Robot 6

Valiant signs on to Amazon’s new fan-fic publishing platform

Valiant-logo-main-master-206x300When Amazon Publishing unveiled Kindle Worlds last month, one of the first questions in comics circles was which publisher would be the first to sign on to the program, which allows fan-fic writers to earn royalties for certain corporate-approved stories. Now we know the answer: Valiant Entertainment.

The recently revived publisher was announced this morning as part of the second wave of licensors, alongside bestselling authors Hugh Howey (Silo Saga), Barry Eisler (John Rain novels), Blake Crouch (Wayward Pines) and Neal Stephenson (Foreworld Saga). Under the agreement, writers will be able to create and sell stories inspired by Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger and Shadowman, with more properties expected to be added later.

In addition, the Kindle Worlds Store will launch later this month with more than 50 commissioned works, including “Valiant-branded” short stories by Jason Starr, Robert Rodi, Stuart Moore and others. The Kindle Worlds self-service submission platform will open at the same time.

Alloy Entertainment, the book-packaging division of Warner Bros. Television, has already licensed Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl, Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars and L.J. Smith’s The Vampire Diaries for what’s being billed as the first commercial publishing platform for fan fiction.

Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both authors and rights holders: For works of at least 10,000 words, authors will receive 35 percent of net revenue (based on sales price rather than the standard, but lower, wholesale), paid monthly. There will also be an experimental program for shorter works, between 5,000 and 10,000 words, which will be typically priced under $1; the author will receive a digital royalty of 20 percent.

Licensors will provide content guidelines for each “World,” which must be followed; in addition, Amazon won’t allow pornography, offensive content (including racial slurs and excessive foul language), “poor customer experience” (including poorly formatted stories and misleading titles), excessive use of brand names, or crossovers.

News From Our Partners

Comments

10 Comments

This looks to be a smart move by Valiant as they seem to have attracted several of the name authors that will be working on titles at launch. It will be interesting to see who else pops up on the project.

Wait, doesn’t Valiant have a shared world for their books? If so then how is that no cross-overs thing going to work?

@thennarynak – I’m guessing all it means you can’t do that X-O MANOWAR/Hill Street Blues X-Over you’ve been dying to see.

Wait… there’s fanfic of Valiant Comics?

Who writes fanfic of Valiant Comics?

Valiant’s got some great properties to write fanfic of. Eternal Warrior has some great possibilities. H.A.R.D. Corps would make some great military style stories.

@Troy: the storytelling possibilities are not the question. The question is: are there fans enough that are so rabid that they’ll just toss off a fanfic? I understood, for example, signing on Gossip Girl, as there are amateur fans everywhere writing up stories as we speak. But Valiant Comics?

Here’s what I mean. If you browse at fanfiction.net, the number one fanfic category is X-Men. There are 11,565 works of fanfiction currently over there, which makes sense since 1.) X-Men is popular and 2.) there are rabid enough fans who want to write about them. So we get down to Valiant and … there’s not a single title. Even Ava’s Demon, which is a relatively minor webcomic, has at least 10 fanfics written about it already.

So despite the storytelling possibilities, I have a hard time believing that there are fans out there rabid enough to toss off works of fiction for any of the titles. (Shoot… I’m wondering if Valiant Comics put their brand out there because there was like zero fanfiction out there written about any of there characters.)

El Santo, I remember a while back, there actually were a few pretty healthy Valiant fanfiction sites. They ended up fading away, but now that the company has made a pretty big comeback, I can definitely see this move reigniting interest.

Also, you’re thinking of this only in terms of fanfiction. You’re forgetting that the people who write these stories are going to get paid for them. Someone who used to write Valiant fanfic or is maybe interested in it but probably just doesn’t have the time, could get some new interest sparked because of this. And those writers who used to post up Valiant stories for sites that no longer exist? Well, they could easily end up digging up those stories and posting them.

You have to stop thinking of this solely in terms of fanfic and start thinking about it in terms of what this really is: a new way of licensing tie-in books and stories.

@Percival: Yeah, that’s true. I was thinking that this arrangement was more like how dudes like Peter David get to write “Star Trek” novels, which are technically not continuity and are, in a sense, glorified fanfiction.

That said, the headline does say “fanfiction,” so that’s what my mind went to. I guess Amazon’s trying to redefine the term, whereas before it’s basically “hobbyist fiction by people who could never hope to really secure the rights for the original characters.”

I wanted to amend my statement, by the way: there were apparently 9 Turok pieces on fanfiction.net, so there’s that.

2 Questions – Where? When?

and by Where? i mean where at Amazon?

Leave a Comment

 



Browse the Robot 6 Archives