What is Kindle Vella

kindle vella
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Amazon launched this new serialized reading platform in April 2021, complete with pre-loaded stories from different authors to appeal to the young audience.

But while the serialization market is already dominated by apps like Radish and Wattpad, Amazon’s Kindle Vella proves a worthy investment for both authors and readers. 

This post uncovers why you should book yourself a sweet spot on Kindle Vella while it’s still fresh.

What Is Kindle Vella?

Kindle Vella is a chronological reading platform where readers get to read short stories released in installments either on the Kindle Vella website on desktop or the Kindle Vella app for Android or iOS. 

Each story’s episodes can range from 500 to 6000 words and while you can access the first three episodes for free, you’ll need to unlock the rest using tokens. If you like the stories you read, you can “fave” them or give them a “thumbs up”.

Speaking of tokens, the number of tokens needed to unlock an episode will depend on its number of words. Authors are usually compensated for their stories based on the number of tokens readers spend to unlock them.

Faves are only restricted to the subscribed readers who can fave a maximum of one story per week and are utilized by Kindle Vella to curate and trademark the trending stories on the app.

How Do Authors Use Kindle Vella? 

One amazing thing about Kindle Vella is that it is very easy to use. 

You craft “stories” and “episodes” from your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account and in a few simple steps you:

  1. Fill in your name and the story’s title.
  2. Write a description of your story.
  3. Upload a clear image of 1600 x 1600.
  4. Pick two categories for your story.
  5. Add a maximum of seven tags to describe your story.
  6. Make and publish your first episode in the story that you can type directly into your online editor or upload from a .docx or .doc document. 

If you use LivingWriter to create your stories, you can easily export a .docx version of your story. 

What is Kindle Vella

Though it’s super easy to publish a story on Kindle Vella, you cannot, however, craftily section your current book into episodes and release them on Vella.

So which kind of stories can you submit on Kindle?

Stories to Submit On Kindle Vella 

Kindle Vella is very strict about providing a unique reading experience, so its content protocols are quite firm.

That said, you cannot submit episodes or stories that have been published elsewhere in a book form of any language. Specifically, you cannot segment a book and place it on Vella, even if you haven’t published it. 

This does not mean that Kindle Vella requires exclusivity; you can also make your stories available on other platforms as long as they are not free. For instance, you could cross-post to Patreon or Radish but can’t post it on your blog unless it has a paywall. 

If you decide to compile your episodes into a whole book to publish, you can only do so on another platform after unpublishing them from Vella. 

Can You Interact With Other Vella Readers?

Kindle Vella has new features that enable readers to interact with your story but unlike its predecessors, Radish and Wattpad, you won’t be able to comment. Vella’s standardized interactions are restricted to “likes”, “follows” and “faves”. 

Vella’s authors can however post an “Author’s Note” at the end of every episode to share extra insights or inform the audience when the next episode will be released. 

How Do You Get Paid As A Vella Author?

Kindle Vella offers its authors 50% of the readers’ spending to read their episodes. You also get a launch bonus for customer activity and engagement. 

But how much do readers spend to uncover your story’s episodes? Ideally, readers will be able to purchase bulk tokens at varying prices.

Below is a list of the different token prices, but note that this pricing is not conclusive as it may change before the platform opens to readers and thereafter.

  • 200 Tokens- $1.99
  • 525 Tokens- $4.99
  • 1100 Tokens- $9.99
  • 1700 Tokens- $14.99

Your remuneration will depend on how many tokens readers utilize to read your episodes and the purchase price of the tokens. 

As good as it sounds; there is a catch to this:

  1. First, Amazon has reserved rights to change token pricing, including churning out a whole load of free tokens to capture readers. 
  2. Second, Kindle Vella plans to make Tokens accessible through mobile platforms at a fee; otherwise, using the existing in-app buying systems where Android and Apple instinctively impose a fee. What’s more, is that the fee will be deducted from your income.

Should You Get Into Kindle Vella?

Whether you end up earning higher or way less than writers on Kindle unlimited, Kindle Vella is worth taking a chance on as it allows you to tap into a distinct market, which is unreachable with the KDP platform.

Chronological fiction platforms such as Radish and Wattpad have established a successful young readership audience who can access stories via mobile phones and prefer reading in short sequences. Amazon wants to expand its market by reaching and monetizing this young population.

Given this information, you should consider whether your writing style and genre appeal to the target demographic and the serialized reading aim. For example, the bestsellers on Radish are mainly in the genres of sci-fi, thriller, romance, young adult horror, mystery and LGBTQ. These genres will most likely succeed on Kindle Vella as well. 

Apart from the target demographic and your chosen genre, you should also consider if episodic writing suits you. On Wattpad and Radish, the most effective writers are those who release episodes on a daily or weekly basis. This element of consistency captures readers as they know when to expect the next episode. 

Also, remember that the first three episodes are posted for free. This gives you the chance to hook your readers to the point that they can pay to get more of your enticing story. So stories that rely on worldbuilding and slow progression are not a perfect fit for this platform.

In conclusion, Kindle Vella was developed with not only the intent of expanding the demographic readership but also to get young people to use their phones for reading rather than playing games and watching TikTok videos. 

Start crafting your juicy short stories with LivingWriter today! 

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