7 thoughts on “Kindle Vella”

  1. 1- Amazon tried this before, minus the phone promo. No great outcome.
    2- Others have tried treating content on phones as a distinct business. The most recent:

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/quibi-shutting-down-just-months-after-launching-n1244215

    —–

    “Quibi, the short-form video streaming service from Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, announced Wednesday that it will be shutting down. The abrupt end to the expensive project comes just six months after its debut.

    Quibi was reported to be returning $350 million of the $1.75 billion it raised from investors. (NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC News, is a minority investor in Quibi, and NBC News produced a daily show on the platform. NBCUniversal and NBC News declined to comment.)

    The company struggled to win over subscribers and meet its growth targets. Since it launched in April, Quibi has faced tepid reviews and internal strife, and it has failed to win over consumers in the numbers it needed to thrive.”
    —-

    Amazon knows (more or less) how much their customers read on eink, tablet, and phones.
    But very little of that is serials.

    I would’ve expected something a bit more creative…

  2. I live in a couple Discord servers that are heavy with serial authors. They’ve been talking about this for a few days now. Myself, I’m looking to dip my toe in serials eventually, but this makes me want to run screaming. Not only because it’s been tried before, but the ‘rights to first publishing too. Between that (I am currently sending bits of a short story collection to my mailing list) and the uncertainty over how exactly Amazon plans to get readers into the Vella store (much less reading quickly), I’m not interested in tossing another egg in Amazon’s basket.

    On the flip side to consider, monetizing serial work outside of Amazon can be tricky. Currently, most of the authors I know put their work up in places like Reddit Serials, Royal Road and Scrubblehub, then have advance chapters available on Patreon. After an arc or book is complete, they then take down all the free chapters and publish to Amazon. And possible sit in Review Hell (one author I know has been there for a couple weeks now) as Amazon’s bots trip over themselves trying to prove or disprove ownership of the book. Alot of extra work with the added bonus of “Will Amazon believe me” tacked on the end.

    So I’ll watch this, but I probably won’t be participating any time soon

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