Fanfiction has been popular for centuries. Many classical writers used ancient Greek and Roman mythology characters in their novels.
You can get paid to write fanfiction if you create engaging characters and model the successful strategies implemented by your favorite books, movies, or other fictional works.
This article shows you how it works and some of the very best companies that can really pay you to write fanfiction.
Why Get Paid to Write Fanfiction?
You should get paid to write fanfiction because creativity deserves to be rewarded. You can devote more time to your writing if you are paid.
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Many say you cannot legally be paid for fanfiction. This is only true if you violate a copyright and do not have a defense.
Any published work that copies characters, plots, or other works of authorship that are copyrighted is a copyright violation.
You do not have to make a profit to commit a copyright violation.
You may be able to present a defense against the copyright violation, however.
The most common defense for fanfiction is that the work is a criticism of the original work. But this requires a costly court case.
It is better to not violate copyrighted works.
The best way to ensure you are not violating authors’ rights is to only do fan fiction for works in the public domain.
You may need to consult a lawyer about whether a work is in the public domain.
For example, The Great Gatsby just entered the public domain because it has been 95 years since it was published.
But books published in 1978 or later are protected for 70 years after the author dies, which could be much longer than 95 years.
So, it is tricky to identify whether a work from the last couple of centuries is in the public domain.
How to Get Paid to Write Fanfiction
1. Submit to a Publisher
Publishers accept legal fanfiction for publication.
They may have a rule against fanfiction that is criticism under the Copyright Code or that overlaps with other fanfiction, but they will consider a well-written fanfiction work.
Try to identify a publisher open to authors of your experience level and the subject matter of your fanfiction.
Some publishers require only authors with agents, but others do not.
Some websites allow authors to get paid to write fanfiction by self-publishing. Again, you will have to check the terms of service to see if fanfiction is allowed.
If you self-publish a disallowed work, you may be banned from the platform.
However, if your work is only inspired by another author and includes entirely original storylines, settings, and characters, it is less likely that you will be considered a violation.
For example, the 50 Shades of Gray series is supposedly fanfiction based on the Twilight series, but they only share common tropes like shy, awkward girls and moody boys.
These tropes are not original enough to be copyrighted.
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3. Submit to a Literary Magazine
Some literary magazines pay to publish fanfiction. You should keep an eye out for when submissions are open for your favorite magazines.
Online literary magazines start out at about $0.08 to $0.12 per word.
Others have much higher awards if you are published, such as $400 to over $1,000 for longer stories.
Smaller literary magazines likely do not accept any fanfiction.
The legal costs associated with identifying whether fanfiction violates a copyrighted work would be too expensive.
Again, consider rewriting your fanfiction to only have original characters, settings, and storylines.
You can be inspired by another author and write fiction in a similar style without crossing the line into illegal copying.
4. Create Social Media Platforms
Satire, or criticism of original works, earns a lot of money for fanfiction.
For example, the television show Saturday Night Live has parodied popular fandoms for over 45 years.
However, they have been sued a lot, so if you want to produce fanfiction that is satire, you should be prepared.
Social media platforms provide a great way to do quick impressions and commentary on your favorite characters, books, movies, and television shows.
You can get paid on social media platforms through the monetization of your account and affiliate links.
Making money from fanfiction on social media takes time to get started.
You will need to build a large following to get monetized and to have enough people click on affiliate links. But some social media fanfiction accounts do quite well.
5. Join a Donation Platform
There are many donation platforms you can use to make money to write fanfiction.
This works well when you publish your fanfiction on forums for free, but also include the link to your donation site.
This works well to break into writing fanfiction without much hassle.
Some fanfiction enthusiasts take offense to accepting donations for your fanfiction.
They mistakenly believe that you do not violate copyrights when you do not make money.
Profits can affect how much you have to pay if you lose a copyright case against you, but they are not required to violate copyrights.
10 Best Companies to Make Money and Get Paid Writing Fan Fiction
1. Wattpad Paid Stories
Wattpad is a community for sharing stories. Authors can generate a following and even monetize their accounts with the Paid Stories program.
Wattpad has over 80 million users and makes it easy for authors to share their stories. They have many tools to help with writing, such as:
- Cover picture for the story
- Identification of Target Audience
Click here to check out Wattpad
2. Austin Macauley Publishers
Austin Macauley Publishers accept fictional works for publication. They are professional publishers that pay for fanfiction.
Austin Macauley accepts manuscripts from both authors with agents and authors without agents.
To submit for publication, send a sample of your fanfiction to Austin Macauley.
Editors review samples and send invitations to authors to submit complete manuscripts. If they decide to publish your fanfiction, it will be produced and marketed.
You will be paid royalties for sales of your fanfiction every six months.
Click here to check out Austin Macauley Publishers
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TikTok gets you paid for fanfiction in several ways.
First, once you have 10,000 subscribers and 100,000 views in the past 30 days, you can monetize your TikTok.
Next, you can post affiliate links that get you paid for every click or purchase through the link. Finally, TikTok gets you paid through a big brand sponsorship.
To successfully publish fanfiction on TikTok, find a niche and a unique way of presenting the fanfiction.
Perhaps you dress up as your characters and read the stories. Or maybe the fanfiction is a parody you perform.
Click here to check out Tiktok
Patreon is a website where you can create a monthly membership fan club.
To build up membership, you will need to find a free platform to post fanfiction stories.
Moreover, Patreon allows for posting your fanfiction privately. You control the price and level of membership for your Patreon site.
Patreon will take 5% to 12% of your monthly income you earn through Patreon, depending on the plan you choose.
Click here to check out Patreon
5. Discord Fanfiction Server
Discord is an online text and video chat platform. It has fanfiction servers where authors share their fanfiction.
Some fanfiction servers allow you to post links to donation or membership websites when you post your fanfiction. Some popular fanfiction servers are:
- Ben 10 FANDOM PL
- Fan Fiction Library
- Fanfiction Cafe
- BTS Fic Writers
- Marvel’s FanFic Universe
To join a Discord server, you request an invitation to join. Many Discord servers are monitored to ensure quality content.
Discord also allows you to start your own server. Once you have a sufficient following on other platforms, you can create a Discord server to connect more with your fans.
Click here to check out Discord Fanfiction Server
Ko-fi is a donation platform. The best part of Ko-fi is that they do not take a percentage of your donations.
The downside to Ko-fi is that it is less well-known, so some may hesitate to donate through this website.
Ko-fi allows you to post paywalled content so you get paid directly for your fanfiction.
Ko-fi also allows you to charge for memberships to exclusive content and a shop to sell merchandise related to your fanfiction.
Click here to check out Ko-fi
7. Kindle Direct Publishing
Kindle Direct Publishing allows writers to self-publish their works.
Amazon pays 70% to 80% commissions for the sales of self-published work, depending on if you publish as a paperback or as a Kindle book.
This option could result in being paid a lot for your fanfiction, but you will need to market your book and try to write fanfiction in an in-demand subject matter.
Be sure to apply the best keywords to your book listing. This is how people will find your book when they search on Amazon.
Amazon gives suggestions on how to price your self-published fanfiction based on the market.
Accepting this advice will make it more likely that you will see a lot of your fanfiction.
Click here to check out Kindle Direct Publishing
8. The Harpoon Review
The Harpoon Review is an online literary magazine. They publish well-written fanfiction that is under 1,100 words.
To submit, you email your fanfiction as an attachment.
Publishing through an online literary magazine is a great way to build up your reputation.
You may develop a following that can be used to develop other ways to get paid for your fanfiction.
Click here to check out The Harpoon Review
9. Podcast on Libsyn
Libsyn is a podcast hosting platform. You can record a podcast where you read your fanfiction and publish it through Libsyn.
After some time, if you develop enough listeners, you can get sponsored to be paid for your fanfiction.
You can also sell merchandise related to your fanfiction. A podcast is also a good way to share your donation website.
Click here to check out Podcast on Libsyn
YouTube is the most popular video publishing platform. You can start a YouTube channel to share your fanfiction.
You can get paid to write fanfiction in many of the same ways you get paid on Libsyn. This is just a different medium.
However, YouTube has a huge audience. To get paid the most, try to join with other fanfiction YouTubers.
Review their fanfiction so they will review you and bring you publicity.
You must ensure your fanfiction is not at all a copyright violation.
YouTube strictly enforces copyrights and will issue strikes, ultimately banning you after too many strikes.
Click here to check out Youtube
Making Money Writing Fan Fiction FAQs
What Are the Most Popular Fanfiction Genres?
Most authors write romance fanfiction. Humor is also a common genre for fanfiction.
The fanfiction is most often about Harry Potter, Naruto, and comic book series.
Supernatural is a popular television series for fanfiction.
Star Wars is a movie series that is frequently the subject of fanfiction.
What is the Best Way to Publish Fan Fiction?
The best way to publish fan fiction depends on whether you have an online following.
If you do, publishing on YouTube, Discord, and Libsyn along with donation platforms and membership programs will result in the most pay for writing fanfiction.
If you do not have an online following, self-publishing is probably the easiest way to get paid for your fanfiction, but it might not make as much money.
Is Fanfiction Legal?
Fanfiction is legal if you parody or criticize the original work or if the original work is in the public domain.
For example, works that involve mythological characters are legal.
You may run into a copyright owner who says you violate their copyright because they have copyrighted fictional characters based on the same public domain characters or stories as you.
This gets messy quickly. You will want to contact an attorney if this happens.
How Much Can You Make Writing Fan Fiction?
You could make as little as a few dollars per story to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars writing fanfiction.
It depends on how well you market your fanfiction and if you write in a popular genre.
If you find a way to write fanfiction legally, you can get paid to write fanfiction.
Consider writing fanfiction about works in the public domain so you can get paid.
Target many ways to get paid, such as through podcasts and video channels, online forums, and donation websites.
Also, market merchandise related to your fanfiction.