Kindle Vella

The Great Kindle Vella Experiment…

Is, well, not going so great.

When I first learned about Kindle Vella, I was very excited. A whole new way to engage with readers, sign me up! What Kindle Vella promoted was stories, but told in installments. Now, I know that I’m dating myself slightly here, but one of my favorite things growing up was getting to read the next installment of the story in our local newspaper. They were little mysteries, would probably be considered quite easy by today’s standards. But the anticipation of waiting for the next week’s paper to find out what actually happened, that anticipation was so, so sweet.

I think that is one reason that I’ve been drawn to fanfiction as well. Instead of readers having to wait until the entire book has been written, rewritten, edited, proofread, sent to the printers, and finally released, now they can discover the story along with the writer. This especially works well for my writing style, considering that I’m a Discovery Gardener when it comes to writing. (If you’re curious what that is, check out my post on that: https://theseekerfiles.wordpress.com/2020/06/03/how-i-write/ )

So when I learned that there was a platform where I could share my original works in installments, I was instantly intrigued. After a little bit of research, I discovered that Kindle Vella offers the first three chapters free to Vella readers before they have to pay tokens to read further chapters. Even better, because who wants to spend money on a story that they don’t like. This way, readers can get a feel for the writer and the story before deciding whether or not they want to go any further. Very nice!

Excited to get started, I carefully looked over my current WIPs, picked my most developed one, Elianora, and got to work. Vella was very easy to use and to set up and I quickly had four chapter uploaded. I had a few readers stop by, two even decided that they liked my story enough to keep following it and four thumbs up. Sweet, it’s not much, but it’s a start, right?

Well, then life happened, I had a relative get very sick and family ended up taking priority over writing for a while. Still, writing is the core of my being and I love sharing stories with other people. So now that life has settled back down, I picked myself up, sharpened my pencils, and settled back at my desk to write.

On September 15th, I decided that I was going to write and share 5 stories. 3 would update Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while the other 2 would update on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Because I’d made a timed commitment, life decided to get crazy on me, so I didn’t manage to update the story every day that I intended, but I still managed to get four out of five up and updates happening at least 2-3 times a week. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a start and I was very proud of it.

And you know what happened?

It’s been twelve days now and I have not had a single view. Not a single person has read any of the stories that I’ve published. It’s kinda funny, actually, because if anything, this has only made me more determined to succeed.

I don’t know where I’m going wrong, but I’m going to share my process here so other writers trying to use Vella can maybe learn from my experience/mistakes. And hey, maybe a reader will trip over this post and decide to give my stories a chance, so you never know.

First, Content:

I am not a great writer, certainly not an epic writer on the level of Tolkien or Rowling, but my fanfiction readers and those who have read my books tell me that I create a good story that helps entertain them. They also give me feedback, which I love because I believe that it makes me a better writer.

What I love to write is Fantasy, with my books being heavily Urban fantasy. These four stories that I currently have up definitely lean more into just the fantasy category. I decided to go with a broad range, so I have one playing with the myth of Atlantis, a Cinderella type tale, a magical war, and a humorous one dealing with a character being Isekai’d.

Second, Appearance:

I have the feeling that this is where I’m falling short. I’ve put on pretty shiny cover pictures, carefully summarized, and then tagged with seven tags in what I think best describes the stories. Maybe they’re not being picked up because I’m not marketing them right.

I should probably do deeper research into exactly what my target audience is and what tags they search to find stories like mine. (Scribbles quick note and puts it where I can easily see it again).

Third, Marketing:

I put these stories up thinking that Kindle Vella readers would be willing to check out new content simple because where it’s a new platform, there is limited content. However, I’m beginning to realize that a lot of people are simply not even aware of Kindle Vella. It’s not something that you see on tv or hear about on the radio. Even in reading groups, I see very few mentions of it, if any.

Not only that, but stories available on Kindle Vella are growing by leaps and bounds, mine might be getting just lost in the shuffle. So I need to make people who already like my writing and writing style aware that I’m using this platform and what this platform actually is.

So, In Conclusion:

I still have a long way to go before I figure out Kindle Vella and its algorithm.

I need to do a lot of market research (I got excited about sharing my stories and jumped in with both feet, so now I need to do a bit of backtracking, lol)

I’ll need to further examine the variables, like posting times (will I get more views if I post in the morning or the evening) and how many times a week is the optimum amount.

Still, I think it will be worth it in the end and I’m not giving up here. I’ll keep posting about my journey and my process 🙂

Hope you’re having an amazing Monday!

~ A slightly discouraged yet very stubborn discovery gardener

P.S.

If you wanna check out my stories, I’ve included the links below.

Daughter of the Sea: https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-of-the-Sea/dp/B09GS1D4D1/

Elianora: https://www.amazon.com/Elianora/dp/B09BDJTCYZ/

Fight or Flight: https://www.amazon.com/Fight-Flight-Cinderella-Court-Intrigue/dp/B09GFCQX7Q/

I was Isekai’d: https://www.amazon.com/I-was-Isekaid-now-what/dp/B09GK3L297/

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