And yeah, I won’t pretend to not be feeling a personal connection here.
I’m not sure how many folks are aware of it (I certainly wasn’t) but the Amazon Kindle service has a “Kindle Worlds” library and service, which has generated licensing deals with many brands out there, allowing authors to write fiction based in those universes, and collect royalties for that fiction work.
As of today, Kindle Worlds as reached a licensing agreement with Hasbro for the world of G.I. Joe! G.I. Joe is rich with fanfiction creators, and the idea that these people can potentially format and submit their work for official placement in the Kindle library is pretty huge, and I won’t lie, I’m really excited about this.
Some folks might remember, I first made my way into the online G.I. Joe fandom with my work on The Price of Peace, a 350 – 400 page monster novel that consumed a year of my life and helped spring board my dio-story universe. The idea that work like this could actually generate some income and be available worldwide on the Kindle platform? Yeah, that’s pretty bad ass right there.
The full details can be seen right here, and I’ll also copy the press release after the jump.
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Today, Amazon Publishing announced that Kindle Worlds has reached licensing agreements to open up seven new Worlds, including Worlds based on Hasbro’s iconic G.I. JOE brand, and Warner Bros. TV shows Veronica Mars and Pretty Little Liars’ spinoffRavenswood. Writers can now choose from more than 20 Worlds to write and sell their own original fiction inspired by popular characters and storylines. These Worlds will open for writers to start publishing stories in the next few months.
“Our Kindle Worlds collaboration with Amazon Publishing has been tremendously successful since its introduction last year”
“Since 1964, G.I. JOE has inspired the imagination of multiple generations by providing a backdrop of excitement and adventure. Whether exploring the secrets of the mummy’s tomb, or defending freedom from the evil plots of COBRA, G.I. JOE has been there,” said Michael Kelly, Hasbro’s Director of Global Publishing. “It is with equal excitement that Hasbro now enters a new segment of the business by embracing the concept of open-source storytelling, and officially unlocking the world of G.I. JOE to our fans through Amazon’s Kindle Worlds.”
The new licensing agreement comes at a historic time for the G.I. JOE brand, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014, since the first G.I. JOE action figure was released in 1964. It has become one of Hasbro’s most enduring and recognizable brands with toys, comics, TV series, films and video games. With the launch of the G.I. JOE World, writers will be able to publish their own original fiction starring iconic G.I. JOE characters like DUKE, SNAKE EYES, and COBRA COMMANDER, and sell their work on Amazon.com.
New Worlds will also launch from two Warner Bros. fan favorite TV shows:
- Veronica Mars, based on the television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas and starring Kristen Bell. Prime Instant Video is the exclusive subscription streaming home for the full TV series. Two novels, based on the adult life of the popular character, are currently being developed by Thomas and Alloy Entertainment.
- Ravenswood, based on the teen drama mystery-thriller television series created by I. Marlene King, Joseph Dougherty and Oliver Goldstick.Ravenswood stars Tyler Blackburn reprising his role as Caleb Rivers from Pretty Little Liars.
“Veronica Mars’ fans are amazingly loyal and anything we can do to give them more access to her world and that of her character is great,” said Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas. “I’m looking forward to seeing what new worlds and characters are created by fans and Kindle Worlds writers.”
“Our Kindle Worlds collaboration with Amazon Publishing has been tremendously successful since its introduction last year,” said Leslie Morgenstein, President of Alloy Entertainment. “Adding Ravenswood and Veronica Mars to the platform is a great way for us to gain deeper engagement with fans as they explore their own creative story adaptations.”
Kindle Worlds is also excited to announce licensing deals to launch Worlds from best-selling authors Marcus Sakey and Theresa Ragan, and new comics properties from Valiant Entertainment:
- The Abnorm Chronicles, set in the World of Marcus Sakey’s best-selling, Edgar Award-nominated novel Brilliance, the first in a forthcoming trilogy, recently optioned by Legendary Pictures for a major motion picture.
- The Lizzy Gardner Files, set in the universe of Theresa Ragan’s best-selling romantic suspense series starring private investigator Lizzy Gardner.
- Quantum and Woody and Eternal Warrior, inspired by the relaunched universes from Valiant Entertainment’s classic comic properties.
“Kindle Worlds continues to grow quickly with new licenses across the pop culture spectrum, and we are excited to expand our World selection for writers,” said Nick Loeffler, General Manager of Kindle Worlds. “In just a few months since our launch, we’ve published hundreds of new stories with great customer reviews reflecting the high quality of so many of these submissions. While it’s very early days, we are thrilled with the initial reception from licensors and readers and look forward to adding additional Worlds soon.”
G.I. JOE, Veronica Mars, and Ravenswood join a growing list of Kindle Worlds properties that include Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, Valiant Entertainment’s Unity, and best-selling author properties including The World of Kurt Vonnegut, Hugh Howey’s Silo Saga, Barry Eisler’s John Rain, Blake Crouch’s Wayward Pines, Lee Goldberg’s The Dead Man, and The Foreworld Saga.
About Kindle Worlds
Kindle Worlds is a new publishing model that allows any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store, and earn up to a 35% royalty while doing so. Kindle Worlds stories are typically priced between $0.99 and $3.99 and are exclusive to Kindle.
Amazon Publishing is engaged with additional rights holders from different areas of entertainment—books, games, TV, movies and music—and looks forward to announcing future deals soon. To get started writing works in licensed properties and to view the submission guidelines and instructions, visit the Self-Service Submission Platform at kindleworlds.com. To buy Kindle Worlds works, visit amazon.com/kindleworlds. For regular updates, follow @KindleWorlds on Twitter, and our blog blog.kindleworlds.com.
About Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company’s world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere. The Company’s Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for more than 180 markets around the world, and for the U.S. on Hub Network, part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Through the company’s deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens.” Learn more atwww.hasbro.com.
About Alloy Entertainment
Alloy Entertainment, a division of the Warner Bros. Television Group, develops and produces original novels, television series and feature films. More than 75 of AE’s books have been on The New York Times bestseller list, including The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, The Clique, The Lying Game, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Private and The Luxe. AE has successfully adapted several of its top-selling books into hit television shows for broadcast across multiple networks, including The CW, ABC, ABC Family and Nickelodeon. Current Alloy Entertainment television series include Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Ravenswood and upcoming series The 100. AE feature films include Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 & 2, Sex Drive and The Clique, with several additional projects currently in development.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle Paperwhite is the world’s best-selling and most advanced e-reader. It features new display technology with higher contrast, the next generation built-in light, a faster processor, the latest touch technology, and exclusive new features designed from the ground up for readers. Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, features improved fonts and faster page turns. The new Kindle Fire HDX features a stunning exclusive 7” or 8.9” HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2x more memory, and 11 hours of battery life, as well as exclusive new features of Fire OS 3.0 including X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button. The all-new Kindle Fire HD includes an HD display, high-performance processor and dual speakers at a breakthrough price.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr,www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, www.amazon.es, www.amazon.com.br, www.amazon.in, www.amazon.com.mx, and www.amazon.com.au. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment and data center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.