If you've ever gotten lost in a 40-minute rant about the plot twist that should've happened, Amazon's new Kindle Worlds was made for you. The company has formed partnerships with several popular franchises—including the The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and The Foreworld Saga, with more on the way—and lets users submit fan-fiction stories based on those titles. For every copy of your story sold on Amazon, you get a 20 to 35 percent royalty, depending on the length of the piece (it can be as short as 5,000 words).
Just as important as your story, though, is the cover. Barbara Freethy, co-author of one of Kindle Worlds' best-sellers, Hush Little Baby, a Pretty Little Liars novella, says many people decide to buy based on that thumbnail image (so the cover design should be clean and simple). She chose a title that mirrored the tongue-and-cheek style of the episode names—which helps pique die-hard fans' interest—and selected a simple stock-art image that fit the mood of the plot.