Writer karma

Oh my, today is starting out in a very “interesting” way. I’m just not sure if it is a good “interesting” or bad “interesting”. It began with finishing my blog post for Mad Genius Club. What started as a post discussing J. A. Konrath’s take on publishing gatekeepers turned into a fisking of a well-known agent (needless to say, I agreed with Konrath and not the agent). Then I sat down to do this blog. I figured I’d do a rehash of the MGC post and then go on. But noooooo. I looked at Facebook and found something that made me chuckle.

A few months ago, Amazon announced a new publishing venture which would basically allow writers to do what amounts to fanfic. Kindle Worlds allows you to submit work based in the universe of certain TV shows, etc., for consideration. If it passes muster, your work will be published. From what I can tell, this is basically nothing more than a write-for-hire sort of contract but it does give folks the ability to actually try to get their fanfic out there in what is a legitimate market.

One of the worlds included in Kindle Worlds is Vampire Diaries. I’ll admit that I’ve never seen the TV show nor read the books (which have been around since the 1990s apparently). But I do appreciate the writer karma that Kindle Worlds has given to LJ Smith. For years, Smith wrote for Vampire Diaries. Then, a couple of years ago Smith was fired. Now, getting the last laugh, Smith has submitted to Kindle Worlds and been accepted. Smith’s two tie-ins are topping the the Kindle Worlds best sellers list.

Better yet, these two new titles pick up where Smith’s last book in the series before being fired left off. As the post linked above says, “it seems that fans are all too happy to embrace Smith’s return to the series, however circuitous a route she took to get there. And her story also proves what fans have long known: the dividing line between fans and creators was never as hard-and-fast as you might think.”

This is a lesson traditional publishers need to remember. Readers are not necessarily the same people who watch the TV adaptation and vice versa. I wish Smith all the luck and hope there is a lot of laughter on the way to the bank.

Now I’ve got to get to work. I’m inputting handwritten editorial notes for one of NRP’s authors this morning before trying to finish my current WIP — well, one of them.


  1. I saw that too, Amanda. I typically am not one of those who enjoy the idea of people getting paid to write fanfic, but in this case it actually made sense. Since, after all, the publisher treated the writer as nothing more than a paid fanfic writer in the first place.

  2. I had just been thinking a bit about Amazon Worlds.

    I have no problem with fanfic for pay as long as the licenses are sorted out.

    An example is Banpresto’s Super Robot Wars. Banpresto gets licenses to various mecha media properties, Anime, Manga, light novel or whatever, and then makes a game incorporating all of them.

    This of course violates canon. Banpresto has been known to have bad guys turn good, and survivors of ‘tragic deaths’ and ‘rocks fall everyone dies’. Or shove the time-line of a sequel series into that of the first series.

    Contrivance is to some extent part of the genre. The market seems willing to accept a poor excuse, if it means a Jaeger, an Eva and a Dolem team up, invade Ry’leh, and punch out Cthulhu.

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