Kindle Vella was announced in April 2021though is not yet available to readers. It’s a serialized reading platform that means readers have access to stories that are released in installments on the Kindle Vella app. The typical length of an installment could be anything from 500 to 6,000 works and the first three will be free for users to access, after which users must have tokens to unlock any more.
Readers can also rate the stories by linking them.
Longer length installments will require more tokens to be able to access them. Authors of the stories will be paid for their work based on how many tokens a reader spends to unlock the content. A paying reader will be able to favorite one story a week and those stories that are favored by the most readers are then shown on the app to encourage other readers to do the same.
At present Kindle Vella is only accepting work from US authors writing in the English language. However, this is likely to change soon and more countries and authors writing in other languages will also be able to submit.
The ease of use of the platform is very appealing to authors. From the KDP dashboard, it is possible to create stories and episodes for your readers.
However, you aren’t allowed to break up an existing story you’ve published. Because the platform is very much dedicated to providing a unique “serial reading experience,” its content guidelines are pretty strict. If your work has already been published as long-form content, you won’t be able to break this down into an episode on Vella, even if you publish the book or if it was in a different language. However, you are able to publish your stories elsewhere as long as they aren’t available elsewhere for free. Also, if you then wish to compile the episodes together into a novel you would have to unpublish it from Vella before you do so.
Authors can leave an “Author’s Note” after they release an episode to “share additional thoughts, insights, or let readers know when to expect the next episode.” However, no direct interaction between authors and readers is permitted.
Is Kindle Vella for you?
Kindle Vella is an exciting opportunity for authors to reach markets they aren’t as easily able to do so via the KDP. You need to consider whether your genre would be a good fit and whether you think your story will fit into the episodic release model. Consistent release of episodes is what keeps fans interested so you need to be committed to writing regularly. You have three episodes to hook in readers and encourage them to start paying to find out more.
All in all, Kindle Vella, provides a pathway to reach a new readership and to grow it. This is an exciting opportunity for authors – but probably won’t be for everyone!
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