So, that worked: how Kindle Worlds got me to watch The 100
A lot of people wondered why mainstream rightsholders would license properties to Amazon’s
This innovative programsees Amazon act effectively as the bridge between people who own the rights to intellectually property (like a movie, TV show, or book series) and writers who would like to create new stories in those worlds.
The rightsholder gets a cut, the author gets a cut, and Amazon gets a cut.
The rightsholder is able to put up guidelines, but they don’t approve the individual works.
Certainly, you can see how there could be some risk there. There’s nothing that prevents an author from writing a poor story, or one that is distinctly non-canonical (creating a romance between two characters when there isn’t one in the real series, or killing major characters). It’s possible a reader will encounter a KW version first, and then decide not to read the others.
I think that’s not very likely, though. I think most people will understand that KW is not official…still, the risk isn’t zero.
For Disney, a company famously (some would say overzealously) protective of their characters, I don’t think they’ll tend to take that risk. That’s why, even though the Marvel Universe and Star Wars are amongst the most requested properties, my best guess is that we aren’t going to get those.
Some companies, though, perhaps with younger-skewing audiences, seem to believe that “fanfic” (fan fiction) and other forms of fan engagement can be beneficial to a brand. This isn’t traditional fanfic, but it’s in the same neighborhood, even if not living on the same street.😉
That additional engagement can have a synergistic effect. Someone who reads a KW work may buy the main series…or another form of licensed content.
That happened with me recently…actually, I didn’t even read the KW books, I just noticed they existed.
That upped my awareness of
It’s a young adult, post-apocalyptic science fiction series.
It’s also a show on the CW.
I had an afternoon where I was going to work on some things in the house, and I wanted something to “background binge”…a TV series that will go from episode to episode for me, and not one where I want to necessarily pay attention to every word. I can write, exercise, and do some household chores with the TV on like that…in fact, I do them better.
So, I saw on Netflix on my
that they had The 100 (from the first episode).
It was worth a try.
It is a bit soapy, and has a cast with a lot of young, traditionally attractive people (in other words, it’s a CW show)😉, but I’ve found that it’s worth watching. There have been some good set pieces, and it has a complex (but not convoluted or overly mythologized) plot. It’s also well designed for binging, with one episode flowing nicely into the next.
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have started watching it if I didn’t know it was in KW, which gave it a certain amount of legitimacy.
I had also added it to
The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project
and when I did that, I could see there was some significant fandom. I typically add links to streaming and public library searches for non-public domain works like this, a link to a Twitter search, Google news search, and so on. Some have a lot; some don’t. I certainly put things in TMCGTT that don’t have much: those are fun, too!
Now, the obvious question: did this get me to read the Kass Morgan books?
If they had been in
I would have. 😉
In an exception for books published by Amazon, even the KW books aren’t in Kindle Unlimited…probably, that would complicate things with the rightsholders.
Regardless, it worked: KW got me to view the TV series…and somebody got paid for that.
That’s why I still think we may see some older properties that are harder to monetize: The Addams Family, Get Smart, Lost in Space…I might write in any of those, among many others. Maybe with the new Doc Savage movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, we’ll get that…but they might be too protective and there is a currently licensed book series happening already.
I think it helps a fictional property to be open to new ideas. Superman wouldn’t fly if it wasn’t that the Fleischers requested it, to make it easier to animate in an old cartoon series (when Supes could “leap tall buildings in a single bound”, they had to show take-off and landing, and, well, it’s more dramatic if Superman can hover and change directions).
What do you think? Are you reading Kindle Worlds? Has that inspired you to read/view the original property…or discouraged you from doing it? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.