Have you heard or read about Kindle Vella, Amazon’s new publishing platform?
Launched in July 2021, it’s still in Beta form. But for writers seeking an audience for their work, it’s worth investigating if your story can fit into a serial/episodic format. I published my book, Growing Up Boeing, using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, so I’m excited about this new option within KDP. Best of all, an author can take their story off Kindle Vella at any time, and after waiting 30 days, publish part of all of it anywhere else in whatever format they like. The only stories not allowed on the platform are those that have been published elsewhere in the past.
The first three episodes of any Kindle Vella title are free for anyone to read. Thereafter, readers must use tokens, purchased from Amazon, to unlock subsequent episodes. Each episode’s word count determines the number of tokens required to read it. Authors earn 50% of tokens spent on their episodes. (The first 200 tokens are free; sometimes you get 500 free tokens when you sign up, like I did. An episode of about 1,200 words might cost 12 tokens. You can buy 200 tokens for $1.99 US.)
Each episode is short – between 600 and 5,000 words – and released on a schedule set by the author, usually at least one per week. They’re designed for quick reading on smart phones, but can also be read on a desktop web browser. The format is basic: no photos or graphics, just words. Readers can’t comment on an episode, but they can “like” it by clicking the like button on the story’s screen, write a review by following a link, and they can give a “crown” to a series they enjoy. The author, however, can engage directly with readers in a Notes section at the end of each episode, which is cool.
Amazon takes reader-awarded likes and crowns into consideration when promoting a series and when giving out monthly bonuses. Based on posts on the Kindle Vella Authors Facebook page, those monthly bonuses can be significant. Clearly Amazon wants to keep authors engaged and happy with the new platform while also promoting it to readers.
There are a lot of uninspiring stories on Kindle Vella, as you can imagine. It takes a little work to separate the wheat from the chaff, but there is some really good wheat.
If you’re a writer, you can learn more about publishing on Amazon Vella here.
I can think of several bloggers whose works in progress could do well on Kindle Vella. Especially those writing in the romance and fantasy genres. Or about vampires. Vampires are big on Vella 😊 If there’s a downside to this platform from the author’s perspective, I haven’t discovered it.
Here’s the real reason why I’m sharing all this information with you, my faithful blog readers. I have a favor to ask.
I just happen to have a close relationship – very close, as close as one can possibly have (wink, wink) – with an author who launched a series on Kindle Vella on December 1st. Her pen name is Harper Finch. The title is Law-Law Land.
Nestled in the nonfiction category on Vella, Law-Law Land a series of real-life stories from the perspective of a family law attorney who started practicing law in 1983 in a really small town. Over her 35-year career she meets a variety of people with stranger-than-fiction stories, each of them tangled in the legal system. The stories are a mix of sad, poignant, baffling, happy, even inspiring, covering divorce, adoption, custody, paternity, guardianship, probate and a sprinkling of criminal law. Each chapter/case shines a light onto quirky the human behaviors and motivations that made involvement in the case memorable.
Ms. Finch wants you to know she’s having a blast remembering the cases and writing the chapters. Names have been changed, and no locations or other identifying details are included to preserve the anonymity of those involved.
If you ever wondered what it’s like to be a family law attorney in the US, Law-Law Land is for you.
So, please, as a favor to me, visit Law-Law Land on the Kindle Vella website (or download the app to your iPhone; an Android app is coming soon), read some episodes and “like” them, maybe write a review, and even consider offering Ms. Finch a crown. She (and I) will be grateful if you do.