5 Kindle Vella Tips For Authors
What in the world is Kindle Vella? By now, most indie authors have heard of and participated in Kindle Vella, Amazon’s newest platform for authors. If you haven’t heard of it, then here is your chance to find out a little bit about it and what it can do for established and new indie authors alike.
Follow this link to find out more about Kindle Vella on Amazon.
Amazon has given indie authors the opportunity to publish their stories into the world of fiction and non-fiction since 2007 through Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP for short.
New platforms for indie authors don’t happen everyday.
Many indie authors jumped at the chance to be in the BETA group for Amazon’s newest brainchild, Kindle Vella. This platform gave us all a chance to launch episodes for our readers weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly. It was an opportunity to constantly have that hook of a story out there, bringing readers into our worlds and leaving them wanting more.
Kindle Vella also opens the doors for readers to give the authors instant feedback on what stories they love or don’t. For authors it gave us a chance to give a little snippet into each episode’s inspiration. Letting the reader into the process and creating a new form of communication between author and reader.
For many indie authors, being the first to launch anything with such a huge company was an amazing opportunity, but it also had its challenges. One challenge was how to create an eye-catching cover within the small perimeter given by the Kindle Vella platform.
Thankfully for us, Book Brush met that challenge head on by taking out the guesswork into creating amazing covers effortlessly with a Kindle Vella cover template, which we will talk about later on in this article.
#1: Creating your story for Kindle Vella
Writing a story that consists of over twenty thousand words can be a challenge for some authors, including me. My books typically land at about the thirty thousand word range. Kindle Vella gave me the opportunity to sit down and bust out two thousand words at a time, which seemed less of an ordeal than struggling through and reaching for that golden ring word count of forty thousand for my genre.
The process is still the same. Create a story that you love, write it down and send it to the editor.
Kindle Vella makes that process a little less daunting. I look at it as writing an episodic television series, where the audience comes back each week to see what their favorite characters have been up to lately. Exciting, right?
#2: Creating a cover
Here’s where the challenge happened and how Book Brush stepped up to the plate. Creating a book cover is no small task. You want the audience to be drawn in immediately, with the correct colors, fonts and title for your genre.
Check out this blog for more info on how to create an eye catching cover.
Creating a cover for Kindle Vella meant that you had to come up with all of that in a smaller space and just like any other E-book type cover, you had to have all that info within certain dimensions. Book Brush launched their Kindle Vella cover shortly after Kindle Vella became available.
- Head over to the top favs on Kindle Vella.
- Find the Cover Creator in Book Brush and click type to find the Kindle Vella template. You can use community templates or create your own.
- You can also choose your genre from the drop down menu on that page under categories and see what catches your eye.
- Choose which cover draws you in and let that inspire your design.
There are many covers to choose from, but write a list of the top three that stand out to you and focus on those.
Ask yourself these three questions:
- What about that particular cover caught my eye?
- What can I take from that and apply it to my own design and story?
- How can I stand out within my genre?
No one wants to be a copycat, but you can use elements of the design and personalize it to fit your needs and make people interested in your story. Your cover in Kindle Vella holds the same weight as far as marketing, if not more, than any other book cover.
#3: What can Kindle Vella do for indie authors?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Indie authors are always looking for the best marketing strategy to use to get the word out about their books. Kindle Vella gives us that opportunity to reach audiences that we might not have been able to reach otherwise.
Honestly, Kindle Vella gave me an opportunity and other authors I know the chance to write in a different genre and test the waters a little without that huge risk of publishing a full novel. The readers can tell you within the first few episodes if they just aren’t that interested in where that story is heading or your characters.
How dare they!
I know, but believe it or not some of our characters and ideas just aren’t what the great masses want to read. Which is why finding that out after three episodes is better than having our hearts ripped out after pouring out forty thousand words or more, but I digress.
One of the features that Kindle Vella has is the thumbs up that the reader can select for each episode. Just like with anything else out there in the internet universe getting a thumbs up from readers lets you and Amazon know that whatever your selling the audience likes and with that you get noticed by other people seeking the next great story to dive into.
#4: How do I publish on Kindle Vella?
Now that we have covered creating a cover and some of the pros and cons of creating your Kindle Vella story, let’s go over the steps of how to publish your great story idea.
If you have already set up an account in KDP, you can skip this first step. For those newbies out there start at step one on the list below.
- Set up your KDP account here.
- Log in and go to the Kindle Vella library link on your account.
- Start your story and follow the prompts to upload your cover image, bio, description of your story and episode.
- Publish your episode or schedule when you would want it to launch.
- Share your creation to the world!
#5: After the launch
You’ve created your first few episodes and published them. Now what do you do?
Share, share and share some more.
Marketing is always a thorn in the author’s side. You want to write and create your worlds, not swim in the non ending world of marketing and social media. Unfortunately, indie authors have no other choice but to wear the hat of social media and marketing directors for themselves.
Unless you have made enough money to hand that task over to someone else, you are the point person that must get out there and sell your work and yourself. That’s where Book Brush comes in again.
Authors have in our little hands this tool that makes it simple and easy for us to market our creations in a simple and aesthetically pleasing way that doesn’t take too much time out of our writing schedules. Not only did Book Brush give us a template for Kindle Vella covers, they also gave us marketing tools specifically for Kindle Vella.
- Follow this link for instant mockups to use to market your masterpiece.
- Check out this blog How Book Brush Enables Introverted Authors to Create Marketing Materials for more marketing ideas.
- Here’s another great blog How to Easily Create Book Marketing Images that takes you through step by step on how to create your own marketing images. These steps can also be applied to your Kindle Vella story.
BONUS: Pros and Cons wrap up
Kindle Vella certainly has many pros but like most things in this world of self-publishing there are also the cons we have to consider when using this platform.
Here’s a list of both sides of the coin for you to think about:
- NEW platform to launch your work and get in on the ground floor.
- Reach new audiences and grow your author presence and fan base.
- Test the waters into a new genre without too much of a risk.
- Create a community and relationship with your readers instantly through features on Kindle Vella like author’s notes at the end of each episode, likes and favs.
- Tokens! There seems to be an issue with having to use tokens to read episodes after the first three free episodes and some readers just don’t like having to use them. There’s also the issue of tokens and how they translate for royalties for authors. Readers and authors seem to have an issue with this token way of paying for things. See below for token chart:
- Likes and favs are a pro but can also be a con if you don’t have thick skin. Immediate denial of your story line or not getting any likes at all is not for the faint of heart and something you need to prepare yourself for if you use this platform.
- Keeping up with the episodes and staying on schedule. Authors have a tendency to chase after shiny things. You’ve got to keep the episodes coming to keep your audience engaged on Kindle Vella or they will move onto something else and you’ll miss out on growing your audience on this platform.
Recommended articles for further information on Kindle Vella:
Kindle Vella: Amazon’s New Platform for Authors, Explained by Hannah Lee Kidder
Everything You Need to Know About Kindle Vella by Miles Archer
Article by A. E. Chewning
Author, actress and adventure seeker A. E. Chewning combines her love of history and the paranormal within the pages of her books.
The seeds for her passion of storytelling and reading were planted when she was a child, when her mother spent many nights reading wonderful tales of adventure.
As an adult, she found herself immersed in the world of storytelling again by performing as a hula dancer in Hawaii and then as an actor in a few roles in both theatre and television.
The paranormal experiences she had throughout childhood in Mobile, Alabama created an insatiable curiosity to continue to explore the unexplained as an adult.
Growing up in the South and traveling to other parts of the country, A.E. Chewning has an abundant supply of colorful personalities to develop into enduring or not-so likable characters.
Currently living in Athens, Alabama and still happily surrounded by history–and the many spirits of the past–A.E. Chewning has all the inspiration she needs to tell her stories and give life to the people time has forgotten. Find her online at https://aechewningauthor.com/.