Compared to fanfiction sites, it’s just not cutting it. When you look at all the free sites out there, the numbers don’t add up.
Oddly, I can’t fault Amazon for trying. This is an obvious market, it’s nice to get approved fanfic, and I can see some companies going for it as a way to find middle ground.
However the issue simply is that the limits are against what fanfiction is about. It’s often crazy, freewheeling, contrarian, extrapolatory, and at times sheer nuts – or seems to be. I know enough fanfiction authors of many ages and part of the goal of fanfiction is going outside the property – or inside it in a different way.
And I don’t think you can manage that inside the legal concerns of many major property holders. Or minor ones. Not without some serious community involvement and outreach.
So what’s next? That’s what I wonder – is this a failure, or will some new idea emerge? Will companies give up? Will this meander along? Don’t know.
But still, it’ll be interesting.
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.