Amazon: Insane or Brilliant?

So probably the biggest news on Twitter (well, my feed at least, which includes a lot of writers and literary types) is that Amazon is getting into the Fan Fiction business with its Amazon Worlds initiative. I can safely say I never, ever saw that coming. I doubt anyone did. Fan fiction is like the redheaded stepchild of writing (I can say that as I am a red head, and who knows, maybe my mom will remarry, after my dad dies I mean). Although a lot of people produce it, and a lot of people read it, it does not very much respect in the literary community. Like none. Some people are dead set against it, and think it is the worst thing in the world. Personally I don’t care much either way. I have neither read nor written any fan fiction. But I think it can be successful.

People like being comfortable. They like familiar characters and situations. If some writers out there can tap into what makes the licensed properties successful, they will probably also be successful. Currently the only properties licensed include Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and Vampire Diaries, so I doubt I will be throwing my pen into the ring anytime soon, but they promise more licenses will be coming soon. I don’t know if any major properties (Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter etc…) will ever fall under the realm of Amazon Worlds, but I am sure they can generate enough content with lesser known properties. And there will be a market for this. Amazon has just created it. Amazing.