It's sounds too good to be true, and it is. Check out the rules, and you'll find catch after catch. Each owner of the properties will provide authors with a set of guidelines that must be followed. How much do you want to bet those guidelines will say "Do not put licensed characters in homosexual situations" or that Amazon's no pornography rule is going to include slash of any kind?
Then there is this paragraph:
Kindle Worlds is a creative community where Worlds grow with each new story. You will own the copyright to the original, copyrightable elements (such as characters, scenes, and events) that you create and include in your work, and the World Licensor will retain the copyright to all the original elements of the World. When you submit your story in a World, you are granting Amazon Publishing an exclusive license to the story and all the original elements you include in that story. This means that your story and all the new elements must stay within the applicable World. We will allow Kindle Worlds authors to build on each other's ideas and elements. We will also give the World Licensor a license to use your new elements and incorporate them into other works without further compensation to you.
Bold mine. I don't know if it's just me, but I see a huge contradiction here. First they say you own your original elements. Then they say fanfiction authors will get to build on each other's ideas, which seems to me to mean that other authors can use your idea in their books, which you won't be paid for. Finally they say the owners of the licensed properties can use your new elements in other works, so I'm assuming that means they can incorporate your work into the actual TV shows these stories will be based on.
There's also the part that says, "Amazon Publishing will acquire all rights to your new stories, including global publication rights, for the term of copyright." Global publication rights means Amazon can publish your story in different languages without paying you royalties for foreign copies sold.
So there are lots of reasons not to do this, but people will still sign up. How will this affect fandom? Not much, I think. Fans read and write fanfic to explore scenarios that will likely never happen on the shows/in the books they love. They're not going to get anything rewarding out of stories written with guidelines from the property owners. Will these stories even be viewed as fanfiction? They're more like tie-in novels. Amazon never uses the word "fanfiction", but they are obviously marketing this program to fanfiction authors. Alloy Entertainment, the company that owns the three properties, is just looking for cheap ghostwriters.
And who the hell is going to pay for these? I can't think of why fans would want to pay for stories written with limited creative freedom. I think most people will be upset that Amazon is trying to monetize fandom. I've already seen posts on tumblr celebrating because they think Kindle Worlds will lead to fanfic getting the respect it deserves. But no one at Amazon or Alloy is going to respect the passion and creativity of fanfic writers with the rules they've laid out.
A few weeks ago I talked about the Hugo Voter Packet and how for a $60 supporting membership to Worldcon you could get copies of most of the Hugo Award-nominated works. Well, the packet was finally released today, so if you're already a member go download it now! If you're not a Worldcon member already, check out the cover art of the nominated works (it looks like pretty much everything except for the Dramatic Presentations are included in the packet) and consider joining so you can vote for the Hugo Awards by the July 31st deadline. My Hugo Award-nominated novella THE EMPEROR'S SOUL is in the packet alongside the other Best Novella nominees, and it's an honor to be in such a group.
This week's Writing Excuses podcast episode talks about short story writing with Mary Robinette Kowal. Mary has published more short stories than the rest of us combined, and she has a lot of good helpful things to say about the process.
Tonight I'm signing in San Jose and tomorrow I'll be in Albuquerque. Details on my events page. I've also left quite a few signed books at my previous tour stops, so give the following stores a call!( Read more...Collapse )
Hi! Wow, isn’t May so full of bookish deliciousness?
Today we’re celebrating the release of Natalie Whipple’s TRANSPARENT, which comes out TODAY! I’ve been a longtime reader and lurker at Natalie’s awesome blog, so I’m excited to help her celebrate!
An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.
After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.
Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.
I haven’t read it yet, but the hook of an invisible girl is pretty incredible. And how striking is the cover? This one’s been on my must-buy list since the deal was announced!
Now for our interview with Natalie:
1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.
Fiona is an invisible, distrustful, vulnerable ex-thief.
2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.
TRANSPARENT is a quirky, fast-paced, superhuman story.
3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.
I am a Kdrama-loving, anime-drawing, introverted foodie.
4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?
New Zealand, Japan, and Korea
5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?
Cooking, gardening, and art
6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?
Chef, artist, horticulturist (sensing a theme here?)
7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?
Ranunculus, snapdragons, lilacs
8. What are your 3 favorite foods?
Sushi, curry (all kinds), bulgogi
9. What are your 3 favorite books?
THE GIVER, FLASH BURNOUT, INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER
Thank you for joining us, Natalie! Hope you have an amazing week!
Eeep! It’s now less than one month ’til STAR CURSED comes out! June 18! I can’t wait for you all to read it!!!!
I was thrilled that it’s on the Summer 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List. I’m in great company – the YA list also features Sara Zarr’s THE LUCY VARIATIONS, Andrea Cremer & David Levithan’s INVISIBILITY, and Sarah Dessen’s THE MOON AND MORE. Check it out here!
To celebrate the one month mark, I’m giving away a historical YA prize pack! But first, another snippet from STAR CURSED:
Two floors down, the grandfather clock chimes midnight. I glance at Rilla, curled on her side beneath her yellow quilt. She lets out a reassuring snore. I tiptoe across the room and ease the door open, holding my breath.
I cringe at every creak in the old wooden steps. Down in the kitchen, I pause to wrap my cloak around my shoulders, tugging the hood up over my long blond braids. The November wind whistles eerily in the chimney.
The cold inside the convent is nothing compared to the cold without. As soon as I step into the backyard, it bites at my nose and cheeks and fingertips. The water in the marble birdbath is frozen solid. I hurry past the fogged windows of Sister Evelyn’s conservatory, longing for the steamy warmth within.
The wind slices through my cloak, blowing my hood back and sending my hair whipping around my face. The half-moon throws shadows onto the slate path. It would only take one girl pressing her nose to the chilled windowpane of a garden-facing room, and I’d be discovered.
The garden stretches the entire width of a city block; a wrought-iron gate at the far end opens onto the lane behind the convent. I grip the freezing metal and drag it open. A tall figure darts around the corner.
For a minute, I grin foolishly. Then I rush toward him, heedless, wanting.
“Why?” His face is shadowed by his black hood, but I’d know that voice anywhere—only I’ve never heard it sound so furious with me.
I slam to a halt as though a glass pane separates us.
It was the last thing Finn said to me that day in church. The first thing he’s asking now.
We’re so close. Inches apart. I could reach out and—
“We had a plan. I went through with my part. I expected you to go through with yours. I expected you to announce our betrothal. What happened, Cate? Did you—” His hood blows off, revealing coppery hair that’s unrulier than ever. His cheeks are red, and the tips of his ears. He takes a deep breath, fighting for control. “Have your feelings for me changed?”
Now for the giveaway:
* a signed ARC of STAR CURSED
which obviously I am rather biased about but think you might enjoy
* a finished copy of CHANTRESS by Amy Butler Greenfield
which I loved so much I blurbed: With a spirited heroine, fearsome monsters, and luminous worldbuilding, this story had me hooked from the first page. CHANTRESS is truly enchanting.
* a finished copy of MAID OF SECRETS by Jennifer McGowan
which I also loved so much I blurbed: McGowan offers a tantalizing look at the spies, seductions, and secrets of Queen Elizabeth’s court. There are no damsels in distress here; Meg and her fellow Maids of Honor are a clever, winsome quintet!
* an ARC of TARNISH by Katherine Longshore
which is an account of the young Anne Boleyn’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII. I haven’t read this yet, but I loved its predecessor, GILT.
To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. Contest open ’til midnight next Mon, May 27. US only.
This weekend, I went to the Frederick Book Festival and had a fantastic time! I got to see people I rarely get to see (Diana Peterfreund, Miranda Kenneally, Blogger Jessica, Writer Laura, and my agent sister, Valerie Cole), and meet people I’ve known online but hadn’t yet had the chance to meet in person (Jen at Jenuine Cupcakes, P.J. Schnyder, Hanna at The Irish Banana, and Liza at Reading With ABC), and get to meet a few lovely new friends, too (Jennifer Armentrout, Amanda Brice, and many others). (I’m sure I’m forgetting lots of people. Sorry. I STILL ADORE YOU.)
The event itself was great. Cold, but great. (See any of the numerous photos of us huddling in spare tablecloths.) I love getting to visit with other enthusiastic readers and writers. The energy was high! (Definitely aided by the presence of cupcakes.)
This post is not about the awesomeness of the weekend.
This post is about getting there, and getting home.
Imagine me, sitting in my driveway, fussing with the GPS device so I could get to Frederick.
Me: *types in F-R-E-*
GPS: FREDERICKSBURG, VA?
Me: No! Frederick in Maryland! *tries again*
GPS: FREDERICKSBURG, VA?
Me: GAH! No. Maryland! Oh, I see. It’s only searching in Virginia.
At last, I figured out how to program the GPS to take me out of the lovely state of Virginia, and into the wilds of Maryland. My mom was on the phone with me during this time. Giggling.
I knew which route I wanted to take — no interstates. There is a straight shot from my town up to Frederick, and I had printed instructions to help me get there. I’ve dealt with this GPS device before, and on every trip, it’s done at least one thing to try to get me lost. This time, I knew what to expect.
Or so I thought.
GPS: Exit right to interstate.
Me: No. *drives past exit*
GPS: $%%$&^*@! Recalculating. Turn left. Then turn left. Then exit to interstate.
Me: *ignores and continues on the One True Road To Maryland*
GPS: Recalculating. Drive one mile. Exit right to interstate.
Me: No! Just shut up! Why can’t we just stay on this road?
GPS: Exit right to interstate.
This went on some time, with my mom cackling in my ear, until finally the GPS gave up and allowed me to take the road I wanted. But then we reached the next hurdle: the hotel entrance.
This was one of those areas where you had to drive past the hotel and to the entrance, then turn into a driveway and through the parking lot. I’m not sure where my GPS wanted me to turn, but it was at least half a mile past the hotel. Fortunately, I figured it out and unplugged the GPS before it got sassy with me.
I had to go out again that first day, but this time, I got directions to the Barnes and Noble from one of the hotel desk ladies. It was a straight shot. I didn’t even need the GPS!
However, I wasn’t as confident on the way back. It was dark. And my agent sister Valerie was going to be following me. She trusted me to get her to the hotel in one piece. Cautiously, I turned on my GPS and asked it (nicely) to take me back to the hotel.
GPS: Turn right.
Me: *turns right*
GPS: Go .5 miles. Turn right.
Me: *wary* *but does it*
GPS: Turn right. Then turn right. Then turn right.
Me: Oh dear commas. I bet Valerie hates me now.
But finally, I reached a familiar road and made it back to that weird entrance into the hotel parking lot. My GPS’s next turn distance counter kept getting higher and higher, though, as if I were getting farther from my destination. Even though I was in the parking lot.
GPS: Drive five miles–
The next day, Valerie and I drove to the fairgrounds for the book festival. I had paper directions and the GPS. I told it the address and we were off.
Part way there, the roads disappeared from the screen.
Leaving only the little car icon in a sea of white nothing.
Me: WHERE ARE THE ROADS?
Valerie: Just keep driving.
Me: THE ROADS ARE GONE.
Me: WE DON’T EXIST ANYMORE!
The roads eventually reappeared and we made it to the fairgrounds in one piece. No thanks to the GPS. (Later, Valerie helped me parallel park for the first time since I was sixteen.)
When it was time to leave Frederick and head back home, I fired up my GPS, knowing I was in for more trickery and interstate-pushing, but how bad could it be? I knew I had to take the interstate to get back to the One True Road to Virginia, and my paper directions told me which exits I’d want to take in order to go the way I wanted, once the GPS began its efforts to lead me astray. I said bye to Valerie and took to the streets.
Me: Isn’t this the road I should turn on?
GPS: Drive one mile.
Me: O . . . kay . . .
GPS: Turn left.
Me: *waits at endless stoplight*
GPS: Drive .4 miles, then turn left onto interstate.
Me: Didn’t I pass the interstate back there?
GPS: Don’t make me repeat myself.
Me: . . . .
GPS: Turn left onto interstate.
Me: There . . . is no left? *drives a little farther*
GPS: Recalculating. Turn left. Then turn left.
Me: *makes a U-turn*
GPS: Drive .2 miles, then turn right onto interstate
Me: Even though I’m driving the opposite way? There’s a turn?
GPS: Turn right onto interstate!
Me: That’s a parking lot. The interstate is waaay over there.
GPS: $#%&* Recalculating.
With some effort, I managed to make it back onto a street I knew, and then onto the appropriate interstate and got the exit that took me to the One True Road to Virginia. Of course, I spent the entire drive home fending off the GPS’s efforts to draw me onto the interstate, but . . . I made it. The GPS did not get me hopelessly lost, in spite of its best attempts to do just that. I knew I’d be fine if I did. I’d shoved two half-full bottles of water into my bag, as well as a granola bar and an apple, and I had almost a dozen cupcakes in the back seat. I was prepared for a long, cold winter summer of surviving in the mountains.