Amazon has announced that they will soon be seeking submissions for Kindle Worlds
Get ready for Kindle Worlds, a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games. With Kindle Worlds, you can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers, and earn royalties. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, with licenses for more Worlds on the way.
This isn’t as earth-shattering new as some are portraying it. Pocket Books has been selling Star Trek fan-fiction for decades. Yes, authors have to submit their fan-fiction to Pocket Books/Paramount. Pocket Books/Paramount decides what gets published. Authors will have to submit their fan-fiction to Amazon. Amazon, with input I am certain from the rights holders, will decide what gets published. The website already lists several content restrictions:
- Pornography: We don’t accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.
- Offensive Content: We don’t accept offensive content, including but not limited to racial slurs, excessively graphic or violent material, or excessive use of foul language.
- Illegal and Infringing Content: We take violations of laws and proprietary rights very seriously. It is the authors’ responsibility to ensure that their content doesn’t violate laws or copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other rights.
- Poor Customer Experience: We don’t accept books that provide a poor customer experience. Examples include poorly formatted books and books with misleading titles, cover art, or product descriptions. We reserve the right to determine whether content provides a poor customer experience.
- Excessive Use of Brands: We don’t accept the excessive use of brand names or the inclusion of brand names for paid advertising or promotion.
- Crossover: No crossovers from other Worlds are permitted, meaning your work may not include elements of any copyright-protected book, movie, or other property outside of the elements of this World.
This will make selling fan-fiction in the specified universes easier. Selling fan-fiction in other universes will still be as illegal as it was previously. Publishing, but not selling, fan-fiction in other universes will remain as illegal as it was previously.
The only legal questions I have are related to the fact that the current acquired universes seem to be television shows based on written works. Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith. Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard. Amazon says they acquired the rights to the universes from Warner Brothers. Meaning, I think, that in addition to Amazon’s cut, and the fan-fiction author’s cut, Warner Brothers will get a cut. Will the author of the original series get a cut? Did Amazon ask the original authors for permission? Did they need to? If they only have Warner Brother’s permission, do the fan-fiction authors have to be careful about using characters and plot references that only appear in the novels, and not in the television show?
Update: Their press release indicates the rights were obtained from Alloy Entertainment – the book publishing arm of Warner Brothers. This suggests that Warner Brothers/Alloy own the rights to both the novels and television series, in which case there should be no legal issue.
I found this poem in my drafts folder. I wrote it back in January of 2011.
The Red-Billed Oxpecker
She builds her nest
from the souls
of her co-workers.
In my Work-in-Progress I am having a slight issue making certain one of my characters doesn’t appear dumb. I have a distaste for dumb characters wherever I run across them – books, television, or theater. I don’t require all characters to be geniuses, but they need a bare minimum of intelligence. The characters of Phoebe and Joey on Friends always bothered me. As did the character of Rose on Golden Girls. I understand the comedic potential of this type of character. Gracie Allen perfected it. But it’s time to move on.
My character isn’t stupid, but he is naïve, inexperienced, and other synonyms. Several in my critique group thought he sounded stupid in the latest pages I brought. If I could make him a geek, that might be a solution. Everyone knows Sheldon Cooper isn’t stupid. (Or, at least, isn’t supposed to be stupid when the writers are portraying him correctly.) However, my setting is pre-20th century. There are other things he could be geeky about, but I don’t want to fall back on that as a solution unless no other choices present themselves.
It took a little longer than I said. A month as opposed to a weekend. However, a cursory look suggests everything was backed up and has been returned. (I know there are posts with broken images; that was the case beforehand.) Feel free to leave comments, and hopefully I will find some time to write some posts. (And to add a little pizzazz to the design)
Correction: everything ended up getting backed up except one thing. Every single comment ever left by any of my readers, or by myself. Now it looks like I’ve been blogging since 2002 without any interaction with my readers. At least one of my readers left a word-count roughly equivalent to a novel in my comments. I think I have some older backups before the comments went screwy, and I might be able to restore some of those.
Update: I found a backup containing comments that was 18 months old. I think that’s pretty good, especially considering how lightly I’ve used this blog in the past 18 months. I am pleased that the WordPress importer recognized that all the posts were duplicates, but still imported the comments. (pats WordPress on the head.)
If anyone came to this blog Tuesday or Wednesday they may have seen that the blog was down. Large amounts of ‘attempted spam’ caused the host to first suspend the account, and after my request, unsuspend the account and just block the blog’s subdirectory until I got things fixed.
Since the spam was only attempted spam, I wasn’t aware of it, but it was still causing a drain on the host’s resources. So I have installed a CAPTCHA. It’s not one of those difficult to read series of letters and numbers, but a mathematical equation you have to solve. Don’t worry, so far the math problems I’ve seen are rather simple, and I think you can handle it. (For example: 3 + _ = 8.) Would you know what number to type?
Downside: you might not be able to comment after a few beers…but that might be best for all concerned anyway.
In testing the CAPTCHA it came to my attention that while the CAPTCHA works fine, the comments weren’t working. I can’t even view the comments in old posts that I know have them.
No one left me any comments to tell me the comments weren’t working!!!
This weekend I am going to backup my blog, delete this WordPress installation, reinstall WordPress, and upload my backup. I am hopeful this will solve everything.
Today I forwarded an email I originally sent in 2005 back to a mailing list my wife and I are on.
Wife: You still had an email you sent back in 2005?
Me: I don’t delete any of my emails.
Wife: Why not?
Me: You never know when you will need them.
Wife: You’re insane.
Me: This is proof! If I had deleted that email, I wouldn’t have had it to send to the mailing list today.
I do delete some email that get sent to me.
And I have deleted emails I have sent to myself between email accounts containing very large attachments. I only need the backups of those files in one email account.
But other than that, I have never deleted any email from my sent folder since opening my Gmail account in June of 2004.
Currently, in my primary email account, my sent folder contains 13,027 email conversations, and the whole account contains 129,647 conversations.
Sure, I could delete some of that.
However, I’m only using 56% of the space available. Why should I?
Who knows what email I will want to refer back to 9 years from now?
Mr. Howe provides a fine explanation of the difference between self-censorship and self-restraint. [You will need to follow the link and read it to understand my next comment.]
Unfortunately, what I often lack is neither self-censorship, nor self-restraint.
The song, Suddenly, from Les Miserables (2012) is up for an Academy Award. Some have claimed it is the only song which was added to the movie, and all the other songs in the movie were in the stage play.
However, my favorite new song from the movie is Gavroche’s. Technically, maybe it’s ‘just’ a new verse inserted into an old song, Look Down. But what a wonderful verse it is!
There was a time we killed the King;
We tried to change the world too fast.
Now we have got another King;
He is no better than the last.
This is the land that fought for liberty -
Now when we fight we fight for bread!
Here is the thing about equality -
Everyone’s equal when they’re dead.
Take your place!
Take your chance!
Vive la France! Vive la France!
I should write a lengthy review of the movie. However, for now I will give a short one:
Both thumbs up, along with the other 8 fingers, for a double high five.
Everything they added to the musical made the movie closer to the novel; everything they subtracted from the musical made for a better movie. The casting was excellent. The singing wasn’t stage musical quality, but the acting was great. It’s a movie, not a stage musical. Those who go expecting a Boadway musical movie in the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein tradition will be disappointed. However, those who originally went to the stage play expecting Rodgers and Hammerstein were also disappointed. Rodgers and Hammerstein are dead. (They have been dead for over 30 years. It’s time to move on, don’t you think?)
I long ago learned to take greetings and gifts in the spirit they were intended. There is absolutely no reason to be offended by something someone says or does for you, if their intent is good.
For the past several years I have participated in the annual “Secret Holiday Pal” gift exchange at work. An obvious, but appreciated, generic for “Secret Santa.” I enjoy giving (and receiving) gifts as much as the next guy or gal.
The way it works here is that there are two weeks of gift exchange. One is supposed to spend approximately $5 the first week, $5 the second week, and $10 on a final gift to be exchanged at a party on the final day. I am usually on an airplane headed south on the final day, but I leave the final gift for my holiday pal with someone else to present at the party, and discover what my secret pal left me upon my return.
So I returned to work today and saw my final gift.
There was a greeting card attached with a handwritten message:
“Another year of great blessing because of Christ Jesus awesome love.”
[I was a bit offended by the lack of an apostrophe after ‘Jesus’.]
While I believe the signer of the card has been working here for as long as I have, we don’t have direct business contact with one another. I have no reason to believe she knows I’m Jewish. I have no reason to be offended. (If I thought she did know, I would be offended, because her intent would be a clear one of proselytization.)
She also gave me
I have absolutely no reason to be offended by these!
Here’s another poem I recently found in my archives.
I browse the brickyard
For the appropriate projectile
To hurl at the subhuman
His lack of a brain
To enlighten an electron.