If you follow about a zillion book-related Twitter feeds like I do (Oh, you don’t? Well … okay.), you already know the news: Amazon is launching a new service that pays for fan fiction. Or, actually, they kind of pay for fan fiction. Maybe. If it’s popular, and sex-free, and formatted correctly, and doesn’t violate copyright laws … then Amazon might pay you a little bit for fan fiction. (Fan fiction, for those of you who aren’t super-nerds, are stories that fans make up based on their favorite fictional settings and characters. Thriving fanfic worlds already exist for series like Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Beautiful Creatures. And the wildly popular Fifty Shades of Grey books started out as Twilight fan fiction.)
Now, I’ve never personally written fan fiction (unless you count a rather long Veronica Mars digression in an email once), but, on a trip to the Wizarding World in Orlando, I did make a fairly serious pitch to my mom to ditch our day jobs and spend all day in the Three Broomsticks, downing Butterbeer and writing Harry Potter fanfic. She seemed to think that didn’t have long-term career longevity (and that I was delirious from too many Pumpkin Juices), but has Amazon changed all that?
Not really. You still can’t get paid to write about Potter, and you probably never will, unless your name happens to be Jo Rowling. See, this deal is only for series that Amazon’s made rights agreements with, and that’s only Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, and Gossip Girl. In other words, if CW television shows are what’s feeding your creative imagination and literary daydreams, then you’re in luck. Now, I like Gossip Girl as much as the next 34-year-old business owner (okay, I probably like Gossip Girl a lot more than the next 34-year-old business owner), but even I’m not sure I have a whole lot more to say about Chuck and Blair than what’s already been written and broadcast.