Kurt Vonnegut's work joins Kindle Worlds, Kilgore Trouts rejoice

Brian Heater
B. Heater|08.01.13

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Kurt Vonnegut's work joins Kindle Worlds, Kilgore Trouts rejoice

Kindle Worlds has become unstuck in time. Amazon announced this morning that it has wrangled a license for Kurt Vonnegut's work, bringing Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions and the like to the world of paid fan fiction. One rep from the author's trust called the deal a "natural extension of his legacy and a testament to the enduring popularity of his characters and stories." At the very least, it marks a turn toward more classic literature (and, arguably, legitimacy) for a program that thus far includes the likes of Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries. And certainly Vonnegut's vast catalog offers plenty of fodder for the prospective novelist, * and all.

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Kindle Worlds Expands-Amazon Publishing Announces New License for the Works of Kurt Vonnegut, including Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle

Today, Amazon Publishing announced that it has secured a new Kindle Worlds license from RosettaBooks for the books of Kurt Vonnegut. Writers will soon be able to create and sell stories inspired by the iconic books of Kurt Vonnegut with Kindle Worlds' self-service submission platform. The submission platform for works under this license is expected to open in August. Kindle Worlds is the first commercial publishing platform that enables any writer to write stories based on a range of original works and characters and earn royalties for doing so.

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1922. He studied at the universities of Chicago and Tennessee and later began to write short stories for magazines. Considered one of the most influential American novelists of the twentieth century, Vonnegut's first novel, Player Piano, was published in 1951 and was followed by numerous works, among them Cat's Cradle (1963), Welcome to the Monkey House; and Breakfast of Champions (1973). During the Second World War he was held prisoner in Germany and was present at the bombing of Dresden, an experience which provided the setting for his most famous work, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). The Modern Library included Slaughterhouse-Five on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, and it also appeared in "Time" magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923. In 2012, Amazon Publishing's Kindle Serials released Sucker's Portfolio, an exclusive serialized collection of seven previously unpublished works by Vonnegut.

"Since the launch of Kindle Worlds a month ago, we've published over 120 stories and the customer response has been overwhelmingly positive, said Philip Patrick, Director, Business Development and Publisher of Kindle Worlds. "To include the work of an American literary icon in Kindle Worlds is a thrill for us and a golden opportunity for Vonnegut fans everywhere."

"We have been very pleased with the success of the Kurt Vonnegut backlist on Kindle," said Donald C. Farber, trustee of the Kurt Vonnegut Trust, "With Kindle Worlds we have an opportunity to further his reach with today's readers. This is a natural extension of his legacy and a testament to the enduring popularity of his characters and stories. Billy Pilgrim, unstuck in time, is going to quickly become a Kindle Worlds favorite."

Kindle Worlds is a new publishing model that allows any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store, and earn up to a 35% royalty while doing so. Kindle Worlds stories are typically priced between $0.99 and $3.99 and are exclusive to Kindle. To learn more and get started writing, visit kindleworlds.amazon.com.

Amazon Publishing pays royalties to both the rights holders of the Worlds and the author. The standard author's royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) is 35% of net revenue. Amazon Publishing also piloted an experimental new program for particularly short works-between 5,000 and 10,000 words. For these short stories-typically priced under one dollar-Amazon pays the royalties for the World's rights holder and pay authors a digital royalty of 20%.

In addition to the license for the works of Vonnegut, Amazon Publishing already launched properties from:

· Warner Bros. Television Group's Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and The Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith

· Valiant Entertainment for Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger and Shadowman

· Best-selling authors Hugh Howey for Silo Saga, Barry Eisler for his John Rain novels, Blake Crouch for his Wayward Pines Series, and the Foreworld Saga by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo and more

Amazon Publishing is engaged with additional rights holders from different areas of entertainment-books, games, TV, movies and music-and looks forward to announcing future deals soon. To get started writing works in licensed properties and to view the submission guidelines and instructions, visit the Self-Service Submission Platform at kindleworlds.amazon.com. For updates on licensed properties and to buy Kindle Worlds works, visit www.amazon.com/kindleworlds. For regular updates on Kindle Worlds, follow @KindleWorlds on Twitter.

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