Why I deleted my Kindle Vella story

I tried, I really did try.

Kindle Vella is an Amazon beta program in the US which allows authors to post serial stories in episodes. The mechanics of setting up a Vella story, posting episodes, and editing them is easy. There aren’t any deadlines, and there isn’t much of a risk since stories can be deleted and republished later as a book.

I was undecided about whether Vella and I were a good fit, but committed myself to giving it a try…

Until yesterday.

I sent Amazon an email, and they deleted the story for me.

Why did I give up?

Much of the decision whittled down to the old saying, “Writer, know thyself.”

I’m a writer who enjoys a challenge, but I should have taken a more realistic view of my writing process, something I’m happy with after more than a decade of producing books.

Which kind of writers might enjoy crafting Vella serials?

  • Writers who have experience writing serials. Teagan Genevienne and Kymber of Kymber Writes are talented writers who post serials on their blogs, and Teagan’s serial Dead of Winter is available on Amazon. They’re good at it, and by now, it’s clear they enjoy the process.

That’s not me. I’d never tried a serial before jumping into the deep end.

  • Writers who hit the publish button and move on. They don’t feel compelled to backtrack, rewrite, and edit posted episodes. The story moves forward without tweaking to avoid confusing its readers.

That definitely isn’t me! I backtrack, rewrite, and edit chapters constantly as a story evolves. 20% of my writing goes into the first drafts, 80% is massaging the thing into shape, including significant rewrites.

  • Writers who stick to schedules. Vella may not have deadlines for episodes, but readers are waiting. Building momentum and holding their attention is essential.

Not me either. My life just doesn’t work that way. Publishing an episode on a regular schedule is difficult. My self-imposed deadlines slipped and slipped, and the pressure started peeling away my enjoyment.

  • Writers who can tolerate lots of stress without having a meltdown. Unless a story is already written, producing a FINAL polished episode before the rest of the story is drafted is nerve-wracking!

Honestly, this was the straw that broke Vella’s back for me. My story started whining that it wanted to evolve. Then it began nagging, and I couldn’t deal with the tantrums. Too much drama. I could force myself to finish it, but then I’d have to rewrite it or it would never be happy.

I decided to stop, go back to paragraph one, and craft the story the way I always do, the way it wants to be written. The relief feels liberating.

Stay tuned for the Necromancer’s Daughter (take two), a regular old stand-alone book sometime in 2022.

251 thoughts on “Why I deleted my Kindle Vella story

  1. I totally understand your sentiment here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself, “Now! Now the book is done and is as good as I can make it.” Ha! (After the 50th revision.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a reader/reviewer, I don’t want to read a book one chapter at a time, with no idea when the next chapter is coming. The concept of Kindle Vella just doesn’t work for me either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment from the reader perspective, Bonnie. I agree. I tried to read a Vella story just to see what the experience was like and it felt disjointed. But who knows… for young people on the go who are used to platforms like Wattpad, it might feel completely natural. Live and learn. Thanks for taking a look at the post, and Happy Reading. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think writers do their best work in their own time frame. Thank you for following my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. alexcraigie says:

    I’m with you on this, Diana. What I intend to write usually veers off and goes in another direction. That’s fine – as long as I can adjust the earlier chapters to fit the new model. It’s an organic process. I’d also find the time pressure a huge burden as I’m more productive at some times than I am at others. I’m loving Teagan’s Dead of Winter and in awe of her ability!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think a lot of us work and rework and rework our stories, Trish. I’d done an extensive outline and was putting out polished “chapters”, but that little nagging urge to change this or that was so persistent, and not being able to go back and tweak things was driving me crazy! Lol I’m glad I tried it, but also glad I gave it up. And Teagan… she’s amazing. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s so great to know what works for you. As a writer, there is a lot to look into before putting yourself out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennie says:

    Yes, writer know thyself. Excellent post, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. funkyluv20100 says:

    It can be discouraging i can only but imagine……keep up your persistence……and happy writing ✍…..hope to start writing too…so fill me in please

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for posting this. I think I’ll just skip Vella for the time being based on your opinion–which, by the way, I agree with.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jane Risdon says:

    Never heard of it before. but I get your point. Not for me either, I think. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. CarolCooks2 says:

    Thank you for the breakdown on Vella, Diana πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Carol. I hope my experience with it offered some insights for other authors considering it as a platform. I’m glad to be back at writing the old way. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by and Happy Weekend!

      Like

  11. I’ve heard so much about the Vella, but this post gives me a lot of clarity on why it isn’t for me either. Thanks for sharing, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

    • One recent commenter mentioned that it hasn’t been as successful as Amazon had hoped, and having tried it, I can see why. It’s a different way of writing and is geared for a different audience than regular book readers. I’m happy to let it go. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad the post was helpful. Happy Writing.

      Like

  12. I’ve read that Vella is not performing as Amazon thought it would. I agree you have to be a special kind of writer. Good for you for trying it out. I want to read this book! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. […] Head over to read the post in full and find out why Diana gave up, especially if you are considering using Vella to publish: Why I deleted my Kindle Vella Story by D.Wallace Peach […]

    Liked by 1 person

  14. markbierman says:

    That doesn’t sound like me either, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should have known, Mark, but I was up for the challenge. And I’m so glad to be done with it now. Live and learn. Thanks for checking out the post, and I’m glad you know yourself as a writer. This is a hard enough vocation without making it harder! Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh well, ya live and learn. Gotta try it one time. -Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  16. And life goes on… You never know if you never know! Now, you know! You know? ;-)))

    Liked by 3 people

  17. […] Why I deleted my Kindle Vella story […]

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Ann Coleman says:

    I think knowing yourself and what you want/can do is a good thing. You tried something new, and then found out it wasn’t for you and moved on. That was smart!

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s it in a nutshell, Ann. I had posted when I started the adventure, and it seemed appropriate to post when I ended it…. 6 months early. πŸ™‚ Live and learn is my attitude. Thanks for stopping by and Have a wonderful week. ❀

      Liked by 3 people

  19. Creative experiments are exactly that: experiments. Sometimes they don’t work out as hoped/planned/intended, but they often yield dividends in other ways. The novel I’m currently writing was originally designed to be a short film (that never got produced), then a Seth Rogen comedy (that never got sold), and now it’s one of the most intensely personal prose stories I’ve ever written. I tried it in a few other forms first to no success, but the story never loosened its hold on my imagination — it wanted to be told. So, every iteration of it that didn’t work got me closer to the one that did! Good for you, Diana, for trying something challenging — and then recognizing it wasn’t a good fit for your kind of creativity.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I can’t wait to read your story that insisted on being told, Sean. That’s the kind of writing that I love hearing about and reading. I’m glad you’ve honored the impulse. And I’m fine letting go of Vella. It really wasn’t working, even though I believe that the episodes were of a good quality. I’m back to my old ways now and happily getting a chapter down every day or so. It’s all lousy writing, but I’ll bask in the rewrites and mulling over scenes and tweaking sentences. All part of the process that I enjoy. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the visit and the kind comment. Get writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us, Diana. It was brave and amazing of you to give it a go and wise to stop when it didn’t work for you. I suspected – as a heavy editor/re-writer – that it would be tough for me to do such a thing, and you’ve confirmed that my instincts were right. I’ll leave this opportunity alone. But I also like your point that it will suit many writers. I think it’s a fun and interesting offering out there for those that enjoy reading and writing that way.

    Liked by 5 people

  21. I was wondering about your progress with Kindle Vella, Diana! I met a writer who was an international journalist. He was in China during the Tiananmen Square killings and described how he sent his reports back to NY under fire. He described his writing as “hit the publish button and move on.” As a journalist, he said he couldn’t “backtrack, rewrite, and edit.” I can see that 99.999% of the writers are not journalists.

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Diana! Have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 4 people

    • What a story, Miriam, and what an interesting point about the difference between most writers and journalists – definitely journalists writing under those conditions. Yikes. He must have been fascinating to talk to. Well, that’s not me, apparently Lol. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a lovely stress-free day! Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

      • His comments about writing and editing gave me a lot of thoughts, Diana. Do the writers have too much time to read and rewrite their writing or something else? Are books very different than news reports?

        I’ll try hard not to take on any stress! Same wishes to you, my friend! ❀

        Liked by 2 people

  22. Oh man, if I attempted using a platform like that my readers would never get to the end of the story because I’d never get it written. πŸ˜‚ Know thyself, indeed. Whatever your process is, Diana, I support it because it has brought so many wonderful stories to my world, and I am so thankful for that. Keep being awesome. πŸ’•

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ha! You’re a beautiful writer, Tanya, so whenever and whatever works for you will work for your readers <3. I'm a terrible hack with just about everything in my life. I have to do every project twice because the first attempt is a disaster. Lol. It's how I learn. So, honestly, letting this go wasn't riddled with guilt or regret. It just didn't work and now I know to stick to the tried and true. Such a relief. I hope you're doing well, my friend. Giant Hugs. ❀

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Teri Polen says:

    I don’t think this would be for me, either. I’m a slow writer and like you, I need to made significant changes sometimes. I’d probably reach epic fail after two weeks, lol. Thanks for the insight, Diana!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I stuck with it for 8 weeks/8 episodes, Teri, and then I stalled, like completely crashed. I just couldn’t get ahead of the story enough to take the pressure off. Stick with what you do because clearly it works! Your stories are great. πŸ™‚ Happy Writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  24. Sorry Vella didn’t work out Diana, but it sounds like you made the right decision πŸ™‚

    I used to write fanfiction and whilst posting chapter by chapter can be really fun, especially receiving encouraging comments and suggestions after each chapter, I also found it super stressful. People want the next chapter asap, and being under that much pressure doesn’t work for me either!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think you are one of the writers that Amazon wants to pull from other platforms, Louise. Lol. You have experience and a fan base! Vella doesn’t have a way for writer and readers to communicate back and forth, so that part would be different. But the stress to produce is the same, and because readers are paying for each episode/chapter its a little more hair-raising. Thanks for sharing your experience!

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Widdershins says:

    I tried doing a serialised story on my blog with a regular posting schedule … yeah, not my cuppa tea! πŸ˜€ … it’s a good story though, and I might get back to it, on my time though. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think we learn pretty quickly whether it works for us or not. My story was good quality, I think, but I hated the pressure to produce. Much happier now. And that’s cool that you have a good story ready for another look. Your time wasn’t wasted. Thanks for the visit and Happy Writing!

      Liked by 2 people

  26. trentpmcd says:

    Very interesting. I guess sometimes you have to try to know… I have written several serials and posted them “real time” on my blog, but I completely changed them from beginning to end when I edited them for print – I do not think I would want to try to sell those rough drafts! Anyway, at least you have a start on your new novel πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 4 people

    • Live and learn is my motto, Trent. And I like challenges, but this wasn’t a good fit after all. I admire you and others who are comfortable with serials. And interesting that you do beginning to end edits when the serial is done. That makes perfect sense to me. And yes. I have 8 decent chapters into the new book! Happy Writing!

      Liked by 2 people

      • trentpmcd says:

        The first think I did when I took The Old Mill off-line was rewrite it front to back. I changed it from 1st person to 3rd with each chapter being from a different character’s POV. I added several major characters and almost doubled the number of chapters. When I do an on-line serial, I understand that I am pretty much showing people the rough draft that most writers never let a soul see, but I actually do a very good job of creating a consistent story from front to end, even if it is a bit rough and can stand much improvement.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Teagan mentioned at she also does a lot of editing before turning a blog serial into a book. And I can definitely see using a blog to post an early draft. One of the challenges with Vella is that readers pay for episodes, so there’s the expectation, in my mind anyway, that they had to be highly polished. That was hard to do without a fully written story to work from. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 3 people

  27. Well, thanks for this. I didn’t think I wanted Vella, but now I’m sure. No more research required. : )

    Liked by 4 people

    • You’re welcome, Cathleen. It may be fine for a bunch of writers, but not for me. I’m too set in my ways and I don’t want to do anything that turns writing into a stressful chore. I can’t describe the relief and how much my writing energy has improved. Have a lovely evening and Happy Writing.

      Liked by 2 people

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