My Kindle Vella Journey, Part 2

This is the second post in a series. If you would like to read Part 1, please go back to last week.

Kindle Vella has challenged me to learn a great deal as a writer. It forced me to learn more about my own process of writing, as well as what works on the platform.

I started using Kindle Vella when I didn’t know what I was doing. I made many mistakes over the first year.

But I had projects waiting in the wings, which I could upload, and I started doing that. One might think I would be satisifed using old material and sticking with that idea for the duration of using Kindle Vella, but that’s not the case.

I liked writing newly revised material for Kindle Vella. The process of writing the “right kind” of episodes challenged me to reconsider several things about the style of my writing, what I liked, what I didn’t, and what could change.

Once I finished Dark Blade: Forged, I decided to start the next book. Dark Blade: Tempered has episodes prepped through the end of March, and it’s currently already sitting at 12-13 episodes. I’m writing 1-2 episodes each week and adding them to the back end, in the hopes of staying ahead of it, no matter what life throws my way.

I also started a non-fiction project that is ten episodes strong, and which I have outlined and prepped to end by Mid-March. This is actually under another pen name. (Again, I’ll get the pen name shenanigans in another post.) I have written these primarily using talk-to-text first drafts, and written revision.

Did you know why I decided to upload it? $ Yes. I don’t mean to be crass, but I would like to become more commercially successful, and currently Kindle Vella is paying me more than I’m making through my other eBooks and paperbacks.

My writing has become stronger since I started writing episodically and getting paid for it. I received a few emails from authors and readers who think Dark Blade: Forged is my strongest work yet, and this made me glad, but it also made me take a serious look at why episodes work for me.

Part of the reason this work may be stronger is because I started out by revising old projects per chapter as I uploaded them, taking a long look at specific details.

Another part of the reason I think episodic writing works for me, is that I love my short stories and my poetry. I have often been paid well for those.

Maybe I’m putting too much stock in the “wow, this is your best writing” emails, but they made an impression, and while I have a number of old projects in binders, and new project ideas, which may not fit with the KV model, I’m going to keep using it for now.

KV may work for you if:

  • If you like short chapters (between 600-1400 words).
  • If you already have a 65,000-word novel that’s been edited or critiqued,
  • If you have a ten-chapter non-fiction project you can break into short episodes.
  • If you have a group of ten linked short stories about the same characters you can break into linked episodes.
  • If you are okay asking readers to click the thumbs up button every single episode, then asking for faves and reviews.
  • If you are okay mentioned each episode you published as they publish via your social media channels.
  • If you write excessively long blog posts and chapters, but are willing to break them into smaller chunks. (600-1200 words)

KV episodes are like chapters, but different. Each one needs a tiny intro. Each one needs a tiny hook. They have to end in just the right place. I’m finding the learning process slow (as demonstrated by this long blog post), but I have found I enjoy the challenge presented in the KV platform style.

To see what I mean, compare the first three free episodes of Dark Blade: Forged and those of Dark Blade: Tempered.

Come back in next week for: My Kindle Vella Story, Part 3 (KV to Novel)

This post is brought to you by:

Dark Blade: Tempered

This is a sequel. Read Dark Blade: Forged first! Dan and his friends encounter new troubles at the Watch Tower, as they each attempt to complete their training. Dan must master the dark blade, and while he may have given up his noble title, political intrigue plagues him due to his friendship with Prince Alex who seems determined to fall in love with a pirate, while his faltering faith life concerns his friend Farrald, who should be training to become a Shepherd and not a Guard. Episodes air on Tuesdays.

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