Slowly but surely, ebooks are becoming more and more common. And Amazon’s Kindle series of e-readers is one of the biggest proponents of this. Since its launch in 2007, Amazon has periodically released multiple generations of ebooks. But they have also launched Kindle Vella, an online service. But what is Kindle Vella exactly? And is Kindle Vella worth it?
Kindle Vella is worth it if you are a US-based writer looking to share stories and earn money from them. The biggest challenge is to adjust to the serialized format. However, outside the US, this service is not usable as it is only available in America.
In this article, we are going to take a deeper dive into Amazon’s latest invention in the domain of ebooks. We will discuss what this service does, what are its limitations, advantages, disadvantages, and potential.
We will look at Kindle Vella from the perspectives of both the authors and the readers. Hopefully, by the end, you will get a better idea of whether this service is worth it for you or not.
What Is Kindle Vella?
When people read the name Kindle, they are likely to imagine a thin, black, portable device. But Amazon’s Kindle brand is not limited to just physical machines meant for reading ebooks.
Amazon’s Kindle Vella is an online story subscription platform. Here, authors can publish their stories in serialized format. And readers can then utilize purchasable tokens to gain access to these stories. A portion of this transaction goes to the author, while the rest goes to Amazon.
Similar to sites such as Wattpad and Sweek, there is an active community where people can gather and discuss any story. Readers can search for stories according to their preference by filtering the site with categories and sub-categories. They can bookmark their favorite stories and be notified of the latest chapters.
So, basically, Kindle Vella is an online reading and publishing platform developed by Amazon. The key feature here is that all the stories are in a serialized format. And readers have to spend tokens to gain access to each chapter.
Is Kindle Vella Worth It for Readers?
Now, let’s look at the value of Amazon’s Kindle Vella from the perspective of a reader. How does it stack up when you compare it to other story publishing sites?
While not as extensive as something like Wattpad, Amazon’s Kindle Vella has an impressive catalog. It features hundreds of stories in many genres such as fantasy, romance, action and adventure, science-fiction, humor, horror, and many more. It even has a distinct category for LGBT stories.
Smooth User Interface
One of the blights of many story publishing sites is the user interface. Yes, they may feature a large collection of stories. But browsing through that library and finding the right title can be quite frustrating.
Amazon’s Kindle Vella has a modern, sleek, and easy-to-use design. The website looks sleek, with a visual representation of each title. You can search for your type of story by going through the genres. And each genre has multiple tags to help you narrow your search further. You can stay up to date with the latest chapters of your favorite stories by following them.
As with similar online reading platforms, you can share your opinion with others. You will find like-minded individuals that also want to discuss the latest chapters. Authors can similarly join in on the conversation. All of this creates an engaging community experience.
Unlike most of the popular online story-sharing platforms, Amazon’s Kindle Vella is not free. You can read the first couple of chapters of any story. But if you want to continue reading that title, you need to use tokens. And you need to buy these tokens with actual currency from Amazon’s store.
The price is not the same for every story. It depends on the number of words per chapter. So, the bigger the chapter, the more tokens you would require. And you can get these tokens in a bundle from their store. The cheapest option is 200 tokens for $2. This can give you a possible mileage of 20,000 words on the platform.
Stories Are Broken into Chapters
Many people like to read a book in one sitting or all at once, especially novels or essays. But that is not an option available on Kindle Vella. The stories are released periodically. And while this serialized format is appealing to some and definitely has its merit, many other readers prefer the alternative of reading the entire story.
So, if you are someone who cannot wait for that next chapter to drop to provide resolution for the characters, you will find the serialized format more frustrating than rewarding.
Limited Availability on Devices
For some strange reason, despite it being one of their products, Amazon has not released Kindle Vella for their Kindle devices. Even though the service is the perfect complement to the e-readers, you cannot actually access it with your Kindle device.
Instead, you have to use the Kindle app on iOS to use the service. Recently, Amazon released the service on their Fire tablets. But other than those two options, you have no other alternatives. So, for any avid reader without an iPhone or Fire tablet, reading on this platform can be quite a challenge.
Not Available Outside the US
The geographical restrictions of Kindle Vella are a problem for both readers and writers. It means that writers cannot access a wider audience nor can they earn money from this site if they are from a different country.
Additionally, the only currency that is currently accepted on KIndle Vella is the US dollar. There is no way to exchange different currencies. All of this limits the sort of experience you can get from this platform.
|Kindle Vella Pros for Readers||Kindle Vella Cons for Readers|
|Diverse collection of stories||Not free|
|Attractive user interface||You have to wait for the next chapter|
|Engaging community||Only available on iOS and Fire tablets.|
Due to its limited availability on devices, accessing Kindle Vella may prove difficult. However, the quality of work published on this site is a very good incentive. Plus, you get to support the authors. So, if you have the means available, you can definitely say that Kindle Vella is worth it for you.
Is Kindle Vella Worth It for Authors?
So far, we have discussed the merits of Amazon’s Kindle Vella from the perspective of the readers. But now let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages this platform has when you use it as an author.
Easily Monetize Your Work
Easily the best part of Amazon’s Kindle Vella is the opportunity it allows you to monetize your writing. The money readers will have to spend to read a story will be divided. Half of that earning will go to the writer, while the rest goes to Amazon.
This can be just the start you need if you were planning to take up your writing as a career. For many aspiring writers, this can be an easy way of reaching an audience and getting a taste of a professional career.
Reach a Dedicated Fanbase
People who use Kindle Vella are not going to do so simply to browse and pass the time. Reading more than just the first couple of chapters will require money and active interest. So, if you manage to connect with some fans, you can be pretty certain that they will be in it for the long term.
Communicate with Your Readers
With Kindle Vella, you can reach out and talk to your fans. You can take an active part in the discussions about your story. At the end of each chapter, you can leave a little writer’s note. This way you can give your readers a sneak peek and also keep them updated on the status of the publication.
Get Instant Feedback
As with most online platforms, the readers are able to send feedback to you about your writing. You can use this information to alter or modify your story so that they become more appealing. You can also get a feel for how the readers are thinking about certain developments in the narrative. All this can be extremely useful when writing periodically.
Not Available Outside the US
Perhaps the biggest downside to Kindle Vella currently is its availability. If you are living outside of the US, you will not be able to publish stories on the platform. The launch of Kindle Vella is Amazon’s experiment. They want to see whether such a platform coupled with their e-readers would do well. And if it does, they will then try to expand it to other countries.
But until the platform covers more regions, this service will only be available to US-based writers. Amazon no doubt has a massive platform that attracts many readers. But unless you plan on moving to the US, you cannot reach those readers by using Kindle Vella. This is a big deterrent for any aspiring writer looking to start a professional career.
The Serial Format May Not be For You
Serialized stories are not the same as writing an entire book. Here, you have to produce a smaller amount of content before publishing. But you have to do it repeatedly and non-stop.
You also have to perform a balancing act. You have to keep every chapter engaging on its own, while also maintaining a smooth and consistent narrative.
This form of storytelling is not suited to all types of stories. So, you have to consider this fact before you jump into this platform. Because if you cannot keep pace with the format, readers will lose interest in your work. This can create a negative cycle that hampers your productivity and creativity.
|Kindle Vella Pros for Authors||Kindle Vella Cons for Authors|
|Easily monetize your work||Not available outside the US|
|Reach a dedicated fanbase||Need to adapt to a serialized format|
|Communicate with your readers||Not available to a wider population|
|Receive instant feedback|
Despite the many limitations, Kindle Vella can be worth it for writers. The key here is that you have to be motivated to keep your serialized story going. You need the drive to continue writing week to week and keep your story consistently engaging. If you can manage that, there is definitely a fanbase waiting for you.
How Much Do Authors Make on Kindle Vella?
So, authors on Kindle Vella receive 50% of the token money as royalty. For example, let’s say a reader has bought 200 tokens for $1.99. That means an individual token is worth about $0.01.
Now, say that the reader spends 100 of those tokens on your work. That means they will have to spend $1 in total. So, if the royalty rate is 50%, then you will receive $0.50 from this transaction. The rest of the money will go to Amazon.
Now, how many tokens a reader will have to spend on one chapter depends on the length of that chapter. So, for longer stories, the reader will spend more. Meaning you will earn more money per chapter.
Is Kindle Vella Popular?
Kindle Vella is popular among Kindle users and fans of ebooks in general. It is also popular among writers looking to make a start in the professional domain. Though it has limitations both geographically and technologically, Kindle Vella has found a strong foothold in the realm of online story publication.
Is Kindle Vella Successful?
Despite some notable limitations, Amazon’s Kindle Vella is slowly gaining more popularity. Many authors have come out and detailed their success stories on this platform. They have shared the journey they took to reach this point. Some have also listed just how much they have earned from this platform.
How to Publish on Kindle Vella?
- First, you need to create an account on the platform.
- Make a title. This title will be added to Kindle Vella’s library.
- Now, go to Kindle Vella’s library.
- From there, select the story you want to update.
- Click on “Create new episode” or “Continue episode”.
- Now, import the text that you want to publish.
- Select a release date for this chapter.
- Click on “Publish”.
Who Are Kindle Vella Competitors?
So, Fictionate is a platform where you can choose the publishing format. You can choose to publish your work chapter by chapter or book by book. Moreover, you can monetize your work and choose a payment plan. Readers can either subscribe to you for a fixed payment or buy the chapters as they come out.
Sweek is an online reading and story publishing platform. It is available on all devices that have a connection to the internet. And you can publish your books here in the same serialized format as in Kindle Vella. And you can also earn royalties from your published works.
Medium is another website for readers and writers. It is available on all devices. You can publish your work with the help of the site’s helpful guidelines. And yes, you can monetize your works on this platform.