Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this in one of the other threads but maybe it needs to be more visible. For those thinking Amazon is going to put effort into making Vella better, you might want to rethink that.

I stumbled across this in r/selfpublish a few days ago. Take from it what you will!

[–]rollformeyo

I have a friend that works at Amazon and she was telling me that Vella lost support from the bosses 3/4 way through building it, and then they just moved on to other stuff after finishing it.

[–]andregarzia

oh, this is good to know. It definitely feels like it

[–]rollformeyo

Yeah, most people weren't on board for it, and it never had full buy in from the bosses above, it was like a special project from one marketer from what she said. She was on a different team and watched the whole disaster play out, she's salty about it because they took up a lot of resources developing the app. The higher ups wouldn't even let them finish the android version.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Based on my experience with the 11 episodes of my mystery, I agree. I'll give it the rest of this month, & then I'll pull the plug & publish as an ebook.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
Right now the economy is still in turmoil, due to the pandemic and other apparent factors, and it's affecting all sorts of content creators. I wonder if this has had an effect on what some of the Vella writers are seeing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
Read through some of the comments. Seems like It's not an official abandoning as such; it is just authors saying it isn't working yet - is that right?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Read through some of the comments. Seems like It's not an official abandoning as such; it is just authors saying it isn't working yet - is that right?
It's an author saying that a friend who works at amazon told her that amazon execs abandoned the project before it was finished. Which is extremely official, just without an official statement.

Vella was billed as a mobile first and they didn't even finish the Android app. Android has about 75% mobile market share, so anyone serious about mobile first would never abandon the app. They're more expensive and time consuming to develop than iOS apps but they are way more important--assuming the goal is revenue. The lack of an Android app at launch never made sense to me but assuming Vella was dead in the water before launch, it now makes complete sense.

Of course, the source is an anonymous someone on the internet who said an anonymous someone else said something. Which is why I said at the beginning to take from this what you will.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,813 Posts
Right now the economy is still in turmoil, due to the pandemic and other apparent factors, and it's affecting all sorts of content creators. I wonder if this has had an effect on what some of the Vella writers are seeing.
Internet rumor or not, what thy are saying doesn't surprise me if it turns out to be fact.

I think that what Vella authors are experiencing was to be expected and nothing to do with the economy. Forget the Japanese and Asian serial market, because that's completely different and the language, literature and culture is alien to us and western readers.

I keep harping on, but Wattpad as the mark to look at for what to have expected with its 80 million members and that is none of the readers only who are members read serial uncompleted works. The only people reading unfinished works are other authors in the game that's played on there to get reads and votes. What they are reading and buying on there is completed works that have been tried and tested before they are monetized.

I don't buy that there is a difference between a chapter and an episode in the context of what is on offer and branded as serial fiction, and I imagine the paying public of readers see it that way too. Hence, they are not prepared to pay for incomplete works that might never be finished. All that is in offer on Vella are works in progress in the majority, more than likely unedited at that for serious readers to take on board in droves. The only reason to call the chapters episodes of a serial story, is because you have to wait for the next one to be published, and that's the sum of it.

I see this going the way of Amazon's Kindle Scout imprint for self-published authors, in that it no longer exists.

All that said, I hope I am wrong. Time will tell.
 

·
Registered
Writing the next books in my Martin Billings series.
Joined
·
557 Posts
I agree. Even on streaming services a significant number of viewers wait for there to be a few seasons of a show and then binge on it. In an era where projects are often abandoned because they aren't generating enough revenue, a reader would have to be gullible and out of touch to invest in a series that is being posted as they read it. Some might, but enough to sustain the series? I doubt it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Internet rumor or not, what thy are saying doesn't surprise me if it turns out to be fact.

I think that what Vella authors are experiencing was to be expected and nothing to do with the economy. Forget the Japanese and Asian serial market, because that's completely different and the language, literature and culture is alien to us and western readers.
Speak for yourself. There is an American audience waiting for something like this, and they're very easy to see if you go beyond Wattpad. There are entire online communities into this stuff, but for some reason, American companies keep looking at that giant market and decide to sabotage their own efforts. It's so frustrating to watch, especially since Amazon had a real chance to pull this off if Vella had been run competently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
There is a market for serialization in North America. It's there. Ask the authors on Radish making $5-10K a month. And if someone doesn't understand the difference between serialization and a regular book, they probably shouldn't be writing for a serialization app like Vella.

Vella is a failure because Amazon made it so.

As for Wattpad, the site was built on offering everything for free. It can hardly be compared to anything but itself. And it certainly can't be compared to Vella, Radish or other actual successful serialization apps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,069 Posts
It's an author saying that a friend who works at amazon told her that amazon execs abandoned the project before it was finished. Which is extremely official, just without an official statement.
Interesting - thanks for clarifying. And I certainly agree that without an Android app, the idea is dead in the water!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,813 Posts
Speak for yourself. There is an American audience waiting for something like this, and they're very easy to see if you go beyond Wattpad. There are entire online communities into this stuff, but for some reason, American companies keep looking at that giant market and decide to sabotage their own efforts. It's so frustrating to watch, especially since Amazon had a real chance to pull this off if Vella had been run competently.
Of course I speak for myself. Don't we all? And yes, there are authors making good bank on Radish which was founded by Seung-voon Lee and it has had fantastic growth in Korea and China on which I base my supposition.

Yes, work is free to read on Wattpad. Let's be honest here and say the a good 90% is not worth paying good money to read. Saying that, there are authors on Wattpad also making bank, but only after a work is complete and curated as worthy through gate keepers. Nonetheless, they get there by uploading one chapter/episode at a time.

If there was an audience waiting for something like this in the US, then why are they not taking it up in droves? The lack of android app is no excuse, though admittedly a hindrance, as there are enough computers and IOS phones out there.

As for those who say anyone who doesn't know the difference between serial episodes and book chapters shouldn't be writing for the platform, do spell out the difference in craft and not publication. Maybe take a look at Charles Dickens and the history of his novel Great Expectations. Every author should aim to have their chapters crafted to drive the read onward with the aim of an accolade in a review that the reader couldn't put the book down until they had read it all.

Serialization is nothing new, there are just more platforms to put novels out there in serial form, but as yet in the West, there are not enough paying readers for the amount of content being put out there. The difference today is that serials aren't published weekly or monthly in a newspaper or magazine with only one author and a captive audience from the circulation. But of course as of today, there will always be winners and losers for authors in the income stakes, just as there is in standard publishing. Many serialized films are taken from books, not the other way around..

It's no wonder Amazon are shy at the investment required to go the full hog to start with, considering at one stage Radish raised $63 million for the project and later sold out for $440 million to Kakao Entertainment the South Korean company.

The way I see it, is that Wattpad, Radish, Vella and al the others are really intended to be one giant slush pile where the cream will naturally rise to the top to be selected for offers for converting to film or packaging as novels. for standard distribution by trad Publishers and for film with such as Netflix (Wattpad), or Radishes own Entertainment parent company. Maybe even Amazon's subsidiary, Amazon studios. Original and exclusive film and television serials are where the market really is, but then customers know at the outset that they can watch them to a conclusion.

EDITED: WATTPAD HAS MERGED WITH WEBTOON, now called Wattpad webtoon to produce serial films.

As always, this is just my opinion, and of course I could be wrong. Like I said, I hope it works in the long run as I have a WIP ready for Vella, but it wouldn't be uploaded it until I had a full season of episodes to completion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Of course I speak for myself. Don't we all? And yes, there are authors making good bank on Radish which was founded by Seung-voon Lee and it has had fantastic growth in Korea and China on which I base my supposition.

If there was an audience waiting for something like this in the US, then why are they not taking it up in droves. The lack of android app is no excuse, though admittedly a hindrance as there are enough computers and IOS phones out there.

As for those who say anyone who doesn't know the difference between serial episodes and book chapters shouldn't be writing for the platform, do spell out the difference in craft and not publication. Maybe take a look at Charles Dickens and the history of his novel Great Expectations.

Serialization is nothing new, there are just more platforms to put novels out there in serial form, but as yet in the West, there are not enough paying readers for the amount of content being put out there. The difference today is that serials aren't published weekly or monthly in a newspaper or magazine with only one author and a captive audience. But of course as of today, there will always be winners and losers for authors in the income stakes, just as there is in standard publishing.

It's no wonder Amazon are shy at the investment required to go the full hog to start with, considering at one stage Radish raised $63 million for the project and later sold out for $440 million to Kakao Entertainment the South Korean company.

Wattpad, Radish, Vella and al the others are really intended to be one giant slush pile where the cream will naturally rise to the top to be selected for offers for converting to film or packaging as novels. for standard distribution to trad Publishers and such as Netflix, or Radishes own Entertainment parent company.

As always, this is just my opinion, and of course I could be wrong.
Kindle Vella didn't attract readers because compared to free sites like AO3 and Wattpad, it's a poo sandwich. Why would a bunch of readers pay for the Internet Explorer of serial reading sites when there are better reading experiences anywhere else? Kindle Vella was so crappy that not only did serial writers/readers balk at it when seeing the site, it was laughed at and then forgotten.

Amazon didn't spend the money or effort needed on this project not because of lack of audience, but because there isn't a suit in charge of this who knows eff all what they're doing or anything about the market. Why else would they release a serial reading app that provided no sorting abilities, no easy way to find stories that met readers' tastes, no guarantee of finished stories, no appeal to authors that serial readers had even heard of(these folks have no idea who Hugh Howey is), and I could go on for at least another paragraph of how lacking the app was.

But the most important is the last one. There are multiple big-name writers for Radish who are looking for even a mediocre reason to jump ship. Kindle Vella couldn't offer up mediocre, all it could deliver was a poo sandwich to where it was dismissed as an alternative on sight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,813 Posts
Kindle Vella didn't attract readers because compared to free sites like AO3 and Wattpad, it's a poo sandwich. Why would a bunch of readers pay for the Internet Explorer of serial reading sites when there are better reading experiences anywhere else? Kindle Vella was so crappy that not only did serial writers/readers balk at it when seeing the site, it was laughed at and then forgotten.

Amazon didn't spend the money or effort needed on this project not because of lack of audience, but because there isn't a suit in charge of this who knows eff all what they're doing or anything about the market. Why else would they release a serial reading app that provided no sorting abilities, no easy way to find stories that met readers' tastes, no guarantee of finished stories, no appeal to authors that serial readers had even heard of(these folks have no idea who Hugh Howey is), and I could go on for at least another paragraph of how lacking the app was.

But the most important is the last one. There are multiple big-name writers for Radish who are looking for even a mediocre reason to jump ship. Kindle Vella couldn't offer up mediocre, all it could deliver was a poo sandwich to where it was dismissed as an alternative on sight.
To be honest, I'm not really interested in what authors think about Vella. More important is what readers think.

I can't find anything on the net as to what readers think of Vella, only what authors think, That shows where the interest lies in serial fiction in the US as a "HOT" topic/reading medium by readers.

Here is what I typed into my browser, "what do readers think of the Vella format"

Maybe others on here can point me to some links, because I cant find them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
Another angle is the KU factor. For about $10 a month not only do KU readers get free access to books, a lot of those books are shorter ones. Although I have never used Wattpad I am aware of free literature sites because they're out there, and some of them are very popular. Vella has to compete with all of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
To be honest, I'm not really interested in what authors think about Vella. More important is what readers think.

I can't find anything on the net as to what readers think of Vella, only what authors think, That shows where the interest lies in serial fiction in the US as a "HOT" topic/reading medium by readers.

Here is what I typed into my browser, "what do readers think of the Vella format"

Maybe others on here can point me to some links, because I cant find them.
No, it shows what little interest KINDLE VELLA was able to generate. Romance communities and English translating sites(also databases) for Chinese/Korean/Japanese web novels are where you'll see those conversations. They won't be easy to search for because only a few people saw KV as worthy of starting a topic about. There are just offhand questions and a few answers in comments about bigger topics. I've only seen searchable stuff on Twitter and Reddit. The former only brings up decent results depending on who you follow.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Decon

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,813 Posts
English translating sites(also databases) for Chinese/Korean/Japanese web novels are where you'll see those conversations.
Like I said, it's predominantly an Asian market.

Amazon put out enough press releases just prior to launch. MY google news feed was inundated with them, so it's not like readers couldn't try them out if there was substantial interest in serials in the US.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
To be honest, I'm not really interested in what authors think about Vella. More important is what readers think.

I can't find anything on the net as to what readers think of Vella, only what authors think, That shows where the interest lies in serial fiction in the US as a "HOT" topic/reading medium by readers.

Here is what I typed into my browser, "what do readers think of the Vella format"

Maybe others on here can point me to some links, because I cant find them.
With all due respect, why do you think Google will be able to provide any search results on that?

Vella was released what, 6 weeks ago? And it was a pretty lame launch marketing wise, at least as far as I could tell. Other than industry news release articles and a banner on the site, I didn't see or hear any big splashy ad campaigns that would get readers all tingly and drive them to check out Vella. Which makes perfect sense now. Why would they spend money to market a product they'd already abandoned?

As far as your Google feed goes, Google is pretty damn smart. They tend to feed you what they know you're interested in. So just because you got a lot of news releases about Vella, don't expect the general reading public did. Regardess, in today's world, news releases are way way down there when it comes to their level of importance in marketing. Frankly, in terms of marketing, news releases have been meaningless for close to a decade now.

The fact--at least as far as I can tell--that Amazon spent next to nothing on marketing says more than anything else IMO. It cost them nothing for a banner on their site--unless AWS is charging them for the bandwidth :LOL:. I have seen no Google ads. Maybe they spent a few grand for a PR news wire release. Has anyone seen any ad campaigns on SM? I haven't.

For those that did make it to Vella to check out, they found a platform not ready for prime time. Forget prime time, it wasn't even ready for launch.

So who are all these readers who you think are going to take the time to write blog posts or hype up Vella on SM? When there seemingly are no readers, at least in any amount? Perhaps a) there hasn't been enough time or b) enough lasting interest?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
Like I said, it's predominantly an Asian market.

Amazon put out enough press releases just prior to launch. MY google news feed was inundated with them, so it's not like readers couldn't try them out if there was substantial interest in serials in the US.
Why do you think there are so many English translating sites and databases of these web novels?
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top