In Kindle Worlds flourish
hits every point where Amazon's new effort is different from Fanlib.
Amazon agrees to compensate fanfic writers. Not Fanlib's vague "hey, we're connected to publishing companies that might, somehow, benefit you as a writer. We think. Use your imagination how!"
With Kindle Worlds there's actual cash money going to the fic writers.
Problems with it? Oh, heck yeah, I'm sure. I haven't researched it much yet (read: at all). But I'm willing to bet plenty of broke fic writers will be sniffing around this offer.
I'm tempted. Four years of working part time with no benefits? A temple where we're going to be doing practice outside with the cicadas
? Yeah. Cautious. But interested. And I don't even write those fandoms.
I never expected anything like this, not in my wildest "the truth is we're out here" posts.
Personally, I credit The Organization of Transformative Works
for the fast and recent shift in attitudes about fan writers, treating us as writers
Remember, it was only 2003 when Raincoast Books sent Cease & Desist orders to The Restricted Section for its NC-17 Harry Potter fic. In 2004, Yahoo Groups TOS'd one fanfic Yahoo Group after another, driving fans to Livejournal. In 2007 came Fanlib, which hoped to profit (from ads? it was never clear how) and exploit fanfic writers but viewed them as teenyboppers complete with their "Hey, Kids!" Disney layout. OTW got off the ground almost immediately afterward, and the archive went into beta testing in 2008.
By 2011, 50 Shades Of Gray
was able to openly acknowledge its fanfic roots. That's a big change, very, very quickly. It's not all OTW. We have the aca-fen and new generation that's grown up on the internet coming of age. But I believe that the newly positive attitudes toward fanfic have a lot to do with the OTW.
I need to renew my membership.
ETA: Scalzi weighs in on the downsides for writers
. His perspective is not the fanwriters, but the lowering of standards for prowriters. Right off the bat (I may change my mind), it seems to me that the prowriters need to stop sneering at the fanfic writers and include them in their union (how? I don't know how...) or risk watering down the protections that writers get in general. I'm pro-union and these are hard-won protections. We need to not have a lower class of writer called "fanfic writer" ripe for exploitation.Here the work-for-hire authors who were contracted to participate ahead of the release weigh in. They consider it standard ghost writing and are pretty positive about their experience