How the creator of 'Vampire Diaries' used Kindle Worlds to get back at her publisher
LJ Smith was the original creator of the Vampire Diaries but labored under a lousy work-for-hire contract that gave her precisely zero rights to the material. She was fired when the tv show launched so that the books could swerve in a different direction.
Now she's back writing the series she started but under Amazon's official fanfic imprint.
Brace yourselves, fans: Kindle Worlds, Amazon’s write-for-hire publishing platform disguised as a friendly attempt to pay fans for writing fanfiction, has actually led to some amazing writerly justice for the creator of the Vampire Diaries.
LJ Smith, the original writer of the popular Vampire Diaries books, was fired from the series in 2011 after churning out regular installments for over two decades. But now, using the Kindle Worlds platform of the company that hired her, then fired her, Smith is writing “fanfiction” of the series she created.
In a moment of beautiful karma, Smith’s two installments of Vampire Diaries tie-ins, wryly labeled as “fanfic based on the Vampire Diaries book series—also by L. J. Smith,” are currently topping the list of bestselling stories on Kindle Worlds.
Who says fanfic writers aren’t creative?
Fans of the hit CW show may not realize that Smith’s name is missing from the credits. Instead, the Vampire Diaries is the product of a clever book packaging company who’s spent decades producing hit Young Adult series and turning them into popular screen adaptations. Although HarperCollins published the series in book form, Smith was actually hired to write the Vampire Diaries for Alloy Entertainment, whose fiction-by-committee efforts have led to some of YA publishing’s most popular series, including Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.