There are mixed opinions surrounding the new Amazon Vella program. In truth, they picked the perfect time to launch as the demand for short, serialized fiction is at an all-time high. In an online world where users can easily scroll and click away from content, we are fighting for their attention. Short fiction caters to that short attention span.
So the question is how will the new Amazon Vella program hold up on an ever-changing market?
How Amazon Vella Works
The pay scale operates on a token exchange system. Readers will purchase tokens which are then exchanged to continue stories. According to Amazon, it will cost readers 1 token for every 100 words. Since the maximum length for episodic stories on this platform is 5,000 words, it would never cost readers more than 50 tokens to read an episode. At the time of writing this blog post, we don’t yet know the price of each token.
Authors will get half of this price, which is equivalent to 50% royalties. The real question is going to be the value of each token. Finally, authors will receive incentives based on specific criteria that Amazon is unlikely to reveal.
Publishing onto the Platform is Easy
Amazon has done an amazing job of streamlining the publishing process across all of their services and Vella is no exception. You can either upload the episode or simply copy and paste it into the platform. Just one piece of cover art is required per series so that’s a breeze.
If you’ve already built an author account on Kindle Direct Publishing, then you don’t need to worry about their either.
Amazon Vella will only be available in the US at launch but I expect it will roll out into worldwide markets over time. That’s assuming that it doesn’t flop, but I see no evidence of that happening.
Tips for Success with Amazon Vella
Although this is a brand new program that hasn’t even been released to the market yet, there are several tips that you should follow going into it if you want to broaden your chances of being successful.
- Start by writing and publishing 10 episodes. Make the first 5 episodes available immediately and then have the rest released on your schedule.
- Create a schedule for releasing new episodes. It must be a schedule that you can be consistent with.
- Start marketing for it today. Don’t wait. Get your readers excited.
- Focus on one long-term story in the beginning to ride the wave of first adopters. This will give you the highest chance of gaining the incentives for that book.
It’s still far too early to make any judgments on Amazon Vella but with other similar programs having success, it’s likely that this one will do the same. The biggest piece of information missing right now is Amazon’s terms. Will they require exclusivity? How much will each token be worth? What word count range will be optimal?
These questions will be answered over time as we get into the actual launch. Regardless, I plan to ride into this new opportunity head first. The worst case scenario is that I wind up with new stories to publish elsewhere!