June 24th, 2020

Just a few days ago, Amazon announced the launch of the new direct publishing service titled, Kindle Vella. Amazon, always known for trying to outdo others by outdoing itself, think Amazon Storywriter, Yikes! But this time, Amazon's new episodic publishing might take the cake for the king of unnecessary publishing. 


Seeing the success of free services like Wattpad and Medium, which allow writers to periodic postings of writing projects they are working on, Amazon has decided that they have found a way to monetize the creative process. Vella allows writers to publish their unfinished projects via their Kindle Publishing, in order that readers might buy Amazon credit, to both follow and continue reading the story. It's like a layaway plan for readers. But in the end, the question has to be asked, it is worth it?


Subscription-Based Reading and Writing. 

Let's be clear here: Amazon has done some amazing things as it relates to reading. The e-book and Kindle have changed the way we read. Audible has made tens of thousands of books more accessible to the world. And Kindle Unlimited is an excellent tool for bibliophiles. 

But what is good for the goose, is not always good for the gander. Because on the flip side, Amazon and KDP have robbed countless writers of millions of dollars. This stems from unpaid royalties after closing accounts while forcing lesser-known writers to wait 60 days for their first payout. Publishing on Amazon Vella means that you must play by Amazon's rules, even if you don't know what the rules are. For example, Vella will demand that your writing series ONLY be published on their platform, thus limiting not only the revenue stream that could come from publishing elsewhere but also preventing content-sharing with other companies who do episodic publishing even better. Many writers will be shocked to discover that once they publish with Kindle Vella, they will be notified via email that they must remove their publishing from any and all platforms, even third-party platforms that the reader knows nothing about.

Kindle Vella is a big no for writers. In the words of Nancy Reagan, just say No. Publishing with Amazon is like a drug. And while we all may need a Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or maybe even a CBD now again, no drug is meant to be depended on solely. There are so many great episodic publishers like Wattpad, Medium, and even SMS Novel, that allow you to publish your stories via Live-text directly for the readers. While anything with the name Amazon on it will make a splash, it will likely be a few years before the new kindle service will indelibly sink.