Amazon is rolling out a new platform for fan fiction, that is, original stories that use famous characters from TV and movies. Think Star Trek stories where Captain Kirk gets pregnant. Now, Kindle Worlds will let people publish authorized versions that can generate income for fan-fiction writers and owners of the original characters.
Amazon's Philip Patrick expects a strong reader response. "A lot of the worlds we're working with right now have passionate fan bases. Whether it's a book or a movie or a TV show or a comic book series, the fans are there," he says.
There are dozens of stories inspired by shows like Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl. Barbara Freethy writes fan fiction based off the TV show Pretty Little Liars. Though the genre began in the so-called online underground, she thinks it'll work for the mainstream global retailer.
"There's a world of fans that are a little alarmed that Amazon's gotten into the game," she says. "But I think they're protecting copyrights and they're paying writers and you know, that's all good for writers."
To hear more about the business of fan fiction, click on the audio player above.