My Kindle Vella story lost its crown. Yesterday, I was telling you all about the words every romance author wants to hear and today… well, it’s more about the ups and downs of self-publishing.
And in case you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about when I say that my Vella story lost its crown…
What is Kindle Vella?
Kindle Vella brings you stories released one short episode at a time, available on the web at http://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella and in the Kindle app. The first few episodes of every story are always free–after that, purchase Tokens and redeem them to unlock episodes. The first few episodes of every story are always free — after that, readers can purchase Tokens and redeem them to unlock episodes. As readers, you can follow the stories you like to keep up with, give an episode a Thumbs up, and when you unlock episodes, you receive one Fave a week you can award to the story you’re enjoying most that week.Adapted from: Introducing Kindle Vella – Amazon
One of the drawbacks is that it’s only available in the US right now (both for readers and for authors).
One of the upsides is that Amazon is currently awarding bonuses to writers who publish on the platform. But the system is not the most transparent.
All authors are eligible for a bonus based on customer activity such as redemption of free and paid Tokens, Faves, and Follows.Source: KDP – Kindle Vella
My experience with Kindle Vella so far…
I started publishing on Kindle Vella under a pen name in March (“Why I decided to try Kindle Vella as a self-published author”) and I got a surprisingly high bonus, especially as I didn’t have a lot of episodes and not a whole lot of people were reading my story.
I do not know yet what my bonus will be for April 2022 as there’s always a delay between the month when the reads happen and the announcement of the bonus.
Near the 20th of each month, we’ll post the previous month’s bonus amount in your Kindle Vella Dashboard. We will pay your bonus with your total KDP payments approximately 60 days after the end of the month in which the bonus was earned. For example, if you earned a bonus in July, it will be paid with your September payments.Source: KDP – Kindle Vella
I am thoroughly enjoying writing serialized fiction. Publishing every week is fun for me. And having that schedule is giving me more consistency in the way I write. Plus, I think it’s helping me write in a different way: I’m raising the stakes faster, digging deep into the characters and I am definitely learning how to write very strong endings for each episodes.
And I love love love knowing people are reading my work. The thumbs up? The polls at the end of each episode? It’s a plus for me.
And you know what else was a plus?
Having one of my story with a crown…
I am currently publishing two stories under my pen name and one of them had a crown for three weeks. It took me totally by surprise and when the crown stayed days after days, week after week, I was stoked.
First, that means readers are loving the story. They only have one crown to give and they chose my story? Awwww!
I have no idea who reads my story (except maybe one wonderful reader who got the link from my newsletter). I do videos on TikTok (flip pages) and that’s it. Since it’s a pen name, I don’t post about in Kindle Vella Authors Readers groups. I don’t share the link on this website. I don’t talk about it on my other social media.
And yet… Yet, people who have never read my other books are finding them and giving them thumbs up and crowns?
For three weeks!!!
How many crowns? I have no idea because the Kindle Vella dashboard doesn’t show that info… (and yet it’s used in the calculation of the bonus. Hmmm).
Those crowns should help my May bonus (which I will only find out about next month).
But… today…. today, I checked to make sure the latest episode was published.
And the crown is gone!
I mean I know there are hundreds and hundreds of stories readers can choose from. And maybe they fell more in love with another story last week. Or maybe I didn’t release enough episodes. Or maybe the episode wasn’t their favorite ones.
I am thinking of releasing another episode tomorrow as I ended the last one on a pretty big cliffhanger.
And the latest episode is getting a lot of thumbs up, so I think the story is going in the right direction.
And who knows? Maybe releasing that episode on Sunday (or at the beginning of the week) might keep the story fresh in their mind as they decide on which story to give the crown to.
I’ll keep you updated.
Make sure you subscribe to my podcast: “A Self-Published Author’s Diary” to find out if I get a crown back. 🙂 And about the bonus.
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