Eli’s life as a sysadmin for the world’s biggest fully immersive online roleplaying game is pretty tame before his ex-girlfriend finds out her boss is doing something dangerous inside the game. Something only he can stop.
In a titanic fight, he strips the jerk of his stolen power, but is now trapped inside an altered game with a few hundred million angry players. Maybe forever.
To free the innocent players, Eli must master the new rules and reclaim his godlike powers before the jerk does.
Kindle Vella FAQ
1. What is Kindle Vella? It’s a platform that Amazon launched in July 2021 that allows authors to write fiction in serial format, meaning in short pieces at a time, over a LONG period of time. Think The Green Mile when it first came out, only in digital form. If you’re familiar with Web Comics, Radish, KISS, or Wattpad, these are all mostly done in serial format.
2. What’s the advantage / point of writing that way? Well, with more and more people reading on phones, and how busy people are, there’s a lot of demand for stories that can be read in small chunks. At the same time, readers like developing a long relationship with stories / characters / authors, and serials allow that as well. Some stories going on for hundreds of episodes (and I intend Upstart Gods to be that way) or multiple “seasons.” Maybe think of this as more like a long-running television show than how novels are usually structured. Therefore, while the episodes can be short, it’s actually a great way to tell long, complex stories.
3. Who is on Kindle Vella? Well, me, for one. More broadly, only US authors are allowed to publish (or read) on Kindle Vella in this beta stage of the program, and only for serial works in English. I’m hoping they expand this to include all authors and regions very soon!
4. How do you read Kindle Vella stories? You read the stories in “episodes” by purchasing tokens from Amazon (see below for more on this) though the first three episodes are always FREE. At this time, the only ways to read is in a browser and the Kindle iOS app. It doesn’t work on other Kindle e-readers at this point.
5. Do I have to pay before I know if I even like your story? No. Amazon gives readers three FREE episodes of every serial, along with 200 FREE tokens (each token unlocks roughly 100 words of each episode and the episodes run from 600-5,000 words) to go beyond that when you first try the program, so you get a pretty big sneak peek on most stories before you have to pay anything at all.
An episode of 600 words would take 6 tokens to unlock the episode. A 5,000 word episode would take 50 tokens to unlock the episode.
6. How often will serials be updated on Vella? Every author will design their own schedule for this. For me, I’ll be updating Upstart Gods every Thursday. I’ll go back to twice a week once the platform gains some tracktion.
7. How do you crown (i.e., “fav” or “favorite”) a story, and what is that? You can declare a story as your favorite once a week. That earns the author a little visual flash that tells other readers that someone is liking the story. Unfortunately, you cannot crown / favorite a story UNTIL you purchase tokens.
I’ve heard it recommend that people purchase the $1.99 / 200 token pack to start, along with the 200 free tokens. That should give you some idea if this reading format / some of the individual stories on there are for you.
8. How many crowns (“favorites”) do you get? You only get ONE (1) crown / “fav” / “favorite” per week! Use it sparingly, because this is how your favorite authors get to shine. The more people who “favorite” a story, the more that story will be seen by other potential readers.
9. How do you get notifications that a new story chapter is live? You need to FOLLOW the stories that you like and want notifications for. There is a way to do this at the bottom of each episode you read. You can also do it on the page for the overall story in Kindle Vella (there’s a button to click on the story’s main page).
10. What do “Thumb’s Up” / “Likes” mean? None of us authors really know PRECISELY what this means yet, but since they are there, clicking the “like” / “thumb’s up” button certainly can’t hurt, if only in letting other readers know that it might be worth their time to check the story out. In general, that usually helps with discovery, which is always a huge challenge for authors.
11. Can readers from other countries access Vella? As I mentioned above, unfortunately the program is only open to US readers (in addition to only being open to US writers) in this preliminary beta stage of the launch. I’m hoping that changes really soon, and I’ll definitely keep you updated as that changes.
12. How do I access the Vella Store? I recommend using your browser to start, especially if you have a link to a particular Vella book / serial. Here is a link to my serial, Upstart Gods (Psst. Click the title) That will get you into the Vella Store and allow you to get a sense of how it’s set up for individual stories.
You can also go to the main page for the Vella store and browse. These links should work for your phone, laptop, tablet, or anywhere that accesses one of the major browsers. You can also access Kindle Vella through your iOS Kindle Phone app, if you own an iPhone. The Android app is in work and should be along before too much longer.