As promised last month, Amazon has launched its serial fiction Kindle Vella store that lets you unlock episodic, self-published stories via in-app purchases. The new platform is a way for readers to discover new fiction and a new way for writers to generate revenue from the Kindle Direct Publishing service.
Although the name suggests otherwise, the Kindle Vella is not available on Amazon Kindle readers. Rather, you can find it only on Amazon.com or the Kindle iOS app (no Android yet). To begin with, the service will be limited to US-based authors who publish stories in English.
The serial stories will run from 600 to 5000 words per episode, with the first three offered for free. To watch subsequent episodes, you must pay for “tokens”
Authors will meanwhile receive 50 percent of the revenue along with bonuses based on engagement with the app’s features in social media. To that end, readers can follow stories to be notified of new episodes, give a thumbs up for episodes they like, use a “Fave” for this week’s favorite story (assuming they buy tokens) and share on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. To increase engagement, writers can speak directly to readers at the end of episodes to “share historical insights and content behind the scenes,” Amazon wrote.
Since Amazon opened Vella to authors three months ago, “thousands of authors” have published “tens of thousands of Kindle Vella episodes across dozens of genres and micro-genres,” Amazon said. Authors seem to be interested as well. “I have published almost 30 novels, and I look forward to the adventure of writing The marriage auction in this new format, ”said best-selling author Audrey Carlan in a statement. Whether the format turns on or off depends on the readers – to try it, you can access Vella here.
Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Engadget.