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Can You Make Money from Writing Fan Fiction?

Updated on August 25, 2014
Is it possible to make money writing fan fiction?
Is it possible to make money writing fan fiction?

Fan fiction is considered to be a lesser form of writing by some. Many fiction writers look down on those who take characters that have already been created and use them in worlds that others have thought about.

However, it still requires some creativity. It can be harder because you have to stay true to a character that you haven’t created.

With all that being said, it’s not considered an area of writing to make money from. It could end up being an area that you just have fun with; an area to improve your writing quality and that is all.

The good news is there are ways to make money from writing fan fiction. Here are XX options you have available.

A Place to Write Your Fan Fiction Right Now

Make the Characters and World Your Own

Some writers use fan fiction to help them develop their characters or a plot line. It is much easier to create the plot line without having to develop the individual characters. In some cases, new characters can be created at the same time, with the odd original characters showing up. It almost becomes a world of its own and can be later developed without the original characters, back stories or even elements of the world.

For example, those writing a Harry Potter fan fiction can start with the original world but use their own characters set at some point in the future. Just one or two original characters can show up to create a basis for the story. Once it has been finished, the writer can change the original characters to their own and make the world their own. Instead of using wands, the characters may be able to cast spells or use powers with their hands for example.

Doing it this way just takes some of the hard work out.

This is the way Fifty Shades of Grey started. It was originally a Twilight fan fiction until the author decided to change the world and change the characters slightly. While there are some elements where you see the similarities, it is still its own book series and movie adaptations.

Will you sell your fan fiction?

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How to Make Money from Fan Fictions In Books?

If you opt to adapt your fan fictions into your own world, you will need to consider how to make money from them. The most obvious is to self-publish through the likes of Amazon, Smashwords and other platforms.

These are great for independent authors and will allow you to make your books into eBooks and physical books depending on your preferences. It does require marketing and you will need to get the backing of a few users. The more positive reviews you get, the more people are likely to buy your book.

Another option is to bypass the books and put the whole thing online. It is possible to create your own website or blog for your works. Each chapter or page could be a blog post on its own. Within a year, you could have a whole book online for people to read.

But isn’t this option free? Well, yes it is free for people to read. But you can use advertising on your blog to help bring in some money. You could even then collect the posts together into a book format and sell that. Some people are willing to pay for the book because it is all in one piece, rather than having to go between blog posts.

Are you ready to start writing your fan fiction to make money from it?
Are you ready to start writing your fan fiction to make money from it? | Source

Selling Your Fan Fiction on Amazon

There is now an option to sell your fan fiction on Amazon. This is through Kindle Worlds. However, the opportunity to make money from writing fan fiction is limited at the moment. You are limited to the areas that you can sell online.

At the time of writing this, the worlds available include:

  • Pretty Little Liars and Ravenswood
  • Veronica Mars
  • Gossip Girl
  • Harbinger
  • G.I. Joe
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • And Wayward Pines

There are others, but it is worth checking out Kindle Worlds for an updated list of available areas to write in.

Other worlds may be added at some future point, but there are no guarantees. It could depend on how popular the current worlds do and whether there is a benefit for the owners of other TV shows and movies.

However, crossovers are not allowed, which is something may fan fiction writers like to work on. This includes crossovers between the worlds that are currently allowed. It can limit the work for those who enjoy seeing just how Buffy the Vampire Slayer would react around Stefan and Damon Salvatore or how Dean Winchester would cope with the Charmed Ones.

Get L.J. Smith's First Vampire Diaries Book and Start Writing the Characters Today!

How Much Do You Get in Kindle Worlds?

The royalties depend on the word count. Those that are less than 10,000 will earn 20% and the rest earn the maximum 35%. So, the amount that you get will depend on the cost of your books.

From there, it will depend on the number of books you sell. According to reports, L.J. Smith, the author of The Vampire Diaries has sold around 7,000 fan fiction novels through the program. Smith was fired from writing the vampire series and replaced with a ghostwriter. She decided to publish the novels her way once the Kindle Worlds program was introduced.

The benefit for Smith is that she already had a backing from readers. Those who are starting out from the beginning will find it harder to sell so many copies of their books.

Could you make money from your fan fiction? There are options out there to help you and they are certainly worth the consideration. Writing about characters that are copyrighted or worlds that others have created no longer need to be all about fun. However, you will need to think about rights that you could be giving up and consider all your options first!


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