Fan Fiction, Amazon, the X-Files and my True Confessionby: Penny Sansevieri
Okay, let’s start with my confession first. I discovered Fan Fiction years ago when I was in the midst of the X-Files mania (yes, I’m a fan). In fact I’m pretty sure that X-Filers had some of the most popular Fan Fiction out there. Fans, tired of waiting for Chris Carter to push his characters Mulder and Scully to “get it on” would subscribe to various Fan Fiction sites and live out their wildest X-Files fantasies there. They were fun reads and one thing I quickly discovered was that some of the writing was really, really good. I mean surprisingly so. I wondered at the time why none of these writers were trying to get published, or maybe they were, but Fan Fiction wasn’t really okay in terms of copyright though most shows sort of let the fans write their stories and left them alone. My research took me further into Fan Fiction (even to the point of Fan Fiction show mashups); it showed that most of them just enjoyed writing their stories about these characters they’d come to love so much. Don’t like the way a plot line is being handled? Write your own version of it, put it on a Fan Fiction site and let the readers decide.
Cycle forward to present day and (you know I had to mention it) the success of 50 Shades of Grey – which also started as Fan Fiction. It would make sense then for Amazon to publish Fan Fiction, especially after an Amazon insider told me that they are eager to sign more of this type of content (are you paying attention Fan Fiction writers?). So, the marriage is perfect. Amazon now gives these authors a legitimate way to publish their stuff. Prior to this most were underground, writing these often amazing stories and burying them on someone’s unknown website, blog, or Fan Fiction forum. Personally I think it’s brilliant. Can you imagine all of the great and fun content we’ll discover this way? I can’t wait. It’s a really exciting time. One of my readers over at my Huffington Post blog said, “That Amazon. Always thinking.” Yes, they are. Thinking of the future, thinking of content, and giving readers another way to access great stories.
Here’s the story on Mashable