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Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,212
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?

Amazon recently came out with a new storytelling format they're calling Vellas for the iOS. Essentially an author writes a story one chapter at a time (600-5,000 words) and submits it and then readers subscribe to read it. The first three chapters are free then tokens get used afterward with the token value being split 50/50 between Amazon and the author. Each token is good for 100 words and tokens cost a penny or less depending on how many the reader buys. 

 

It's kind of an intriguing format and I've got a sci-fi story that would be a good fit, but I'm not sure anyone even reads Vellas. I'm not even sure most people even know such a thing exists. So, does anyone here read Vellas? Do you like the format? How long would you want to wait for each new chapter? A day? A week? Would you want a lot of chapters available at once, then another burst of new chapters later, or would you prefer them to trickle out one chapter at a time? 

 

Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this and provide any feedback. I'm not thrilled with Vellas being limited to the iOS community. They're ignoring more than half of the reading public through that move, but it is still an audience.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,594
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?

@gardenman    I am not aware of this program but it sounds interesting.  Can you please tell me where I can find it for more information.  Thanks

Honored Contributor
Posts: 14,183
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?

@gardenman   Hmmm -  a few centuries ago, Charles Dickens and whatever press published him presented some of his works chapter by chapter.  Guess someone at Amazon is proving once again that everything old is new again.

 

Thanks for posting this info, though.  I don't follow Amazon much, so I had no idea.  Subscriptions and membership fees seem to be the future of retail and media, too. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,212
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?

For a reader go to Amazon.com/kindle-vella.

 

For an author you can learn more at their KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) site: kdp.amazon.com and over on the right there's a menu list with "Kindle Vella-NEW!" that you can click on to learn more. 

 

I'd post links but the mods here have gotten a bit poof happy with links lately.

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Re: Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?


@millieshops wrote:

@gardenman   Hmmm -  a few centuries ago, Charles Dickens and whatever press published him presented some of his works chapter by chapter.  Guess someone at Amazon is proving once again that everything old is new again.

 

Thanks for posting this info, though.  I don't follow Amazon much, so I had no idea.  Subscriptions and membership fees seem to be the future of retail and media, too. 


Yeah, subscription services for serialized stories have been around for centuries. Comic books are still somewhat serialized. 

 

For a writer, it's an interesting challenge. You really need to engage that reader in those first three chapters. then keep feeding them. But how much to feed them and how frequently? Do you end each chapter in something of a cliffhanger? That could get a bit crazy over time. I'm playing with the idea of making a Vella.

 

I took a look at some of the Vellas in the Sci-fi category and saw that Rysa Walker had a story in there. I know her from the old ABNA forums (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards) so I may reach out to her and see how she likes the format as a writer. 

 

I just self-published the two books I'd been working on most recently, so I've got options now in what to do next. It's kind of a foreign concept to me as when I get a story I like, I tend to just stop everything and read it from cover to cover. I'm not sure I'd have the patience to wait for chapters to appear. I've got about thirty thousand words down on paper (well my computer) for the sci-fi story and I know where the story goes from there. It wouldn't be hard to break it down into chapters fit for the Vella program. I'm just not sure there's a big audience out there for Vellas.

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,175
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?

I never heard of Vellas. It's rather limited as not everyone has Apple products. I wouldn't be able to use it, but it sounds like an interesting concept. Maybe they'll consider expanding it in the future so more people will have access. 

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,212
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?

@teganslaw 

 

Yeah, I'm not sure why they're limiting it to iOS. That seems counterintuitive. They say you can also read them on Amazon.com apparently through the website, but why not on Kindles or Fire tablets? Why not on an Android Kindle app?

 

The Android Kindle app doesn't give me any returns when I search for Vella other than ebooks on how to write a Vella. If I search for the title of a featured Vella from Amazon's Vella page on the Android Kindle app, there's nothing found. I just went through a bunch of Vella titles they're featuring on the website on the Android Kindle app and no hits. It's like the stories don't exist. They say it works on iOS (though I don't have an Apple phone to test it with.) It's a weird decision they've made with this feature.

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Registered: ‎06-09-2014

Re: Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?

@gardenman I tried KV as a first time author. It didn't work for me especially without the ability to advertise it like you can a true stand alone but, as an established author, you may have more luck bringing your readers to it.

 

The biggest gripe in my writing groups is that readers don't know KV exists as you can see. I can tell you most writers have favored a once or twice a week release schedule and there has also been griping about Amazon being pretty strict about any 'mature' content and blocking those it deems mature from being readily searched by readers. 

 

As a reader, I have not bothered since I recently joined KU and can read thousands of complete books for free. I don't trust that if I invest time and money into a KV story that the author won't get bored and quit halfway like they do in fanfiction which KV is modeled after. And it's not accessible on my Kindle which is ridiculous.

 

As an author, be aware that someone can read your entire story and then ask Amazon for a complete refund which they will get. That was a big surprise to authors in the beginning too. Not sure if that policy has changed.

 

Sci Fi/Fantasy appears to be one genre that has done well with KV so good luck to you if you try it. KV was a learning experience and IMO seems to be working best for known authors with established readership bases.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,956
Registered: ‎06-24-2011

Re: Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?

@millieshops  I taught some writing classes and a couple times I used Dickens' process of presenting sections to the public. He'd get their opinions to help him decide which way to proceed. That worked with the people in my class; they shared within groups and had the option of revising their writing based on the input they received.

 

As far as a vella goes, as a reader, I might not stay engaged with a story if there was a lapse in time between chapters. Reading is a luxury time that I squeeze into my day.

Honored Contributor
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Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Does anyone here read Amazon's Vellas?

I don't think Vella has a big enough audience right now to make it worth the trouble. I'll keep an eye on it though and see if they expand the availability. Limiting to mostly iOS users is weird. It's good for iOS users but bad for the other 60% of the population.

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