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.


Jemi Fraser said...

It does sound intriguing. I've never visited Wattpad or used any serialized fiction apps. But I am intrigued. I'm not sure I write the kinds of material that will be popular there but I'm still thinking about it. I just need more time to write all the things!!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, exactly. Writing all the things takes time, so should I even be spending time figuring out all the apps...and other things?
Ironically, I wrote a short story about a woman author addicted to her audience via a serial story program back...wow, in 2013 or 2014. Maybe I should develop that one for Kindle Vella? A bit of social commentary in story format?

Christine Rains said...

I'm seriously considering this. I've talked to a lot of authors who think serialization is the way of our future. Readers don't have the patience to wait for books for come out. They want satisfaction sooner. There is the worry that Amazon will shortchange the authors later on as they did with KU. I'm going to sit back for the time being, work on the projects I have, and see what happens with Vella. It might be highly motivating to have readers giving feedback as you're going along. And yes, you should totally take that story you mentioned and make it into a serial! :D

Tyrean Martinson said...

Christine - thanks for your feedback! I put this out on Facebook, too, and it's an interesting conversation. I am concerned about the "shortchange" possibility, but if I use something pre-built that isn't currently earning anything, I think it's worthwhile for experimentation.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I haven't read my newsletter from Beth Revis yet. Yes, she has a bigger reader following, which could make her response better. Maybe you should watch how it works for her. But it doesn't sound like it'd hurt to try it with one of your projects.

Personally, I probably won't participate in this program as a reader. I just have too much to read.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Natalie - thanks for your feedback!
And, I get what you mean as a reader. One of my students asked me today if I had finished his favorite book yet, and I had to say, no. I felt bad. I am finishing it tonight.

CWMartin said...

Given the fact I thought about going to Wordpress to blog until I saw dollar signs, I might not be the best person to ask, lol

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - it's always interesting to learn from other bloggers about new products ... I pass ... but I enjoy seeing others' thoughts. Stay safe - Hilary