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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Not much is written on here of late about how Kindle Vella is working out for authors other than the list of author's stories requiring love and attention..

The reason for my post is that I have the 1st of a trilogy finished and I'm halfway through the second book. Problem is, due to a health problem, I've had to put writing to one side for the past two months.. Now I'm back in the saddle, but way behind schedule if I'm to finish and get the entire thing published this year as I'd planned..

The only thing is that I intended to do was to write all three and publish them on the same day as I did with my previous trilogy. I don't want to sway from this. However, I'm wondering if to motivate me, and with the delay, I'd be better off publishing that first book via Kindle Vella, together with my WIP as a means to write and get the trilogy finished? When I'm in the zone, I write at least one chapter per day.

Does it still stand that if you publish via Kindle Vella that after a month you can also publish via Amazon Kindle?

Any insight you can give me as to how it is working out for you, or not, would be welcome.
 

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Vella isn't meant for broken up novels, but stories written as episodes. I'm not sure how anything outside of that format would work. I'm sure people are doing it, same as they're putting up random short stories and erotica.

As to publishing in another format, you have to wait until 30 days after the last episode was live. It's all in the Vella info at KDP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Vella isn't meant for broken up novels, but stories written as episodes. I'm not sure how anything outside of that format would work. I'm sure people are doing it, same as they're putting up random short stories and erotica.

As to publishing in another format, you have to wait until 30 days after the last episode was live. It's all in the Vella info at KDP.
When you say broken up novels, it all depends on how the chapters are crafted. In my genre they are crafted in such a way as to mimic episodes, with each driving the story forward and ending on a cliffhanger, so for me that isn't a problem. Same with it planned as a trilogy insofar as each book is basically a new season.

I understand the basics of the rules, but I'm more concerned with finding out author experiences of actually publishing through Vella. One thing I'm not clear on is after the 30 days, do you have to delete the series if you go on to publish and enroll in KU.

It would be good to hear from authors who have actually published via Vella, and how they found it, good or bad in terms of earning, or not, marketing and the platform in general..

EDIT: Oh oh. Just realized it's only for US authors, so I've wasted a post.
 

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EDIT: Oh oh. Just realized it's only for US authors, so I've wasted a post.
Not exactly wasted; I've been wondering the same thing. I'm based in the UK and as usual, we don't quite get the same deal as US authors. But anyway, I would also be interested to hear from those who have tried Vella.
 

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Completely anecdotal, but Amazon had to extend their bonus system of paying for free tokens for several more months. I can't say for sure how it's going since I pulled my books out, but... from what I've read and heard from authors participating, their actual episodes read income makes up less than a quarter of their gross income from Vella. That means over 75% comes from the bonus system, which is slightly artificially inflated by the 100 free tokens new readers receive.

Vella had a unhealthy start to begin with and all those big names they got to shill for them have fallen back into the woodwork. Anyone notice any posts from that author who was here drumming up enthusiasm for Vella? Yeah, didn't think so.

The roll-out was really bad and had a lot of bugs that actively harmed active authors. The equivalent of listicles hung out on the top of the lists for the first few weeks of the launch. A few of us spent weeks gathering data in an attempt to better understand Vella. What we discovered soured me to Vella. Honestly, they'd have to do a complete restart and add a bunch of new features for me to considering putting another serial up.


ETA: A prefix, that completely changes the meaning of a sentence. Vella had an unhealthy start, not a healthy start.
 

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My personal story for Vella is using my romance pen name, Marilyn Vix. I've written a Kpop romance and have been working with an editor that specializes in episodic writing. I'm about 2/3 of the way through the series. I've slowed down a bit since I've been hammered recently with a lot of personal things that need to be done now that COVID delayed.
So, I've had to put the writing on the side for a few months to take care of all that.

I'm pretty stoked with a review I got recently encouraging me to keep writing. Which I will do, once I move through all the personal fallout I'm dealing with. I wrote up storms during the lockdown, including a "How to Self Publish" book, two children's picture books and finished a novella series called "Thankful In Vegas". I got a lot on my plate in addition to the Vella series. But I'd been working on this novel for almost 6 years, and needed a home for it. Vella seemed like a fit.

I joined during the beta and had seven episodes at launch last year. I'm up to 16 now. It should be another 7-8 to finish. Will see. But it is an enjoyable process to go along with my other projects, and it's the first time I can get some money from the writing to help with editing. My editor charges per episode, and I've been averaging a monthly episode. I'll speed up to bimonthly at least in the Fall to finish. The Zon pays for read throughs, posted episodes, and likes. I think there is more payout for the month if you upload new episodes.

It's been a big experiment since I already have a Wattpad novel called "Saving My Heart" that I've been reworking there. It's a billionaire romance, and has less traction there now since they aren't popular anymore. But it was a way to do a novel/series and actually make some money. Wattpad has a paid story program, but you have to be invited.

Anyway, that's my experience with Vella so far. I have blogged about it here too. The blog post is about when Vella launched, most authors had to tell their readers/followers what it was and how to use it. So, that is what I'm doing. I also had to do a blog tour to promote it, but didn't get much traction because most of my readers have Kindles, and Vella is mostly marketed and designed for phone reading. They had to basically be told what it was and how to use it. Since it was still in beta, it wasn't getting a lot of search traffic either. Now, I seem to see a lot of other stories with big authors featured, and us little Indie Authors, basically, not much traction unless from our own fanbase.

So, that's what I've learned. Feel free to ask questions and check out the blog post.

Post: What is Vella? A Look at Amazon's New Serial Publishing Platform
What is Vella? A Look at Amazon’s New Serial Publishing Platform
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
My personal story for Vella is using my romance pen name, Marilyn Vix. I've written a Kpop romance and have been working with an editor that specializes in episodic writing. I'm about 2/3 of the way through the series. I've slowed down a bit since I've been hammered recently with a lot of personal things that need to be done now that COVID delayed.
So, I've had to put the writing on the side for a few months to take care of all that.

I'm pretty stoked with a review I got recently encouraging me to keep writing. Which I will do, once I move through all the personal fallout I'm dealing with. I wrote up storms during the lockdown, including a "How to Self Publish" book, two children's picture books and finished a novella series called "Thankful In Vegas". I got a lot on my plate in addition to the Vella series. But I'd been working on this novel for almost 6 years, and needed a home for it. Vella seemed like a fit.

I joined during the beta and had seven episodes at launch last year. I'm up to 16 now. It should be another 7-8 to finish. Will see. But it is an enjoyable process to go along with my other projects, and it's the first time I can get some money from the writing to help with editing. My editor charges per episode, and I've been averaging a monthly episode. I'll speed up to bimonthly at least in the Fall to finish. The Zon pays for read throughs, posted episodes, and likes. I think there is more payout for the month if you upload new episodes.

It's been a big experiment since I already have a Wattpad novel called "Saving My Heart" that I've been reworking there. It's a billionaire romance, and has less traction there now since they aren't popular anymore. But it was a way to do a novel/series and actually make some money. Wattpad has a paid story program, but you have to be invited.

Anyway, that's my experience with Vella so far. I have blogged about it here too. The blog post is about when Vella launched, most authors had to tell their readers/followers what it was and how to use it. So, that is what I'm doing. I also had to do a blog tour to promote it, but didn't get much traction because most of my readers have Kindles, and Vella is mostly marketed and designed for phone reading. They had to basically be told what it was and how to use it. Since it was still in beta, it wasn't getting a lot of search traffic either. Now, I seem to see a lot of other stories with big authors featured, and us little Indie Authors, basically, not much traction unless from our own fanbase.

So, that's what I've learned. Feel free to ask questions and check out the blog post.

Post: What is Vella? A Look at Amazon's New Serial Publishing Platform
What is Vella? A Look at Amazon’s New Serial Publishing Platform
From what you say, it seems to mimic what I've read when searching for information on the internet. Other authors are saying they are not getting much in the way of royalties, as in cents and not dollars, but rather bonus payments for some from Amazon to keep them onboard.

I too have used Wattpad, and I guess it's not much different, apart from at least you will get some income from Vella and perhaps a more mature audience invested in reading. The other thing that differentiates is that with Wattpad, it involves a lot of time reading other author's works to get reciprocal reads.

In that regard, I see Vella more as a transitory platform, or to experiment before completing a work and then publish it in the normal way. I get the feeling that as it is still beta and stuck in the US, that it's not performing to expectations for them not to have rolled it out to other territories.

It's a pity we're not getting a feel for the platform from other authors, maybe some who have had some traction.

The other thing I'd like to know is if you write any differently to how you craft your chapters. To my way of thinking, chapters and episodes are no different with the same intention to keep the readers interest to want to read on. I'd love some insight from Vella authors on that subject. When I say that, I know that serial fiction is named so because when first published it comes in stages, but eventually, in many cases, it will end and become a season, or in other parlance, a finished book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
This is interesting. Especially if you have a large book that's going to take some time to finish. You can get feedback and POTENTIALLY paid while writing it.

Do you need a cover? If so, where do you get them?

Dee
Not a cover as such with author name and title (No text at all). All they need is a JPG or TIFF image 1600 x 1600. Plenty of people on fiver will do one if you don't have the means to produce your own.

KDP image best practice for Vella
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just found this YouTube video with an author who has made a success of Kindle Vella. Some very good insights, especially on frequency and days to publish episodes. Also how it has helped her sell more books on Amazon.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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The other thing I'd like to know is if you write any differently to how you craft your chapters. To my way of thinking, chapters and episodes are no different with the same intention to keep the readers interest to want to read on. I'd love some insight from Vella authors on that subject. When I say that, I know that serial fiction is named so because when first published it comes in stages, but eventually, in many cases, it will end and become a season, or in other parlance, a finished book.
I think I can address this section of your comment with how I work with my editor. I did have a finished novel to start with that I wasn't sure where to use it. Kpop romance isn't my normal genre, and I wanted to see if I could get it to an audience that is younger and more into serial reading. I've been working on one chapter at a time with the editor to make each episode more catchy, hooky, and to fit the serial writing format. So, I am basically taking a finished manuscript and putting it through rewrites. I'll have a finished season or book when I'm done. You can do a print edition after you finished, I think 30 days from the final post. I am planning on leaving the serial version of it up for the electronic version, ie no ebook format, just the Vella version. Then, a print book edition out when I'm done.

Just my thoughts on how I'm using the platform. It has given this manuscript a home, and motivates me to finish it as well. Then, there is some income to help pay for the editing. I'm going to look over the other videos and posts to see how to use the platform further. I was hoping for more traffic and reads, but I'll take the stipend payouts the Zon is giving me for just having it on the platform too. It's not much, just a few cups of coffee. But it helps pay for the episode editing which is $15 an episode.

Any more questions, let me know. It helps to talk to other authors about Vella.
 

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I think I can address this section of your comment with how I work with my editor. I did have a finished novel to start with that I wasn't sure where to use it. Kpop romance isn't my normal genre, and I wanted to see if I could get it to an audience that is younger and more into serial reading. I've been working on one chapter at a time with the editor to make each episode more catchy, hooky, and to fit the serial writing format. So, I am basically taking a finished manuscript and putting it through rewrites. I'll have a finished season or book when I'm done. You can do a print edition after you finished, I think 30 days from the final post. I am planning on leaving the serial version of it up for the electronic version, ie no ebook format, just the Vella version. Then, a print book edition out when I'm done.

Just my thoughts on how I'm using the platform. It has given this manuscript a home, and motivates me to finish it as well. Then, there is some income to help pay for the editing. I'm going to look over the other videos and posts to see how to use the platform further. I was hoping for more traffic and reads, but I'll take the stipend payouts the Zon is giving me for just having it on the platform too. It's not much, just a few cups of coffee. But it helps pay for the episode editing which is $15 an episode.

Any more questions, let me know. It helps to talk to other authors about Vella.
That makes a lot of sense, tailoring it for that audience. I think serial fiction can be great but it requires proper design or you lose your readers. Please let us know how this works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Well, I popped over to Vella to take a look. As someone not domiciled in the US, I am only allowed to read 1st episodes on my computer. I worked my way through quite a few, spending most of yesterday reading as a learning curve. Some I read had crowns awarded by readers, others had little in the way of acknowledgement. Some were ongoing, and some were completed seasons.

One thing that stands out as someone who has spent a lot of time in the past exchanging reads on Wattpad, is that in general, those first episodes/chapters are of a far higher quality in both crafting and grammar to the ones on Wattpad. I guess that would make them worth paying for if the standards continue in further episodes.

Saying that, It's clear to see why some are getting no traction, with some without any, or little attention from readers, as they are not following the episode, or serial model that mimics the thriller genre for normal thriller novels in the way chapters are crafted. Others that were languishing had not had anything uploaded in the last 30 days. Despite that, some were fine, but still had no traction, which had me scratching my head.

While I guess it's in the eye of the beholder and personal taste, or genre style, some of the first episodes without traction offered little in the way excitement, or suspense, and were lacking cliffhangers, or questions unanswered for me to want to turn the page to the next episode. However in the main, many had it right to my tastes and I found myself disappointed that I could only read the 1st episode.

It really is annoying that Amazon have not expanded Vella to other territories. Still, If they do at some time in the future, it's worth gathering as much info as possible for if it does expand and for new authors wishing to try it out.

So please, if you have experience of Vella, good or bad, or with some insights, please let us know on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Author of the Bug, with no following, but writing experience (Not publishing any of her work previously) made it big on Vella. Her interview with some useful insights on crafting episodes and much more, basically confirming that it is similar to crafting thriller chapters and applying it to her Zombie Apocalypse genre.

One other thing is that she cuts down over long paragraphs that would fill the screen, making it a chore for the reader on a cell-phone.

Having written it as a book and after many rejections from literary, she started from scratch with the premise to re-write it in episodes. It's a bit lengthy, but worth the listen.

 

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Well, I popped over to Vella to take a look. As someone not domiciled in the US, I am only allowed to read 1st episodes on my computer. I worked my way through quite a few, spending most of yesterday reading as a learning curve. Some I read had crowns awarded by readers, others had little in the way of acknowledgement. Some were ongoing, and some were completed seasons.

One thing that stands out as someone who has spent a lot of time in the past exchanging reads on Wattpad, is that in general, those first episodes/chapters are of a far higher quality in both crafting and grammar to the ones on Wattpad. I guess that would make them worth paying for if the standards continue in further episodes.

Saying that, It's clear to see why some are getting no traction, with some without any, or little attention from readers, as they are not following the episode, or serial model that mimics the thriller genre for normal thriller novels in the way chapters are crafted. Others that were languishing had not had anything uploaded in the last 30 days. Despite that, some were fine, but still had no traction, which had me scratching my head.

While I guess it's in the eye of the beholder and personal taste, or genre style, some of the first episodes without traction offered little in the way excitement, or suspense, and were lacking cliffhangers, or questions unanswered for me to want to turn the page to the next episode. However in the main, many had it right to my tastes and I found myself disappointed that I could only read the 1st episode.

It really is annoying that Amazon have not expanded Vella to other territories. Still, If they do at some time in the future, it's worth gathering as much info as possible for if it does expand and for new authors wishing to try it out.

So please, if you have experience of Vella, good or bad, or with some insights, please let us know on here.
The cliffhanger thing and frequent updates is what the author on the first Youtube vid you posted suggested for vella success. Cliffhangers to grab and hold your audience and frequent updates for the Amazon bonus money.

I'm going to check out your new Youtube vid now. I'm interested in vella, I just don't know if it's worth all the effort.

Dee
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't think it is an effort, with no cost entry for those who have a WIP, write regularly, and intend it to be published as a book when complete. I can't see what's to lose, but everything to gain, especially if it generates only enough to pay for an eBook and print cover.
 

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I don't think it is an effort, with no cost entry for those who have a WIP, write regularly, and intend it to be published as a book when complete. I can't see what's to lose, but everything to gain, especially if it generates only enough to pay for an eBook and print cover.
I guess you didn't listen to the "Bug" vid when the author talked about all the beta readers she uses and the facebook ads, instagram, and other social media stuff she did by way of advertising her story to make it successful. She mentioned not having "deep pockets", so I'm guessing she put in a lot of "social work" on her own above and beyond wriitng enough to update her story 3 x's a week. All without the benefit of Amazon ads or ebook promos, which vella authors can't use. She mentions that too. So, simply writing regularly with the intent to publish isn't enough. I'm sure all the vella authors who aren't successful planned to do that too. You still have to find all the ways to get the word out about the work without any of the promotional avenues that ebook authors are used to using.

Dee
 

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Dee, while you are right, I get Decon's point. It costs nothing to do it, so why not roll the dice? You are going to publish it later and maybe get a few fans,
 
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