Unfortunate news circulating in some of the author communities today as Amazon is expected to announce today that they are sunsetting the Kindle Worlds platform.
Originally launched in 2013, Amazon’s Kindle Worlds was a unique collaboration between the online retail giant and several IP holders which allowed authors to write in different universes belonging to licensed properties. As most of you know, one of those properties was G.I. Joe.
This hits me especially hard. As many of you know, I am currently an independent author who has written and published several novels and novellas. The first thing I ever published as a G.I. Joe trilogy for Kindle Worlds, and if not for that opportunity, I might never have become an author at all.
Kindle Worlds, quite simply, changed my life.
I won’t tell you that I still make a lot of money off Kindle Worlds, I don’t, and honestly it’s never been that lucrative at all, it was one of those things I did because I loved it, and while I haven’t had much time lately to write more G.I. Joe content, I had a pretty cool twelve episode series in the works that I really thought was going to be neat. Now, it may never see the light of day.
According to reports, the rights for the published work will be returned to the authors, however that’s more or less meaningless without the conduit to the IP holder allowing us to use their characters and their universes. From what I’m hearing, some folks who own these Kindle Worlds properties are considering their own solutions that might allow authors to continue writing this work, but at this point, Hasbro has not made any official comment or determination.
So I guess, if you love G.I. Joe fiction and you’ve wanted to check out Kindle Worlds, you’d best do it now because you won’t have much longer. Reports are saying that submitting new content will be denied after tomorrow (May 17th) and all published works will be taken down by July 16th.
I’m disappointed, of course, but also extremely thankful that the opportunity was there to begin with. Huge thanks to Hasbro, Derryl DePriest and others behind the G.I. Joe curtain, and to Amazon themselves for making this available and allowing some of us creatives a unique opportunity to play in their sandbox.
If you want to check out G.I. Joe at Kindle Worlds, do it soon.
The rumored letter going out to Kindle Worlds owners can be seen below:
As a valued member of the Kindle Worlds licensor community, we wanted to let you know that the Kindle Worlds program is closing. We will be notifying fan authors tomorrow, May 16th.As of May 17th, Kindle Worlds will no longer be accepting new submissions. Previously published Kindle Worlds stories will no longer be available for sale on Amazon.com on or around July 16th. The Kindle Worlds website will be closed on August 29th; we ask that all Kindle Worlds participants update and validate their banking information, mailing address, and contact information by July 31, 2018 in order to facilitate a timely final royalty payment.Your final royalty statement will include a proactive final payment for all remaining Kindle Unlimited borrows, including borrows that have not yet met the qualified borrow threshold. We plan to remove Kindle Worlds stories from Kindle Unlimited on May 16th.Effective as of the date we remove each fan author’s work, we will revert the rights granted to us by that fan author. Our reversion letter to each applicable fan author will provide that such reversion is subject to the rights we granted to you in the Kindle Worlds License Agreement between you and us.For five years, Kindle Worlds has been thriving, engaging writers and readers who enjoy writing in one another’s worlds, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done together. While we are closing Kindle Worlds, Amazon is constantly innovating on behalf of our authors and readers, and we look forward to continuing to do so.We hope that 2018 and beyond bring wonderful things for you and your stories, and we appreciate your support over the years.Warm wishes,
The Kindle Worlds team