Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A Burning Question: To Kindle Vella or Not to Kindle Vella

Amazon is launching their new Kindle Vella program, a monetized serial fiction platform like Wattpad.

Wattpad does not pay authors and is free for readers, free to use, and has gained attention for some authors for some books - 1% of Wattpad authors gain recognition and publishing contracts. I've used it to develop projects (Liftoff). The benefit of Wattpad is the reader interaction, and the interaction between authors.

Kindle Vella promises the same kind of interaction, but the reader has to pay and the writer gets paid via token. From my understanding, authors get approx. 2 cents per token. However, an author can charge several tokens for each segment of the story, and readers by the tokens in batches of 100 for $1.99.

*So, the big question is, is it worth it?

Then, there are the small questions under that umbrella:
* Is it any different than Wattpad, really?
*Does having the reader pay change the experience and possibly change the interactions in the comment section (is this going to be troll land)?

I just opened up the latest newsletter from NYT Bestseller Beth Revis, and she is going to put out a book on Kindle Vella, with the first ten chapters already written and the next chapters created with reader input.

Beth makes it look cool, and it sounds like she really knows how to make it work well - using reader input to create her novel could be an awesome way to gain interest in her work and to create a unique author-reader connection.

The big difference for Beth Revis, of course, is she's already a bestselling author. She has a large audience already.

*Can a not-bestselling, indie author like me actually have any success/traction/benefit from the program?

Originally, I thought I wouldn't take part, but I'm considering it. I have about 15 starts on various novel projects wasting away in my files.

*Would it be worth it to take one of those and develop it?

What would you do? And, are you considering Kindle Vella an an author or a reader?

BTW - if the resounding response I get is positive, I'll be putting out a poll for which project you think I should try, with a choice of three options.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

April #IWSG: Risky Writing Adventures, Quarancon, and News


Many thanks to founder Alex J. Cavanaugh and the co-hosts for April: PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton!

Are you a risk-taker when writing? 
Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I'm going to tackle this question sideways...

As many of you know, I accidentally answered this last month. I'm not sure how I was a month off, but it made me realize how overwhelmed I have felt lately with social media. 

 For the rest of 2021, I'll be posting only twice a month here at my blog, for IWSG and Author Insights Interviews. I'm also cutting back a huge amount on Facebook and some on Instagram.

Where my time is going: Book writing. Editing professionally part-time. Tutoring and teaching homeschool students part-time. Helping my parents with some property management part-time. Teaching a few classes for online events part-time. 
Volunteering. Creating podcasts for my church.

If you noticed, nearly everything I do is part-time, but all of the transitions between tasks are a little time-consuming. I have lists upon lists, folders cascaded with other folders. It's the only way I can keep it all going. I use an individual song (chosen each day) to give me a re-focus break between tasks. 

I am terrible at doing the same repetitive tasks every day, which is why I have so many different projects going. The same thing every day just sends me to sleep, or sends me into a restless procrastination zone. I may not have an official ADHD diagnosis, but articles I've read on the subject and free online tests seem to indicate the way I function is strongly indicative of ADHD. 

As a kid, I was always struggling with daydreaming. I hyper-focused on reading books in the library and didn't hear the school bell, which is a flip-side indication of ADHD. I either blocked sound out, got distracted by it, or dove into it with singing. I coped in school. I took notes, made up questions in my head, tightened my stomach muscles to "fidget" without getting caught (hence, in trouble), and to this day, I rarely allow myself to read in public spaces where I might get into a hyper-focus zone and lose awareness of my surroundings, which can feel unsettling when I'm startled back into awareness of the world around me. 

There's nothing quite like realizing that you've been writing/reading in a coffee shop for two to three hours, the sun is going down, the baristas want to leave, and someone you know has just waved their hand in front of your face to get your attention...after they've called your name three or four times. You feel slightly dizzy, as if you've come up from a dream, and you don't feel like any time passed since you sat down at your laptop, except your back is cramped. And suddenly, you are hungry/tired/need to use the restroom. 

It's all pretty embarrassing. And yet, there is something special about those hyper-focused moments - I get a lot of writing done and I have a lot of fun doing it. Sometimes, I think I need to record the sounds of a coffee shop on my phone/pc and then replay that when I want to sink into a hyper-focused writing zone at home, where it's more comfortable to have my husband touch my shoulder and bring me back to the real world. 

I never planned to write about neuro-divergent characters, or characters who have physical disabilities or chronic illness, but I have begun to do so because of my own experiences and the experiences of family and friends. I feel like this is a risky area. I want to write about it well, so it's authentic, but I also don't want it to take over the stories I am writing, which are primarily SFF.

What risks to do you take in your writing, if any?

Quarancon is coming in April! I'm one of the online panelists for a panel on Disabilities in SFF on April 11th. Quarancon is based in the UK, so times indicated at the website are based there.

Writing Interactive, Vivid Settings is a class I'm teaching on May 15th online via Creative Colloquy. Remember class times for this are for Pacific Daylight Savings Time (Seattle/LA) Zone. So, if it's happening here at 6:30, then that's a NYC time of 9:30, and so on. Find out more at the Creative Colloquy Workshop Series page HERE.

One Hundred Essential Bible Podcasts is a current ministry of One Hope Church, and I'm contributing some of the podcasts. If you want to check it out, you can go to the Summary Page to listen to all of them, or just scroll to find one of mine. I am contributing once every other week. In case you didn't know, I have read the Bible as a whole 10 times, and have read the NT 17 times, so...I'm still learning and I don't take this lightly. 

If you want to hear some slightly different insights, read an author highlight, or get a little free fiction, check out my newsletter HERE.