Monday, July 16, 2018

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, a handsome (so we're told) prince* in the land of Amazon had an idea.

"I'll create a platform to help beginning and lesser-known authors write and publish stories based on established fictional universes!" the prince exclaimed in his odd, though native, Princeton tongue.

image of quill and parchment

He waved his magic wand and created Kindle Worlds where a famous author would allow others to add to the body of work he or she had created. There were guidelines in place, of course, to protect the original author from damage, but it allowed those not-so-famous writers to join the party. It seemed like a good deal for everyone. The famous authors get publicity for their work and the struggling authors get the benefit of writing stories for a world with which the reader would be familiar. The readers of those worlds would benefit by having more stories than ever to chose from and enjoy. The Prince would take a cut of the profits.

Then one day, a greedy ogre (who had been disguised as the aforementioned handsome prince) decided it wasn't worth the time and expense to do all this. The payoff wasn't enough. The ogre took out a sword—or pen, as the case may be—and slew Kindle Worlds. Darkness spread over the land.

End of story.

Not much of a tale, I suppose, but that's the way it looks to many writers. No hero to save the day here. Was the prince really an ogre or was Kindle Worlds an empty, deteriorating wing of his publishing palace? I don't know. What I do know is that closing it down threw a bucket of cold water onto the plans of some aspiring writers.

The effect of all this became apparent when I checked on the author page of a writer I'm familiar with: Terri Deno.

A short while ago, Terri had a nice collection of works to display.

Terri Deno's book before Kindle Worlds went away

Now, not so much...

Even if you had the book's URL (Melody of Love used as an example here), all you got was this:

Even when the books still were on Amazon, the links went nowhere...

No offense to Barney, but that's not what I was looking for.

Terri had done the work and played by the rules, but that didn't matter somehow. Three of her five books were for Kindle Worlds. Now the books are gone. Can they be rewritten and published in a format that won't violate the rules Amazon and the original author have put in place? Sure, but it's hard enough to write a book once. Writing it twice seems like punishment.

Is there a moral to this story? Perhaps it's take charge of your own destiny. Easier said than done when you're a writer. Or be patient; the most beautiful flowers are often the last to bloom. Or those who seem most eager to help aren't always your friend. Pick one. Or three. Best of all—write your own.

* He graduated from Princeton, so I'm assuming he was a prince. I could be wrong.

© 2018 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

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