Recently, I released the first few episodes of Moonlight Cove, a serialized sweet romance, in Kindle Vella.
For those unfamiliar with it, Kindle Vella is a mobile-friendly, interactive experience that offers readers the opportunity to read stories, one episode at a time. At this time it is only available in the US.
Among the features offered in Kindle Vella (as directly stated from Amazon) are:
- Tagging: Readers can use tags to browse for specific topics and genres to find stories.
- Following: Once a reader follows a Kindle Vella story, they’ll be notified every time a new episode is released.
- Thumbs Up: Readers can leave a Thumbs Up on every episode they like.
- Faves: Once a week, readers who have purchased Tokens will receive a Fave to award to the story they enjoyed most that week. Amazon will feature stories with the most Faves in the Kindle Vella store to help other readers discover popular stories.
- Author Notes: Authors can speak directly to their readers at the end of episodes to share story insights and behind-the-scenes content.
- Sharing: It’s easy for readers to share the Kindle Vella stories they love right from their phones through Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels or via email and text with friends.
The first three episodes are free. You can read them on your phone’s Kindle app, or right on your computer if you go to https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella
Once you’ve read the first three episodes, you have to purchase tokens to unlock the rest. Tokens are relatively inexpensive.
If you’re wondering why publish stories one episode at a time, it hearkens back to the 1800s when serialized stories shared through newspapers and other publications were popular.
One of the most popular authors of the time, and sometimes given credit for kicking off story serialization, was Charles Dickens. Books were too expensive for most people to enjoy, but serial fiction printed in much cheaper newspapers and magazines gave people who couldn’t afford a book access to fiction. Lending libraries soon popped up, providing yet another way the working class could access fiction.
The serial model largely disappeared from book publishing after World War II, when the paperback revolution made books affordable for nearly everyone.
It did, however, linger in comics, where monthly issues serialized stories.
The format also survived in television, particularly with soap operas.
Today, you’ll find several formats online that offer serialized fiction, including Kindle Vella.
If you aren’t a fan of serialized fiction, don’t worry! My story, Moonlight Cove, will be available as an eBook and in paperback in October!