Have you heard the news? Amazon just announced the Kindle Vella system. This is sort of “Wattpad on Amazon,” as a quick recap will show you:
- You publish your book, one chapter (“episode”) at a time. Episodes are between 600-5,000 words long.
- Readers find your story in the Kindle Vella store on Amazon.com and in the Kindle app on iOS. They can start reading using their Tokens.
- Readers can buy Tokens for as little as $1.99 (for 200 Tokens).
- To give readers a chance to check out a story, they can read the first three episodes of every story for free.
- To unlock later episodes, readers must purchase and redeem Tokens. The number of Tokens needed to unlock an episode is determined by the episode’s word count at the rate of one token per 100 words. For example, it takes six Tokens to unlock a 638-word episode.
- Authors earn 50% of what readers spend on the Tokens that are used to unlock their story’s episodes.
- Reader engagement is also rewarded. Readers can Follow stories they enjoy to get notified when the latest episode is released, crown a weekly Fave for the story they enjoyed most, and give episodes they like a Thumbs up.
- As an author, you can engage directly with your readers. At the end of each episode, you’ll have the option to leave an Author’s Note, to share additional thoughts, insights, or let readers know when to expect the next episode.
The new system seems to be geared toward phones rather than computers and will be available to US readers in the “next few months.”
How does Kindle Vella affect you?
As Kindlepreneur explains, this could be an excellent way to diversify income streams and find new readers for your works.
However, you may not republish any existing work that has been published elsewhere on any platform, including Kindle. Vella will have all-fresh and exclusive content. That’s why you may not repackage your serialized story in another format (i.e. book or collection) without unpublishing on Vella first or publish a translation of a story published earlier in a different language.
Knowing Amazon and that this is a direct move to cut off competitors, it wouldn’t surprise me if they really work it to be successful. So, check it out, and see whether or not this fits in your author platform building and is something that fits you and your style.
My advice? If you have an unpublished novella, hold off publishing on Kindle and opt for Vella instead. If that fails, you can always publish it on Kindle afterward; you just need to unpublish it from Vella first. As it is with most new markets, those that get in at the beginning usually stand the most to gain when the new platform takes off. Remember the first group to publish on KDP when it came out? They became today’s big names.