What is Kindle Vella? Here's the Scoop.
Kindle Vella is Amazon's newest foray into the world of publishing and is "a new mobile-first, interactive reading experience for serialized stories" according to their full press release. What are these serialized stories, you ask? They're stories that are told in bite-sized episodes, ranging from 600 to 5,000 words, and are perfect for reading during a quick break at work, during a commute, or in all those little negative spaces of your life. The best way to think of serial storytelling is to look at your favorite network television shows: you tune in at regular intervals to an ongoing story that becomes part of your routine!
You might love Kindle Vella if you:
Love to read, but don't have a lot of time/attention to sit down and dig in for long periods of time!
Find yourself on the go a lot, with short waiting periods like commutes or long lines, etc
Enjoy the convenience of reading on your smart phone
Like investing in characters and story worlds longterm
You've tried similar serial platforms like the Radish Fiction app and liked them!
Sound like you? Sweet! Skip the learning curve and check out my full run-thru of Kindle Vella below ;)
Step One: Discovering New Stories
NOTE: Kindle Vella is currently only available in the United States, and can be accessed online or through the Kindle app on iOS. Though it's not available through the Kindle app on Android yet, Android users can still have the full Vella experience by reading on the web browser on their phones instead.
There's no reason not to try Kindle Vella! The first three episodes of every story are FREE!
Go to Amazon.com/Kindle-Vella or navigate to Kindle Vella under the Discover tab in the Kindle app (iOS only). My phone is tragically outdated, so pictures will be from the browser version which differs just slightly :)
Voila the home page! From here, you can search for specific stories using the search bar, easily navigate to stories you're following, or discover new serials based on genre tags, trending stories, featured stories, and more!
The first three episodes of EVERY story are free! If you're enjoying a story, you can purchase Token packs that allow you to purchase episodes. Episode prices range from 6 tokens to 50 tokens, based on the word count of the episode. Here's the current pricing breakdown for Tokens:
200 Tokens: $1.99
525 Tokens: $4.99
1100 Tokens: $9.99
1700 Tokens: $14.99
From now thru the end of the year, Amazon is offering 200 free Tokens to new readers, which averages out to approximate 8 episodes for *most* stories.
Step Two: The Story Page
When you click into a story, here's what it will look like! There are literally thousands of awesome stories on Kindle Vella from both seasoned authors and brand new ones alike. Below is a short video of what a story page looks like (full disclosure: it's my story... but hey, if you like mischievous teen witches, it might be up your alley!).
The story page includes:
How many episodes are published
The story tags
The genre categories
The last time the story was updated
How often the story is updated
The follow button (also available at the bottom of the screen when you click the three dots!)
List of episodes
Share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, email, and a link to the story
From the story page, you can click into an episode. The reading experience is quite simple! The pages are clean and many authors even leave notes at the end of their episodes. These notes might include an inside scoop on the creation process, some funny personal stories, or anything else that comes to mind while writing the episode. It's definitely a cool way to connect and get a little insight into the strange, magnificent world of storytelling!
Step Three: Interacting with Stories
While the full details of Kindle Vella's algorithms remain a mystery, one thing is certain—interaction from readers is KING! Interacting with stories you love is the #1 way to support your favorite authors, and luckily it's easy peasy!
If you're enjoying a story on Vella, here are a few ways to interact with it:
"Follow" the story. If you follow a story, you'll get notifications when a new episode posts! #win
"Thumbs Up" the episodes. At the end of every episode, you have the option to give that particular episode a thumbs up!
Bestow your precious "Fave" to one story a week. If you've purchased Tokens, you have the option to award a single "Fave" each week! Awarding your favorite story with this high honor will help other readers discover it. Stories with the most Faves will be featured on the Kindle Vella Store!
"Share" the story. Kindle Vella makes it super easy to share the story via email or to Twitter, Facebook, or other channels using a direct link!
Will you try out serials on Kindle Vella?
Serial storytelling has been around for ages, but Kindle Vella has the ability to establish this format in new and exciting ways for a large scale audience. That's so exciting! Amazon is just getting started, and I for one can't wait to see what new features roll out over the coming months (and years!).