Amazon has officially launched Kindle Vella, its new mobile-first, interactive reading tool for serialized stories, which was first announced in April. The company said that the program is starting with “thousands of stories containing tens of thousands of episodes.”
Through the new KDP self-publishing service, authors can publish episodes containing between 600 and 5,000 words one at a time. The first three episodes of each story are free, but to read subsequent episodes, readers will need to buy tokens, which are available for purchase in bundles in the Kindle iOS app or on Amazon.com. Authors receive 50% of the token price. Bundle prices start at $1.99 for 200 tokens, which would unlock at least 4 episodes, depending on episode length, the company said.
Among the stories now available are Audrey Carlan’s romance The Marriage Auction, Hugh Howey’s memoir Death and Life, and C.G. Cooper’s thriller Daring Hope, as well as debuts from new authors.
Amazon is touting a range of Kindle Vella features, including:
- Tagging: Readers can use tags to browse for specific topics and genres to find stories.
- Following: Once a reader follows a Kindle Vella story, they’ll be notified every time a new episode is released.
- Thumbs Up: Readers can leave a "thumbs up" on every episode they like.
- Faves: Once a week, readers who have purchased tokens will receive a "fave" to award to the story they enjoyed most that week. Amazon will feature stories with the most faves in the Kindle Vella store.
- Author Notes: Authors can speak directly to their readers at the end of episodes.
- Sharing: Readers can share Kindle Vella stories from their phones through Twitter, Facebook, and other social channels or via email and text.
“We designed Kindle Vella as a mobile-first experience because we know readers are becoming more and more interested in stories that can be read quickly on their phones,” David Naggar, v-p of books and Kindle content at Amazon, said in a statement. “At the same time, readers want the connection that you get from reading a story or author for a long period of time.”