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Amazon's Kindle Worlds will pay writers to write fan fiction

The company's new publishing platform will provide royalties to writers who fashion their own stories after existing books, TV shows, and more.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

People who write fan fiction could find a paying market for their work courtesy of Amazon.

Unveiled Wednesday, Kindle Worlds is a new publishing venture from Amazon that promises to reward both writers and the original rights holders for new fiction based on existing stories and characters.

Authors who create works of at least 10,000 words in length will receive 35 percent of the net revenue based on the actual sales price, with royalties paid each month. Those who write shorter pieces between 5,000 and 10,000 words will receive a digital royalty of 20 percent of the sales price.

As the program is just getting off the ground, Amazon has signed up one rights holder so far -- Warner Bros. Television Group's Alloy Entertainment division. This agreement paves the way for fan fiction based on the "Gossip Girl" series by Cecily von Ziegesar, "Pretty Little Liars" by Sara Shepard, and "Vampire Diaries" by L.J. Smith.

Amazon said it plans to announce more license agreements soon with an eye toward fan fiction based on books, TV shows, movies, music, and even games.

"Our goal with Kindle Worlds is to create a home for authors to build on the Worlds we license, and give readers more stories from the Worlds they enjoy," Philip Patrick, director of business development and publisher of Kindle Worlds, said in a statement. "We look forward to announcing additional World licensing deals in the coming weeks."

The Kindle Worlds store is expected to open its doors in June with more than 50 stories, some from award-winning authors. The Kindle Worlds self-service submission platform will also launch at that time, allowing anyone to submit a piece of fan fiction.

Writers who want to learn more about the program can check out the Kindle Worlds Web site.