When 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.