P*issed with Vella, P*ssed with Amazon

Grrr, really ticked off!

Amazon offers what it claims is a “brand new way” to tell a story, serialized so readers can read “episode” by episode, paying as they go after the first three episodes. Except that Vella is not not-so-new. Creatives can sell their material on WordPress. They can also serialize their creations on such platforms as Patreon and Radish. There might be others I don’t know about. 

So, considering Amazon’s size and worldwide familiarity, I decided to publish my novel using Vella. It might not have been such a great choice.

My first chapter is now “live.” The only problem is that I can’t find it anywhere. It’s not under my name in the books category. I can’t find the Vella library using the Amazon search window. Where is it? I’ll be darned if I know. Nobody in the Vella “community” knows anything either.

Checking Vella Library’s help page was no help. I found info that said Vella would be available in “the next few” months. That information was not dated. There was no indication as to when Vella might be available, even though Amazon made it seem as if Vella is available now. What else would “live” mean? If you publish a story using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) it’s available within seventy-two hours. You enter the author’s name in the Amazon search window and there’s the story.

When I created the first “episode” of my novel, I announced it to friends on my Facebook page, in a group I manage, and on eight other pages for groups whose members might be interested. I got many positive responses, people willing, even eager to read my story. What do I tell them? Sorry, I jumped the gun, Amazon doesn’t have Vella ready yet? 

I’m thinking of unpublishing my story and trying to figure out how to set up Word Press premium so people can read my novel chapter by chapter with paid subscriptions. At least I know WordPress is ready to go whenever I am. Whenever my readers are.

One thing I do like about Vella. It’s easy to use. To anyone who’s used KDP, Vella is even easier.

Besides Amazon’s misleadingness, what else I dislike about Vella is that payment for each chapter is not set. It depends on the word count. I have some chapters that are less the 1500 words, others that are almost 5k words. The author’s pay should be the same no matter how long the chapter. Pay for the whole thing at once, read the chapters as they’re published.

If A Home for an Exile’s Heart becomes available in the next day or two, I might have to eat my words. But I may still unpublish my book.

4 thoughts on “P*issed with Vella, P*ssed with Amazon”

  1. Ok so originally I got all excited about Kindle Vella thinking it would be like a paid Wattpad type of deal where you get to serialize your story and have readers pay as they go, but then reality started settling in. You’ve made some good points. It would be challenging to get readers this way as well, though you also brought up some good positive points. I might try it for my newest story just to experiment and see how it does. I’m also a bit nervous, though, as I love the story and would hate to regret putting it on Vella. :S

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    1. I had to look up Wattpad. Seems they select the stories to be paid with Watt coins to be unlocked. Not like on Vella all stories are paid content. Eventually. Currently, they’re offering a free 200 token promo, which in my case gets reader through chapter nine of my book. Promoting is a major slog any time you self-publish. I can’t say whether it’s worthwhile or not. I love my story, too, but I seem to be the only one. I can’t tell you what to do. What I can say is that if you try it and wind up being disappointed, you can always unpublish it I guess I’ll have to write more about my experiences with Vella.

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    1. Very frustrating. Thanks, Judy, me too. It’s not as if Vella’s the only option. Thank goodness. But as you can tell from my post, choosing the right one is a challenge.

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