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Old 04-13-2021, 03:06 PM   #1
jhowell
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Kindle Vella

Amazon has announced a serialized e-book story feature called Vella, available to self-published authors through KDP. Announcement:

Quote:
Introducing Kindle Vella
April 13, 2021

Introducing Kindle Vella: A new storytelling option available through Kindle Direct Publishing.

We’re excited to share a new storytelling option available through Kindle Direct Publishing: Kindle Vella. With Kindle Vella, you can self-publish serialized stories, one short episode at a time. Episodes can range from 600 – 5,000 words. In the next few months, readers will be able to access all Kindle Vella stories in the Kindle iOS app and on Amazon.com.

Starting today, we will begin inviting U.S.-based authors to start a Kindle Vella story. When Kindle Vella is available to you, you will see a Kindle Vella banner at the top of your KDP Bookshelf.

Kindle Vella also offers a new way to earn royalties. You’ll earn 50% of what readers spend on Tokens, which are used to unlock your story’s episodes. You’ll also be eligible for a launch bonus based on customer activity and engagement. To make it easy for readers to find stories they love, the first few episodes of every story are free.

We are also introducing ways for readers to interact with your stories:
  • Serial storytelling: Each story will be published one episode at a time. Readers can follow stories they like and we'll notify them when new episodes are released.
  • Share more about your story: You can use tags to help readers quickly find the stories that interest them. Also, at the end of each episode, you have the opportunity to leave a personal Author Note.
  • Introducing Thumbs Up and Faves: Readers can leave a Thumbs Up for any episode they like. Once a week, readers who have purchased Tokens will receive a Fave to award to the story they enjoyed most that week. We'll feature stories with the most Faves in the Kindle Vella store.

Get a head start and begin your Kindle Vella story today so it is ready and waiting for readers. Visit our info page to learn more and start your first story right away!
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Old 04-13-2021, 03:19 PM   #2
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I wonder if this will be successful. To me it feels like a money grab and I really don't like it. Especially since it appears to be app or browser based only.

Their "new way to get royalties" by buying tokens seems convoluted but maybe it will work since so many people are used to in-app purchases these days. Also, isn't 50% less than what authors can get now (depending on price)? I guess if it strengthens your brand it might be worth it. I hope the books can be/are released as regular books in the end rather than serials. I don't mind some serials but overall, they aren't a favorite.
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Old 04-13-2021, 03:28 PM   #3
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Amazon has put up a page that shows the Vella user experience.

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/to...F5YEPRLMKR3PV7

They have also answered questions stating that Vella stories are text only. No images, lists, tables or other formatting, not even indented paragraphs.
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Old 04-13-2021, 03:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
Amazon has put up a page that shows the Vella user experience.

https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/to...F5YEPRLMKR3PV7

They have also answered questions stating that Vella stories are text only. No images, lists, tables or other formatting, not even indented paragraphs.
I can say (for me) that the reading experience is rubbish.
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Old 04-14-2021, 02:03 AM   #5
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Didn’t Amazon try this before: Kindle Serials? I did not find that very engaging.
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Old 04-14-2021, 05:41 AM   #6
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This website shows several classical originally written as serials. A Farewell to Arms, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Treasure Island, Anna Karenina, A Tale of Two Cities, The Woman in White, all are on the list. War and Peace was done this way too, but is not on the list.

https://booksonthewall.com/blog/seri...brief-history/

Here is a much more extensive list on wikipedia, which includes War and Peace.

https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php...al_form&from=W
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:04 AM   #7
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This is actually an attempt to monopolise web serials.

Historically magazines and papers were easier to get published in than by a book publisher. Vella makes no sense for writers or readers, only for Amazon.
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:09 AM   #8
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I'm not so sure this will end up being successful.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:22 PM   #9
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Maybe Stephen King could use this as an excuse to finish The Plant.
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:26 AM   #10
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As a reader, that looks like a terrible way to experience a story -- but they probably have market research proving me wrong.
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Old 04-15-2021, 05:46 PM   #11
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Authors get paid by word count. I'm expecting word bloat.
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Old 04-15-2021, 08:47 PM   #12
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I don't think it will take off much - not something I'm interested in at any rate
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Old 04-16-2021, 09:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camellia View Post
As a reader, that looks like a terrible way to experience a story -- but they probably have market research proving me wrong.
I don't see this working well.

Yes, a lot of readers start serial stories. Fanfic has a massive amount of WIP (Works in Progress) posted. I'm sure Wattpad has a ton as well. Some people like having a story strung out over time, like a tv series.

But then a lot of people tend to get burned out on "over-long-never-finished" stories over time. I did early on, when I found that a huge percentage of fanfic never got finished. I found that many authors find it easy to write the characters into dramatic situations, but damned hard to actually get them out of it. So they just quit and move on, living the story in limbo.

And all that's put up with because it's for free. Nothing really lost but time, and some possible frustration, for the reader.

But buying tokens to read bits of a story? Yeah.... no. Not ever going there. I have enough frustration with other published authors doing cliffhangers to try to sell the next book. I hate that, and feel that it's a cheat if the story I bought isn't actually a complete story.

And I agree with another poster. This is just -begging- authors to pad their work to up the word count and the cost of the chapter.

And if the work is complete, can the author then offer it in full on regular Amazon? Will they charge the same for the complete work as buying it by chapter? That sounds messy.

[Edited... I see now that they can't publish it in complete book form. Once on Vella, I guess it stays on Vella only, or you have to remove the Vella copy all together.]

Last edited by DuskyRose; 04-16-2021 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 04-16-2021, 04:30 PM   #14
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They tried serials previously that failed. And now another gimmick with tokens? Who comes up with this stuff? No, thanks. Not ever.
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:49 PM   #15
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Between the cover option and now this, they seem to be feeling "creative" the past week or so with these devices.
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