Monday, October 25, 2021

A Sale, A Kindle Vella Review, Dark Blade, and Brief Movie Reviews

 Before I get into the informational review on Kindle Vella, I need to say two things.


Thank you to all who helped me launch Nexus! Your help made my book celebration fun!


I am going to post for IWSG and to help with a friend's book release in November, but I will not be around most of social media due to some health issues and a major medical procedure. I will be back briefly in December, and hopefully at full blogging speed in January. 

A Sale

Liftoff is on sale for 99 cents from today through the weekend after Thanksgiving!

LINKS: Kindle           Barnes and Noble                  Kobo               Smashwords                Bookbub         Goodreads

If you haven't started reading the Rayatana series, you can start now. :)

Kindle Vella Review

Going into it, I had low expectations. After some concern about the payment plan, I reworked the numbers and decided to continue to give it a try with a book I had already partially written.

Of course, recovering an old project means rediscovering some mistakes so I had a bit of a slowdown after chapter six. I decided to change a few things up, add a few point of view characters, and recreate the story a bit differently than I originally had written.

That's my writing dilemma though, and some of you would really like to know if I have a review of Kindle Vella.

Please keep these three items in mind:

First, I had low expectations.
Second, I don't make megabucks from my writing at this point anyway.
Third, August is always a terrible month for sales for me.

So, what happened?

I didn't make tons of cash, but I did make more than I expected and my Kindle Vella episodes far outsold any of my other books for the months of July and August. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Unfortunately, due to my writing dilemma and some stuff going on in life, I let my project fall to the wayside for about a month. Any traction I had gained with an audience waned and that was my fault.

I am back to releasing an episode every two weeks on Wednesdays. 

While it might not break the bank with sales, Kindle Vella is helping me gain some traction with readers and I am earning money from the program.

What I like about Kindle Vella: 

  • I can work on a project over time and publish it over time. I know that's not for everyone but I like it.
  • It's flexible for short or long projects, fiction, non-fiction, or collections.
  • Readers can opt in for three free episodes and decide if they want to take the plunge. When they do take the plunge, it doesn't cost that much, so it can get addictive to keep on clicking through chapters. I've read a few.
  • While everyone might not keep reading, I might get them for a handful of chapters, which is more than I might get them for a whole book. It's an easy opt in system.
  • While popular with romance readers, the speculative fiction genres of science fiction and fantasy are doing decently.
  • It forces me to write cliff-hanger chapter endings, or at least ones that leave the reader with a question or mystery of some small kind.
  • A few other authors and I are reading each other's work. We can "help" each other with likes and faves this way, so it builds up more author community. If you have a book on there, let me know! 
  • A reader can only use one fave a week. I like this because it helps even out some of the "popularity" stuff going on there. I can fave myself, I can fave someone else. I can rotate faves. As a reader, I get to choose one a week, or after a week's worth of reading.
  • It's easy to ask people to read the first three episodes for free. I can always hope they stay on for more. :)
  • New readers.
  • Sales I didn't have before.

What I dislike about Kindle Vella:

  • There's definitely a popularity system flavor with the faves.
  • Reviews seem few and far between even if I do get likes and faves sometimes.
  • It's new so some readers fear it/won't try it.
If you would like to read my first three episodes for free, try it here: Dark Blade: Forged.

If you could click like on my episodes, that would be awesome!

If you have a Kindle Vella project, please put it in the comments. I want to read yours, too. :)


I had the fun of watching a number of movies this fall - either streaming or in the theater. We also went to a drive in earlier this year - a real, actual drive-in theater. I enjoy watching movies. So far this fall, I've been pleasantly surprised by some and less pleasantly surprised by others. I know this is a lot to tack on at the end of a post, so I'm just going to give them a star review and a brief thought for each.

FREE GUY - 4.5/5 stars. I liked this film far more than I expected to. Funny and endearing, Free Guy offers up some fun entertainment with a tiny bit of message and an HEA with a bit of a twist. The entire cast did an excellent job and I appreciate seeing every single person play their part really well. This movie also offers up an easy costume and was officially the second costume I saw at the Grit City Comic Show. You simply need a blue shirt, khaki pants, sunglasses, and a nametag that says GUY.

NO TIME TO DIE - 4/5. I wanted to really love this movie, but so much happened here to change my view of Bond, M, and the entire Bond universe, it all felt a bit like they packed too many changes into one film. Daniel Craig definitely played the part well, bringing in nuances to Bond's character. The rest of the cast rounded out the film with excellence, and so I can't say it was the acting, directing, or even the production that let me down. It was the conclusion and some of the world-building changes. Yep. But I recommend seeing it, because it's still a decent Bond film.

JUNGLE CRUISE - 3.8/5. Cheesy lines, slapstick humor, a bit of romance, adventure, and great acting combine to make this a fun film to watch. If you've ever been on the Jungle Cruise ride at Disneyland, you will recognize some of the jokes at the beginning of the film, and will probably have a greater love of the movie in general. If not, enjoy the ride. :) This is where Disney takes cheese to its fullest meaning.

SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS - 5/5. As you probably guessed, I'm a fan of Marvel movies, and I loved this installment in the MCU landscape. Excellent acting, fun fight scenes, good humor, and some great world-building make this film a treat to watch, and has enough connection with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that you feel excited about what's to come. My take-away is that I felt it was an origin film not only for a hero, but also for a possible villain. 

BLACK WIDOW - 3.8/5. I'm thankful Black Widow had her own film and I liked how this film tackled the tough subject of human trafficking. However, there are a few scenes that didn't play well for me. With lots of action, humor, and an interesting peek into a side world MCU could do a lot with in the future, this film is fun to watch. I'm also getting the sense of a build up of villains, with a scene at the end of the film which ties into something from the Falcon and the Winter Soldier series on Disney Plus.

A QUIET PLACE, 1 and 2 - 5/5. I hadn't seen the first film, so we decided to watch the first and enjoyed it more than we expected to, then we watched the second and really loved it. They were really fun movies that had horror elements but didn't scare me into having nightmares. For some reason, I really see these as more like sci-fi films than horror films. The creatures are scary, the way the family handles the devastation of the world around them is done really well, and the acting is excellent. So, I would recommend these films to anyone who can handle some horror. 
However, I will not be watching IT or anything in the true horror realm anytime soon.


Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

I've been interested to hear your take on Vella since I'm in a Discord chat and a few writers have tried it and they weren't happy with how it went for them. I look forward to continued updates.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Vella will probably grow over time. Glad you did better than expected.
Shang-Chi was the second best movie I've seen all year.
Praying everything goes well with the procedure.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Patricia - I think the key reasons I liked it came from not expecting much.

Alex - I agree. I think it will grow.
And thank you.

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for the update. I've been wondering about the Vella program. I'll keep you in my thoughts as you have your procedure.

Jemi Fraser said...

I had a SF idea that I wouldn't mind doing for Vella, but there are only so many hours in the day!! So glad it's working out for you

Chrys Fey said...

That's the thing with Kindle Vella for me...that I wouldn't have the time or energy to keep up with it as much as I would need to in order to consistently release new work. *sigh* It is a great idea, though, for those who can manage it.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with Kindle Vella.

Oh, I haven't been to a drive-in since I was a kid! It was so much fun. The Bond movie is on our To Watch List.

Wishing you well with all of the health/medical issues. Take care!

cleemckenzie said...

I'm not keen on Vella, myself, but if it gives others a chance to write and publish and improve their craft, then that's good.

Congrats again on your launch. Having fun is a reward in itself.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I've been wondering about Kindle Vella too. I'll have to check it out more. I wrote About Us a chapter at a time and released it to readers as I wrote. It was interesting.