More Hype Than Anything Else?
Take whatever I have to say about this with a grain of salt.
Instead, measure my assertion against your results, or the lack of them, I am guessing the greater number of authors will attain after putting their stories up on Vella.
There was a lot of publicity and hype surrounding its launch. Now that it has happened, my educated guess is, it will NOT turn out to be a platform that greatly helps advance most authors’ writing aspirations, if it helps advance them at all.
With Vella, the chances of an author getting his book in front of the numbers of eyeballs one would hope for is about as good, or I am inclined to believe worse, than readers discovering your book wherever else on the web you have it.
While you were busy getting all caught up in the hype, did you stop to think about what kind of visibility the platform would offer?
Just like at Amazon’s regular storefront, with Vella, your book will be one among countless titles and names, some of them celebrity authors, all vying for attention.
The thing is, this attention is not easily come by. If you click on any of the genre titles on Vella’s storefront page, you’ll find there is no search bar in which a visitor can plug in your or your story’s name in order to try and find it. One can, however, click on the search bar at https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella and find your stories that way. If you have anything up on Vella, it will show up at the top of the list.
Advertising and Marketing
This brings one back to the challenge anyone who dares get into this writing business has to face if he wants to be successful at it, advertising and marketing. Yup, those words so many of you, who are of a creative, as opposed to a business-minded bent, dread hearing.
With Vella you’ll be in the same boat as anyone who has their work up wherever on the web. You’ll have to market it, but to a smaller readership.
That’s right. Your potential readers will be considerably smaller. Here’s why. Despite what that name suggests, your stories up on Kindle Vella is not available to those using Kindle e-readers. For now, anyway. You can only read those stories via the Kindle app.
You might or should wonder, just how many of those readers are there? Or, how many are there compared to them plus those who can read any of your books not merely using the app, but also using a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader, if you’re published wide.
Mm. I don’t know the exact numbers, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude the numbers are a lot less. Does that mean this is going to stay this way? Your guess is as good as mine.
Or, does that mean you should abort trying to gain some kind of traction using Vella? Uh, nope. I’m just sayin’.
However, personally, I’m not optimistic. And while I’m not predicting doom and gloom for the platform, I think it’s fair to say thousands of authors, many who may have been very excited about Vella’s prospects will be dismayed.
For the lion’s share of you, it’s not going to make your efforts to get recognized or make some additional money any easier. My two cents.
Compared to other publishing endeavors, I’m inclined to believe there is a better case for one making either doodley squat or next to nothing on Vella. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Instead, monitor your dashboard, which you can do here: https://kdpreports.amazon.com/kindle-vella and you can then determine how on or off I was with my assertion.
Oh, bear in mind, if you thought about using Vella as a potentially better option for making some income via any of the other available ones (they will be mentioned below) then you find out that is not working out as hoped for, after contacting Amazon, you’ll have to anywhere from thirty to sixty days before you can unpublish your story to revert to using some other option.
Exactly how much time it is is a bit hazy, but you can read their content guidelines and try to make sense of it if you click here.
If it’s the latter. Yikes. That’s two months in which you could have been making money elsewhere with your book. Again, don’t take my word for it, read the content guidelines.
In closing, Vella, as far as I can see, is not going to make anything any easier for the up and coming author trying to make a name for himself. If anything, success at getting readers to buy into the platform appears more challenging than at other available avenues.
If you’re in this business, you know what they are: targeting your email subscribers; using KDP Select; Unlimited; publishing wide, or using book promotional aka deal sites, or mega monsters like BookBub; Facebook; or AMS ads.
I’m not going to going into all or any of them since that is not the focus of this blog post.
I’m just sayin’.
Again, personally I’m not optimistic about Vella’s prospects, but I’ll see how that goes. I invite you to let me know how things are going with your effort(s) on Vella, or what do you think about it now that you’ve read this and perhaps I’ve given you something to think about.
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