SAN FRANCISCO Amazon is once again shaking up traditional publishing models. This time, it's giving fans a chance to add their own personal touches to their favorite fiction - and get paid in the process.
This week, Amazon.com Inc announced "Kindle Worlds," which offers aspiring writers an opportunity to pen their own takes on franchises in books, TV, movies, even games and comics. The world's largest Internet retailer plans to license content, then accept submissions online that may then be sold through its Kindle ebook store.
Things will kick off with Amazon licensing three teen TV series - "Gossip Girl", "Pretty Little Liars" and "The Vampire Diaries" - from Warner Bros Television Group's Alloy Entertainment, Amazon said on its website. More content deals will be announced in coming weeks.
Amazon has in the past decade emerged as the most disruptive force in publishing. It popularized digital books with its Kindle store and e-reader, contributing to the demise of traditional bookstores such as Borders.
In its effort to legitimize fan fiction, the company is establishing a model under which it acts as publisher and pays fan-writers between 20 and 35 percent of sales, depending on length.
"There's probably not an author/fangirl alive who hasn't fantasized about being able to write about her favorite show," budding novelist Trish Milburn enthused on Amazon's website. "The fact that you can earn royalties doing so makes it even better."
(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)