Why I’m quitting Kindle Vella

So, I took a break. Like a big one. I had to stop and think about if it was worth the effort for me to try and continue to post on Kindle Vella. Especially considering that I have a platform that actually pays me (Dreame). It got to be too discouraging to continue looking at stats and things and I have a concept that I like better of the story that I’m writing that I worry will be too similar. So.

The Anointed is still up. You can still read it on there if you wish. But there are so many changes that need to happen with the platform that I don’t think I’ll be using it going forward.

I took the time to figure out what I really wanted and while I do still think self-publishing is important, I’m not at a place where I can go all in and get the kind of audience I’m hoping for. So, it’s time to jump into traditional publishing again. This means finishing a manuscript instead of publishing it serially which is something I haven’t done in a long time.

I’m working on a manuscript right now that is at 22 k that is an adult fantasy romance novel. And I’m super excited about it. So, that’s where I’ve been.

Kindle Vella: September Featured Stories

So back when Kindle Vella started a whole 8 weeks ago, the stories that were featured included a bunch of self-published authors with followings and, for some inexplicable reason, RPG games? I understand the correlation. Its creative and involves a lot of the same things that you do as a writer.

The thing is, that isn’t what the platform is for and it was so FRUSTRATING to see nothing but that in the featured section. When scrolling through books on Kindle Unlimited yesterday I was actually really pleased to see some choices from Kindle Vella popping up in the search engine without my looking.

Initially, I was so disgusted with the way things were being ranked I hadn’t looked back at the main page. BUT since we’ve started a new month I decided to take a look and see if anything had changed since then.

In case you haven’t looked at it yourself here is the Kindle Vella page on Amazon:

Top faved on kindle vella
Kindle Vella Featured

It seems that with Kindle Vella, likes help get your story to THE KINGS LANDING as I’m going to call the main page. The Anointed isn’t on there yet but who knows? Maybe in October? Only time will tell.

I was curious and looked up John Conroe whose got 22 published books already. Audrey Carlan had so many books I lost track counting them. E.A. Blackwell I couldn’t find much on but it seems that maybe they only write on Kindle Vella? And possibly are a popular painter? I’m not real sure.

I’m not surprised to see romance up there. Romance always does really well online. It’s why there are so many self-published authors in that genre. It’s addictive, and there’s always a million books in a series. And I’m actually a pretty heavy reader of romance. I go through a lot of periods where I binge read like twenty and L.J. Shen is my weakness.

But fantasy has always been my first love so I always HOPED I would find my audience there but who knows? I just love writing. Kindle Vella and I have yet to start a love affair yet but we’ve still got plenty of time.

Kindle Vella week 7 Wrap up

Seven weeks of Kindle Vella. Seven weeks of uninspired numbers. 11 likes, 1 read, and 3 follows on The Anointed.

Dreame stats for To Aurum With Hate: 2.981 k reads, 913 follows, and 80 episodes.

UX Design Courses completed: 1, working on a project for week 2.

Emotional breakdowns I’ve had: none this week.

Shits left at the “real” job: also none.

I made my way through The Gilded Ones, and The Inheritance Games, and I am working my way through Lore. I made my way through MOST of Ben Barnes filmography excepting tv shows that were pilots or things that were too hard to find anymore. Have now started a Brendan Fraser binge watch. And Ted Lasso made me cry yet again this week.

I hit 81 k on To Aurum With Hate and am getting close to finishing it so I should be able to work on my writers conference project. Once October is finished, I’ll be able to focus on The Anointed and other personal writing projects I’m working on including the romcom and study abroad story I’m working on.

I don’t really know what to think anymore. I’m open to pretty much anything at this point. I just need things to change. That’s where I’m at.

Dealing with Bugs and Backup Plans

So if you recall, a few weeks ago I had A THIRTYSOMETHINGLIFE CRISIS freak out and I registered for a google certificate class through Coursera. I’m at the point in my life where I work full time in customer service and I am desperate for a career change. While I hope that change will be to a full time writer, I’m also looking at alternatives.

As a kid, I used to build websites with html and spend hours doing it. I didn’t know what the internet was going to be or that it would be an actual job so I never really did anything with it. I was way too focused on my writing. I knew what I wanted to be and nothing was going to change my mind.

In my time as an internet user, a constant frustration for me has been the lack of a platform for fiction writers to monetize. There have been a few attempts.

Wattpad, which only just recently started paying its authors and only if you are part of their special program where you’ve got to have a BUNCH of followers. Joinsequel.com, which is new and I’m not sure about. Webnovel, Dreame, and Kindle Vella. Radish, which you have to submit to.

So far, Dreame is the one that functions best. It is easy for writers with no following to get a start. They go through a submission process, get paid, and then can start earning royalties as they gain followers. The most a story has to have is 500 to be entered into their pay-to-read program. And they also have a contract for full time writers. I’ve got 12 stories with them currently.

That said, each platform has its own difficulties. Wattpad I feel like has become more of a fanfiction website, which isn’t a bad thing it’s just it is VERY hard to get original works noticed on there. Joinsequel.com has not changed their website layout in over a year since I found out about them. They also do not have an app as far as I know. Or anyway for writers and readers to connect.

Dreame has a comments section, and people can follow writers. But: Dreame’s comments have to be read on the Starry writer app, the publisher that runs Dreame. And they often disappear or don’t show at all or they direct you to old comments. I told them about this, and their response was to use the app instead of the website. And it did the same thing. It makes connecting with readers hard and there is still no direct way to contact people. It’s a bug I’ve been dealing with and its a pain.

I spent this past week trying to get through the second Coursera class. If I can’t be a writer the traditional way, I am determined to make a writing career possible for everyone that wants to be. That’s why I’m dedicated to this class and learning how to build the app.

Self-publishing isn’t a radical concept the way that it once was. Legitimate authors have come from self-publishing. Colleen Hoover and Amanda Hocking, to name a few. However, there are costs associated with self-publishing that make people afraid of it.

If we have a platform that makes self-publishing universal, where writers can interact with readers and other writers and gain a following, it will be a complete game changer. Publishing is an intimidating business for a lot of reasons. There’s a lot of rejection.

An app like this would put the power of picking the next literary stars in the power of the people, rather than the power of the publishers. In talking about the way content is made, I feel this is something that has been a long time coming. There just hasn’t been the right person to do that.

I’m hoping by finishing this class, I’m that person. There are so many stories out there the world hasn’t been told yet. And I want to hear them all.

So, even though I’ve been taking and retaking the same quiz over for a week all while trying NOT to hit my head against the wall learning UX, I’m going to keep on doing it. Because I feel like this is the key to making literature accessible to everyone.

The internet was made for writers. It just hasn’t created a space for us yet. And so, I’m going to make one. Even if it drives me insane doing it.

Kindle Vella Week 6 Wrap Up

This week wasn’t much. It was a blur of making my way through the filmography of a one Ben Barnes aka Prince Caspian from Chronicles of Narnia and most recently The Darkling on Shadow and Bone from Netflix. All the meanwhile trying to finish To Aurum With Hate so I can work on some personal projects.

For anyone who knows about The Anointed, I name each of my episodes after song lyrics I think might fit the episode. It’s fun and something they used to do on One Tree Hill and I always thought it was cool.

Previously, I thought I had had my first read but it turned out to be my first LIKE. Which is entirely different then my first read. The Anointed currently has 9 thumbs up (which is what they call likes on Kindle Vella) and IT’S REAL FIRST OFFICIAL READ.

But here is the strange part: it wasn’t one of the free episodes. Nope. Or even, like episode four or something. It was episode nine. For episode nine, I used lyrics from Leonard Cohens Joan Of Arc. Specifically, ‘Myself I long for love and light, but must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?’

A very weird starting point to pick to read. But, whatever floats your boat reader. Its a win and I will take it.

Kindle Vella Week 5 Wrap up and Week 6 Start

Welcome back, dear readers! We have finished week 5 without very much applause or fanfare. Here are the stats for The Anointed going into week 6:

3 followers (one of which is me).

7 thumbs up.

0 reads.

You might be saying, but Cambria what about that excited post about having your first read? Well, it seems that a thumbs up and a read are two different things according to amazon. What I got was my first thumbs up.Although I’m still not sure how something can get a thumbs up without having been read first, but I do appreciate it either way. Also I was just excited the story had some attention at all.

In comparison: To Aurum With Hate which is not on Kindle Vella has 880 followers, 62 episodes, and is at like 2.2 something thousand reads. That said, I’ve got 12 stories on Dreame compared to the one on Kindle Vella. And I’ve also been working on To Aurum With Hate a lot more because I’m trying to finish it so I can focus on The Anointed.

I also have been avoiding doing the UX class I signed up for because I have hit a wall there with a project and a quiz I have to do. So. That’s where I’m at.

I also got an exciting e-mail from Webnovel, which is another serial fiction platform that pays. I’ve got a profile on there but I haven’t really done anything with it. Webnovel and Wattpad are two platforms that I think are really big and therefore, really hard to get a large following on unless you’ve been on there since the beginning. But they’re doing a contest and have a contract they sent to me and I’m kind of curious to see what their rates are compared to Dreame or Kindle Vella.

Which is another reason why I am working on finishing up To Aurum With Hate, because I want to try to write something for Webnovel and see how it goes. Got to keep my options open right?

I’m also prepping for the zoom hosted writers conference my Mom gifted me as an early birthday present that will take place in October. Normally, it’s hosted at our local community college but because of COVID, its going to be on zoom. Yet another disappointment because I thought when I first got it that it would be at the college and was excited to get out of the house. Oh well. Still cool to be going.

I’m writing something fantasy related for that and I’ve got an evaluation from an editor so who knows? Most of the time they just give you feedback and I’ve gotten some nice stuff over the years. I’ve done a lot of these though and the key is not to get your expectations up. If you walk in expecting to get a book deal, that is when you’ll walk away with A LOT of disappointment. However, as long as you walk out not being told that your work is a travesty, you’re doing good.

Other than that I have started a contemporary romance book about an author who has a fling with an actor that is starring in the movie version of her book. I’ve got about 5 k written and I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll do with that.

Lot of irons in the fire, as Rory Gilmore would say. Weirdly the most productive project I’ve got right now for me is this blog which I find strange. Who would have thought people would care so much about writing hit or misses?

I’m thinking of other entries I can do besides kindle vella pieces and I thought I would start looking at books that successfully made the transition from web series to books. The third movie in The Kissing Booth franchise recently came out and that famously started as a novel on Wattpad. I want to try and see if there are any common denominators in the books and figure out what makes them work so well for the internet.

Because I’m convinced the internet itself is an entirely different form of story-telling altogether. Which is why a story that works well online might not be something a traditional editor would pick up.

Think about how streaming services have changed how we consume media. Which didn’t happen until the internet. There’s got to be a correlation between the two, and I’m determined to figure it out.

The UX design class I signed up for is also part of my writing journey. We’ve got to do a project for the class, and mine is going to be coming up with a serial fiction app that allows writers to monetize with a youtube style format.

I want to make it possible for anyone who wants to be a writer to be a writer. There’s a million good stories out there that haven’t been told because there’s no “market” for it or whatever and I want to eliminate that. If the internet has proven anything, there’s a market for everything. And there’s room for all kinds of stories. And I intend to make a place where people can find that story.

Anyway, until next week.

Kindle Vella, Week 5 and Week 4 wrap up

HOLY SMOKES.

Week 5.

Okay, wow. I won’t lie. I dropped the ball on these a little bit. Last week I was in a complete funk and just having an OH MY GOD I TURN 31 AND AM SO UNACOMPLISHED AND BROKE WHAT DO I DO FREAKOUT.

And I’ve been trying to get my certificate in UX design too. So. Yeah. Distracted. I don’t even know that I updated The Anointed and I do feel bad about that but. Things have been a little weird. And I’m sure my three followers, one of which is me, will understand.

So, where am I with week five and the end of week four?

GOOD THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED:

The Anointed now has a total of two people following it besides me. So. YAY. It got its first read. ALSO YAY.

I’m focusing on two things at the moment. A UX design course with coursera through google that my Mom gifted me because I’ve been freaking out about my career a lot and thinking about different options. And creating a pitch for the writers conference I’m going to in October. Also gifted to me for by my Mom for my birthday which is in September.

So yeah, Kindle Vella fell through the cracks a little bit in the midst of my Michael The Architect earth-is-a-curse freak out. And the blog. Fortunately, nothing was regrettably pierced.

Rest assured, nothing life changing has happened over night. I am not on a late night show joking about my whirl wind success or talking about my weird fantasy novel that involves magical vaginas and ruining beloved fantasy book tropes.

In fact, what I’m trying to do right now is finish up the novel that I’m writing on Dreame so that I can focus more on kindle vella stuff. I’ve got a few different projects I want to write and that means not having anything else writing wise distract me. That said, I do still have a series called Royals and Rebels that I write for Dreame that I love writing and will continue to work on as I write kindle vella stuff. So. Lots of projects going on and not enough me and the blog fell through.

Oh well.

Week five. What is going to come? Who knows. Can’t wait and see.

Kindle Vella: The First Read

It happened! IT FINALLY HAPPENED!!!!! It only took a month, but somehow, I lured someone into reading The Anointed. As of right now, one episode has been read. It has a total of 5 thumbs up, and two followers. One of those followers is me but someone else—-hopefully not my Mom as much as I love my Mom—-has read The Anointed and followed it!

Ah, the first step conquered. Only a million more to go I guess.

Who am I kidding? I’d settle for the first ten readers. Let’s see if we can get it to that by the end of the month. 10 readers/followers for The Anointed. Think we can do it?

I’ve been feeling very defeatist lately and sort of having a 30 life crisis I guess you want to call it? I turn thirty-one next month, and it’s just been making me take stock of everything.

With Kindle Vella not being the runaway success that it was, I had to ask myself some hard questions. What was I doing with my life? What did I want to do with my life? What did I want my future to look like?

I came to these conclusions:

  1. I love writing and will probably always do it. Whether or not I can make a living at it, to be ‘successful’ or whatever, that remains to be seen but oh well.
  2. A job change is definitely in order. I work a “real job” forty hours a week in customer service that I’ve been at and feeling really disillusioned with lately. Particularly since I work remotely from home now.
  3. It’s probably a good idea to have a backup plan in case this doesn’t work out.
  4. I want to work for myself, and do something that is still creative.

So, as kindle vella takes its tiny steps to getting off the ground, I am working on The Backup Plan. I registered for a UX Design Class with Coursera and I’m slowly learning new skills in case kindle vella doesn’t work out.

But The First Read finally happened. Now all I need is a million more, right? Ha ha. And if you were the first read for The Anointed, thank you! And if you haven’t read The Anointed on Kindle Vella yet what are you doing? Go read it!

So What Is Kindle Vella, Exactly?

In case you, like everyone else it seems, are a little confused about what kindle vella is I thought I’d give an overview. I’ve had some trouble even figuring it out myself even. With the launch of the serial writing program, its been unclear to exactly how it works for THE READERS.

For writers, its plain and simple. Writers post their stories chapter by chapter, and they’re called episodes. Writers get paid by tokens which are determined by word count.

Readers buy tokens which allow them to read the stories. But where exactly are the stories you’re wondering? Is Kindle Vella an app? Is it a website? Here is the answer, which wasn’t clear to me and probably everyone else from the beginning.

Kindle Vella stories exist WITHIN kindle. So, if you are on the amazon website or the kindle app you’d go to the menu and click KINDLE VELLA. It then takes you to the Kindle Vella website. If you have any stories that you are following currently, it will show them on the first page. Then, it will also show the top five trending stories.

Go through, browse, and then get tokens to buy whatever it is that you want to read. Writers move forward when they have more comments and faves so if you like something, be sure to show the some love. That’s how writers move up. The more reads, the more they trend.

Now, GO FORTH AND READ. SPECIFICALLY THE ANOINTED BY CAMBRIA COVELL WHO WRITES THIS BLOG. PLEASE AND THANK YOU. 😉