I know this will probably date me, but I remember (not so terribly long ago) looking forward to the release of a new episode from my favorite show once a week, and I know I’m not alone. There has been a revival in this type of entertainment lately, particularly in the superhero genre, and I am so here for it!
Don’t get me wrong: I love a good binge-watching session. But that delicious anticipation is something I didn’t even realize how much I missed.
And that’s why I was so drawn to the idea of Kindle Vella. Haven’t heard of it? In the words of Inigo Montoya, “Let me sum up.” Kindle Vella is offered through the Amazon platform, but you don’t need an actual Kindle device to access it. The premise is that stories are released in episodes, no more than 5000 words at a time. The first three episodes of any given story are free, so you can see if you like the story. Upon your first use of Vella, Amazon gives you 500 free credits, and you use those credits if you want to buy further episodes (no more than 50 credits each, based on length). And you CAN binge-read if you want to…stories that have been out there for awhile have all of their content accessible. Then readers can give “thumbs up” and review episodes to share their thoughts with potential future readers.
I loved the idea, because of the reasons I outlined above, but I was hesitant to jump on board right away, and even more hesitant to sing its praises before being sure how I felt about the platform. Now that I’ve been publishing on Vella for over a month, I feel like I can render an opinion:
I LOVE IT.
In addition to the “try before you buy” concept, I love the “quick read” nature of it, and the ability to comfortably read on my phone. As in a bookstore, you have to kind of browse and wade a bit to find the writers you like, but it’s organized well, and I don’t know about you, but I generally know if I like a writer’s style within a couple of chapters. This allows me to walk away after that little snippet without committing a dime.
As a writer, I’m also enjoying it immensely. My current work-in-progress, Ironshield’s Shadow, was written with this format in mind, and I’m loving the process of releasing the story a little at a time, hopefully leaving my readers looking forward to the following Wednesday (I drop my episodes once a week). This particular story is a high-fantasy adventure with a point of view that rotates through the major characters, giving different perspectives and insights as the tale unfolds. That’s been fun to write as well.
So in short, I highly encourage you to give Vella a try. If you don’t have hours at a time to read, I think you’ll be pleased.
Oh, and my co-authors (Lea and Sam) and I sure would love it if you’d check out Ironshield’s Shadow, and throw a few thumbs-up in our direction!