I decided to give Vella a try.
In a nutshell, Amazon’s latest program (beta in the US for now) allows authors to publish new stories in serial episodes that readers can access though tokens. (The first three episodes of every serial are free — no fiddling with the tokens required). Readers can “thumbs up” episodes they enjoy and thereby push them up in visibility.
For authors who have published their episodic writing on programs like Wattpad, this is a great way to leverage their fanbase and earn revenue. Over a thousand fantasy stories showed up on Vella on the first day, and one had over a thousand “thumbs up.”
It wasn’t mine. Lol.
The Necromancer’s Daughter Blurb
The mechanics of setting up a Vella story, posting episodes, and editing them is easy… because there aren’t a lot of options. I don’t mind that, though some authors seem to want more formatting flexibility.
The cost per episode to the reader (after the first free ones) is pennies, and as far as I can tell, the author’s accumulated revenue after 80k words, is about the same as a kindle sale.
I’m undecided about whether Vella and I are a good fit, but I’m committed. Writing and publishing in episodes is nerve-wracking and instantly gratifying for those adrenaline junkies who enjoy hitting the Publish button with every “chapter.”
And when the serial story is finished, authors can always delete it and republish it as a book. In that regard, no effort is wasted. And who knows, we might pick up a few new readers along the way.
If you have the time and want to see what this is all about… (Update 9/17/21. I deleted the story! For reasons my check out my post: Why I deleted my Vella story. )
Have you considered Vella as an author or reader? Any first impressions?
If you have a Vella story in the works, feel free to share the link.