Law-Law Land

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.

Sooo….

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.

15 thoughts on “Law-Law Land”

  1. This sounds very interesting. I’ll check it out! I also have been publishing episodes about our full time RV life, although I’ve been a bit remiss lately since I got hot and heavy on my current novel. Speaking of hot and heavy, I’m very happy to hear about your relationship with Ms. Finch! You deserve some human love to go along with the canine variety. If you (or anyone else) is interested, you can check out my Kindle Vella details at the link below. Feel free to tell me if it’s wheat or chaff. OK, I’m off to Law-Law Land!

    Kindle Vella, I see what you did there Amazon!

    Like

    1. How thick am I? It took me exactly two lines of Law-Law Land to realize Ms. Finch was you, duh! It’s not like I didn’t know you were a family law attorney. I’m going to blame this gaffe on my hepatic encephalopathy fogging my brain this morning. I forgot to take my medicine last night. Now back to reading.

      Your very clueless friend, AriBrainFogOnis

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is interesting. Since my two existing books are simply concise essay stories that tell a larger story in total, I see this format working well for a writer like me. What I wonder is if Kindle Vella could simply be used as a blog platform (where bloggers actually get paid for what they write). I’ll be interested to see if this manipulation of the system occurs. I was going to congratulate you on your wink, wink relationship, but now I see, I was just too dense to get your point. I’ll check out law law land (great title) but still the thought of adding another electronic platform to my life gives me hives.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, Jeff; Vella and serial books are interesting concept and what will work is still to be determined. I think what will keep most bloggers off Vella is that nonfiction is the least-read genre, at least so far. Plus, they can’t cross-post; Vella won’t allow content that’s “live” anywhere else, or has been published in the past. There’s one nonfiction series on Vella about living with cancer that was wildly popular. Topic seems key, at least in nonfiction.

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  3. I am thrilled to see you writing about your experiences in Law-Law Land (great title too). I still remember a piece you write for the Bar News that Beth pointed out. The pistol packing crowd at the courthouse. It was so hilarious. Went to Amazon and I read your first episode but I got so excited I had to do this comment right away. Maybe you included the aforementioned story…Hope so. I just finished reading all the James Herriot books and loved each one. I became a little obsessed and now have a HB featuring the landscape of his area of practice and the biography of James Herriot (Alf Wight) by his son. So thrilled to see his name in the bunch. So awesome Becky. We’ve always loved your writing. Yay!!!
    shelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m laughing in the best possible way at your comment, Shelle! Glad you’re excited about Law-Law Land; I am, too! I edited your comment to remove identifiers like location, but yeah, I’ll be including the pistol-packing judge in my stories! I’m going chronologically, so that story will have to wait a bit. Who knows, there may eventually be a story about a courthouse marshal who saved a pro tem commissioner from a lunatic attorney and they fell in love and married….:-)

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      1. That would be a good story except I had absolutely nothing to do with said event. Glad you took out identifiers. Left a review. You will recognize a combination of first and last names!

        Like

  4. That Finch person writes like my friend Rebekky. Coincidence I’m sure. I wonder if there’s a market for a serial about a Maltese dog who solves crimes in Southern California? Nah, I didn’t think so either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

      There absolutely is a market for serials about a Maltese – or any other pet – solving crimes. Seriously. Lots of K-9 mystery series out there, and they do well. Ms. Finch wishes her brain was configured to make up stories, especially those involving her beloved dogs, because her writing life would be so much easier if she could.

      Go for it! Nothing to lose.

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  5. Rebecca, thanks for writing about this — it’s the first I’ve heard of Vella. I’m working on my first book now and am climbing the steep learning curve about all the publishing options, so I’ll definitely check this out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s an interesting concept, for sure. I’m still learning, but decided to jump in and learn faster in a “sink or swim” way! Worth checking out as you work on your book. Fiction is the popular option on Vella, and the readership seems to trend younger. I’m hopeful that both nonfiction and a more (ahem) mature readership will gain traction.

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  6. What an interesting concept from Amazon, Ms. Finch, I mean Becca. 😄 I absolutely love the title of your series and will check it out. I wonder if this means many established bloggers will move over to Vella. Though without the ability to cross post I can see this becoming an issue for some.
    My other question is, do people actually still read these days? Not to sound too cynical, but reading takes time and time is often in short supply. Plus it requires focus and concentration. I do believe many in our generation still read, though the younger set don’t as much. I could be wrong. Just my observations. And therefore, important to choose the right target market for this new platform. I do think you’ve got it right. Your topic sounds very interesting. And the name is 👌.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Shelley! Hope you enjoy the Law-Law land stories.

      Since nonfiction is such a minor part of Kindle Vella so far, I don’t see bloggers transferring over there. WordPress does a great job of helping bloggers find each other within the platform; that wouldn’t and couldn’t happen on Vella as it’s currently set up. Plus, it’s only in the US at present, but they plan to add Canada, Europe, and eventually the rest of the world, or so they say. (They are hiring, so that’s a promising sign.)

      And Amazon acknowledges your point about short attention spans. That’s why Vella requires short episodes, something someone might have time to read on their phone during a work commute or waiting at the doctor’s office. No big time commitment required, but something to come back to periodically as new episodes get added.

      For bloggers who are thinking of writing a book and want to tease it out, a chapter at a time with reader feedback along the way, Vella is perfect. I don’t know, but Ms Finch might eventually turn Law-Law Land into an e-book. As you note, Vella is an interesting concept and really, so little for writers to lose by trying.

      Liked by 1 person

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