Yesterday Amazon announced that they are setting up a Kindle marketplace for fan-fiction about approved properties. Their first test partner is Warner Brothers, which has licensed Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries to be part of the experiment. Since those are all CW shows, there is not a lot of damage to be done to them by some not-very-good fan-fiction, but there is a great potential for some decent fan-fiction to make a boatload of money. The marketplace will open with 50 or so pieces of commissioned fan-fiction from approved authors, and will open up for public submissions at the same time. Of course, there will be content restrictions to keep this whole endeavor from drifting out of fan-fiction territory into slash-fiction territory.

But, considering Fifty Shades of Grey came from Twilight slash-fiction (on Amazon, too), I don’t think it will be long until people are slipping in works that skew more toward an R than a PG.

I really have to applaud Amazon for trying a lot of different things with digital publishing. They were the first to really open up their marketplace for user-published material, and their rates have always been more than fair. They are trying to coax the serialized story model back to life with their Amazon Serials and now they are embracing the ugly duckling world of fan-fiction. Now if only they would get around to selling me a digital deluxe version of a physical book that included a one-time use Kindle code for the same title…