Saturday, March 16, 2024

Kindle vella: What is it and why should I try it out?

News is slowly getting out. A lot of people have heard the name "kindle vella", but not everyone knows what it is or why they should give it a try.

I enjoy kindle vella, amazon's serial reading platform, because I don't always have the time or focus to sit down and read a whole novel, but I do have snatches of time where I can easily squeeze in an episode. If books were like movies, then kindle vella would be like a tv show. Each episode contains a section of the story, similar to a book chapter. Stories are often much longer than a novel and might continue through several seasons. My favorite kindle vella story (The Queen Trials by Penelope Wright) updates every single day, so whenever my day starts to drag, I can check for my daily update and continue the story just a little more. I also love to sample a story, or even an entire genre, to see if it's something that I will enjoy before I invest my time and money into it.

To read on kindle vella, you only need your amazon account. The first ten episodes are free, and trust me, you can get into a lot of story in ten episodes! In my most popular story, The Captain's Dowry, the main character changes from a proper lady to a cabin boy, escapes a debtor, and marries a stranger. After you've read ten episodes, you can buy tokens to unlock more. Currently, each episode costs ten tokens, which are about ten cents each (check those numbers for updates though). You can read directly from the kindle vella website, or check stories on the kindle app. For the moment, kindle vella is only available for the United States, but it's a new program and often changes.  

Another huge advantage to kindle vella is that it allows you to interact with the story and its author in ways that are not possible in a full book. While you can review a story like you would a full book, vella has many other options. After each episode, you can choose to hit the thumbs up button, or leave a comment. Some even have polls where you can vote for answers to story-related questions. And each week, you can pick your favorite story. The top 250 favorite stories get a coveted crown (and bonus money), so let your favorite authors know how much you enjoy their work!

I've seen a lot of different genres on kindle vella. As always, romance is queen, and spice sells. Not all stories are steamy romance, though. I write fantasy with sweet (not spicy) romance subplots. My kids screen each episode for me, so I need to make sure they're interesting as well as clean. I've enjoyed nonfiction, such as Life Lessons from Flipping HousesRosanne E Lortz writes some amazing Regency Romance stories. As mentioned, I've been reading The Queen Trials, a dystopia with a hint of fantasy, every day for years. I've even found stories that I've loved on kindle vella and later purchased as a full book on amazon, such as the middle grade adventure, The Golden Scarab of Balihar. These are the stories that interest me, but you can find stories of all kinds on kindle vella. 

I highly recommend giving it a try!

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