Have you ever wondered what Lund or Wallander would have done if you had written the story? Apparently people out there are putting their ideas down in writing and publishing their stories on sites such as fanfiction.net and Wattpadcom. I had never heard about such websites until this week and a quick search showed me that indeed, some people had been inspired by The Killing (mainly the US version) and Wallander to put fingers to keyboard and pound out their own version of events. Apparently they are called fanfic writers. If there are fanfic writers we can presume this means that there are fanfic readers out there too.
Until now it would seem that fanfic has been an online community writing based activity but now the big players are getting involved and Amazon is going to start fanfic ebook sales for the Kindle platform in the USA. Authors will receive around 35% in royalties for longer works and Amazon will own the global publication rights to the works. This is no doubt inspired by the huge commercial success of the 50 shades series which was a piece of fanfic inspired by the Twilight series that was eventually conventionally published. I wonder how much of this online community have thought about their fanfic writing as a cultural commodity that can be sold as such and how many would just be flattered that someone would want to buy their writing.
Fanfic throws up all kinds of copyright issues to do with characters and ‘worlds’ and getting involved with it through Amazon will inevitably raise all kinds of questions about ownership and compensation further down the line. I wonder if there will there be a fanfic backlash or if it will be embraced by their community. Perhaps it is just a new 21st century way of sourcing new authors in a global community that will quietly become an accepted norm.