Thursday, January 13, 2022

My Venture into Kindle Vella



Hello everyone! I’m excited to share my thoughts on Kindle Vella as an author who has primarily written novels and novellas. I’m admittedly new to both the serial format and the platform, but it wasn’t hard to jump right in, get positive feedback from other Vella authors, and start making money before my first episode was released. Let me share a few experiences, tips, and perspectives.

Let’s talk first about the structure of the Kindle Vella platform. Stories can be easily uploaded as a Word document or the text copied and pasted into the content box. Each episode must be between 600 and 5000 words and even can be scheduled for release. The first three episodes are available to read for free but authors are still compensated for them using a bonus program that Amazon assures will be ongoing.

When crafting the story, it’s important to make readers want to unlock episodes. I try to create unresolved conflicts, unexplored possibilities, personal or professional challenges, and hints at character growth so that readers will wonder what will happen next. Once I understood that the serial format is more like watching a soap opera than a movie, it wasn’t difficult to imagine ways to transition the plot into a successful serial. None of my episodes exceeded 3000 words.

There are several ways to get paid. Through March 2022, Amazon is giving new readers 200 free tokens. Additional tokens can be purchased and royalties are based on how much was paid to read the episode. The bonuses can be much more rewarding, though. Amazon is paying bonuses for uploading, opening, liking, following, faving (assigning the weekly crown), and reviewing.

My first episode didn’t release until November 1st, so the October bonus was based solely on scheduling 5 episodes. In November, I scheduled 3 episodes and had 106 read (94 were free). I earned royalties of 20 cents based on paid token used and will receive over $150.00 in bonuses. For me, that exceeds any one-month royalty for a comparable 20,000-word novella in Kindle Unlimited.

Joining Vella groups on Facebook for authors and promoting is how I learned that authors who upload multiple times per week, get episodes read (using free or paid tokens), and have a decent percentage of readers giving “thumbs up” can get paid well. Some are earning over $1000 per month for stories that are still being written.

Kindle Vella provides opportunities for authors to introduce their writing to new readers, test interest in a story that may eventually get released as an e-book or paperback, and earn money based on reader curiosity. I’m definitely glad to have access to this format.

Posted by Brynette L Turner, author of romance novels that are contemporary, African-American, or suspenseful in theme. She loves crafting strong characters and plots that celebrate diverse personalities and interesting perspectives.  Duty to Love, her first serial on Kindle Vella is a spinoff of the award-winning and USA Today-recommend Dream Catcher Series. Her novels and novellas can be found on Amazon, and many are enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter, or send an email to btromancewriter@gmail.com.


10 comments :

  1. Good info, Brynette! Welcome to the blog.

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  2. Excellent info, Brynette. I have two friends doing Vella. Hope you do well with it. Too much pressure for me right now, but I think it's great.

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  3. Thanks for your views on this. I post a new episode once a week. I like trying a new genre and like the 'experimental' aspect of this platform!

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    1. They make it fairly easy, don't they? I also notice I get notifications of new episodes on my Kindle now.

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  4. Fascinating post into this new ... ah, technology? platform? (Not sure what to call it!) And thank you for sharing your numbers. (I'm a fan of data. :-) )

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    1. You're welcome. I think the bonuses are what's helping Amazon/KDP get enough author participation to make the platform viable and interesting.

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