of licenses and broadening the number of Worlds writers can submerge themselves into.

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