The Link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1001197421
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. Television Group's Alloy
Entertainment for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, with licenses for more Worlds on the way.
Publish fan fiction and make money and not have to worry about getting sued? Interesting.
I've never written fan fiction, but I do know that there are sites devoted to it and a lot of it is really poor. So we have an established fan base and an established world and characters. Half your marketing and creativity is done for you; all you have to do is write an engaging story. By adding the ability for writers to profit from this, fan fiction just went from a cult following hobby to a viable choice for writers.
My wife and I both have movies and shows that we could be considered pretty big fans of, and I bet I could come up with some great stories if Amazon gets the licenses for them. Imagine good writers taking on shows that were cut short far too soon, like Jericho, or Firefly, or a dozen others?
I've noticed that people are already decrying the contract that Amazon has crafted for writers (you can't publish your work elsewhere than Amazon, etc.). Since they are providing a platform that otherwise didn't exist before, I don't see anything in their terms that seems unreasonable to me.
Other people are decrying it as yet another vehicle for the reading public to be exposed to unpolished, poor writing - like indie publishing. Bullocks. The floodgates are open. We don't need the Big Six Publishers anymore. Technology has circumvented the gatekeepers. Let the market sort the wheat from the chaff, not some editor in New York that doesn't like your politics, religion, world view, etc.
Depending on the licenses they get, you may see some Archer Garrett fan fiction soon on Kindle Worlds.