Amazon has been working on the Vella platform since the Spring. They have been working with thousands of authors to populate the platform with enough content to keep readers interested in checking it out and hopefully staying. Today, Amazon announced the launch of Kindle Vella, a new mobile-first, interactive reading experience for serialized stories. Available in the U.S. via the Kindle iOS app and on Amazon.com, Kindle Vella stories are published one short episode at a time, each ranging from 600 to 5,000 words—and the first three episodes of every story are free. Thousands of stories containing tens of thousands of episodes are available today, with new episodes being published regularly.
Kindle Vella stories include new work from bestselling authors—including Audrey Carlan’s witty romance The Marriage Auction, Hugh Howey’s memoir Death and Life, and C. G. Cooper’s gripping thriller Daring Hope—as well as breakout debuts like Bard Constantine’s young adult fantasy The Pale Lord, Ryan King’s science fiction story Earth’s Exiles, and Callie Chase’s dystopia Bug.
Although the first few stories are free, if you want to continue reading, you have to buy tokens. They can be purchased for as little as $1.99 for 200 tokens to $14.99 for 1700 tokens, which is around 34 episodes. The platform has a social component, where readers can talk to the author, using author notes. Readers can leave a Thumbs Up for any episode they like. Once a week, readers who have purchased Tokens will receive a Fave to award to the story they enjoyed most that week. Amazon will then feature stories with the most Faves in the Kindle Vella store. This will hopefully let the best authors and stories rise to the top, and provide users with quality content.
You know what really grinds my gears? Kindle Vella would lead users to believe that they can read Vella stories on their Kindle e-Reader or Fire Tablet. But this is not the case. You can only read on the iOS app and on Amazons website, it is only USA only, which limits the number of people who can use the platform. Living in Canada, this is yet another Amazon service that I can’t even use.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.