Posted in Publishing, Writing

Are You Ready for Kindle Vella?

Amazon is launching Kindle Vella next week, and I’m ready!

For months I thought the only novel of mine I was going to self-publish this summer was Magic Hour, now available in ebook and paperback format on Amazon. That was always the plan, and then I thought maybe in 2022 I could publisher another of my older manuscripts I’m ready to put out into the world.

But then around mid-June I discovered something on Amazon that was coming in July, currently just in Beta mode. It’s called Kindle Vella, a new publication on Amazon for serialized stories, similar to Wattpad.

I actually used Wattpad way back in the day to serialize my Grisly High trilogy, which, with all its chapter cliffhangers, was the perfect story for a more episodic kind of publication.

I also put up my book Happy Birthday to Me on Wattpad, but then I forgot about it for a long while. And when I saw Kindle Vella was coming, I thought maybe I could go back to one of those earlier manuscripts of mine to put on this new publication.

But no — not only did I think it would be more exciting to publish something to Kindle Vella nobody has ever read before, you’re not even allowed to put something on Kindle Vella that has been published elsewhere!

What are the rules of Kindle Vella?

On the main site, it does give some clear rules for writers who want to publish their work on Kindle Vella. It says you cannot “publish in Kindle Vella content that is in the public domain or freely available on the web.” Basically, if you’ve published short stories or novels on your blog or elsewhere, you can’t just copy and paste it into Kindle Vella.

You also cannot “break down your previously published book or long-form content into Episodes and republish in Kindle Vella, even if that book or long-form content is no longer available or is written in another language.” This was the big one. What it’s saying is you can’t take a novel you’ve already published on Amazon and put it on Kindle Vella, even if you unpublish the manuscript from the site and have it offered nowhere else.

At Kindle Vella they want brand new content, the kind that’s never been available anywhere else, so I wondered which of my manuscripts would be best for the platform — and it didn’t take long. At the end of 2013 I wrote a middle grade novel called The Luckiest Bookworm, about a twelve-year-old girl who finds a portal in her middle school library that takes her into the world of any book ever written. It’s a super fun adventure book comprised of forty chapters, each one of them with its own nail-biting chapter cliffhanger!

I have a few other books I’m getting close to self-publishing, but the other two I’m considering have fewer chapters without as many cliffhangers. The Luckiest Bookworm seemed perfect for the Kindle Vella platform, so I just spent the last three weeks revising and editing the manuscript one last time.

It was a blast to revisit this one. I fell in love with my main character and this crazy story all over again.

And I’m really, really excited for people young and old to finally read it!

Kindle Vella is just another chance I’m taking as an author after eleven years of novel writing.

When you write a lot like I do, you have to take chances on new platforms, and if they fail, they fail. No big deal. Keep writing and try other things.

I’m still trying to get a literary agent after eleven years, and I’m currently revising my newest middle grade novel in the hopes it’s ready to be queried in the fall. I’m also querying my newest young adult novel, and I’m starting to outline a new adult writing project I plan to write slowly over the course of 2022.

But even as I constantly look forward, sometimes it’s worth looking back at some of those manuscripts that fell through the cracks. The Luckiest Bookworm was one of them, a book I excitedly worked on from December 2013 to August 2014, before querying it that fall. I got a few requests, but by 2015, I was onto the next project.

My affection for The Luckiest Bookworm has always been strong though, and after nearly eight years since I wrote the first sentence, I’m excited to finally unveil it later this month on Kindle Vella when the service goes live for readers.

Yesterday I finished publishing the fortieth and final chapter to Kindle Vella… and I’m ready! I’m not sure when launch day will be. It’s apparently going to be sometime next week, not late July like I originally thought.

But whatever day Kindle Vella is officially launched, you can bet I’ll be letting you know to tell you even more about this exciting publication platform, and all about my newest novel, The Luckiest Bookworm!

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