Early screenshots from the Kindle iOS app

Today, July 13, 2021, Kindle Vella soft launched their Kindle Vella program on their website at amazon.com and with a seamless integration into the Kindle iOS app. I’ve captured early screenshots of the program from my Kindle iOS app via my iPad. Here is everything we know so far about how readers will experience the program, and how that may or may not change the way you read, share, and market Kindle Vella stories.

#1 — You Can Find Stories in Amazon’s Search

If you are using the search bar from within the app or on the website, you can find Kindle Vella stories and click through on them…


Your intellectual property has value. Be sure you understand your rights.

The Next Web is covering Kindle Vella this week and has summarized something from one of my Medium articles written months ago:

“Writer Monica Leonelle has raised concerns about rights grabbing. She fears that Amazon will snap up intellectual property on the cheap, and then turn the content into successful films and TV series that won’t net authors fair remuneration.”

Just wanted to say that they did not contact me for a quote nor is what they stated quite what I meant or wrote originally. At the least, they have simplified and summarized my words for the purpose of their…


What to do when you can’t advertise your content.

The biggest complaint and challenge around fiction apps is that authors don’t have a great way of marketing their work there, which means they can’t consistently build their audience through methods that they control.

With the number of authors and creators out there, ads are a must for marketing your ebooks — but fiction apps are a different beast and require a different approach.

Some of the challenges authors face are:

  • Fiction apps are a closed ecosystem — It’s not easy to link within these apps, which makes it harder to drive traffic to many of them.
  • Novel readers won’t make the jump to serialized fiction —…


Hint: They are thinking like comics creators.

Although serialized and short-form fiction is taking off in English-language markets, it’s not exactly easy to market your offerings as an independent author. Many fiction apps are a closed ecosystem of sorts, in that you need to gain visibility within the app itself to see traction.

At least, it’s not exactly easy to market your offerings as an independent author if you are trying to market them the way you market your books.

The truth is that working with fiction apps is a pretty different business model from selling ebooks. …


Here’s what you need to know.

With Amazon’s Kindle Vella platform launching in July 2021 and not one but two major acquisitions in the serialized fiction app space expected to close in June 2021, I thought I’d do a series about serialized fiction and how it’s changing the landscape of independent publishing, especially around how we make money and sell ebooks.

I know not everyone in the publishing world is interested in serialized fiction — many prefer writing novels and have no intention of jumping in — but what’s happening in serialized fiction is having an effect on ebooks sales and that effect on the market…


Audiobook subscriptions are growing in English-language markets.

Spotify recently announced its Open Access Platform, which is currently partnered with a limited number of large companies, but which hopes to eventually allow audio content producers like authors, podcasters, and musicians the ability to connect their existing membership systems to the Spotify listening experience.

What exactly does this mean for people who sell audiobooks, music, and paid podcast subscriptions, especially those who wish to sell directly to their fans? These creators have long struggled to deliver paid audio experiences in ways that make it easy for the user to listen. …


Think it’s like Kindle Serials or Kindle Worlds? Think again.

Kindle Vella, the new serialized fiction platform from Amazon, is still taking the publishing industry by storm two weeks after the company announced it.

Author reactions range from, “I’m excited and going all-in!” to, “this is going to go the way of Kindle Serials and Kindle Worlds” (two discontinued Amazon writer programs that similarity tried to make money from addictive episodic storytelling to ravenous fanbases).

Why Kindle Serials, Kindle Worlds, Kindle Scout, and Several Other Writer Programs Didn’t Work–And What’s Different About Kindle Vella

Amazon has had their fair share of shut-down experiments and prides themselves on being at the forefront of new publishing trends. …


Why wide authors should cross-market beyond the wide bubble.

In the ebook space, there are three different types of published authors: traditionally-published, independent-but-exclusive-to-KU published (often called KU authors), and widely-available published (often called wide authors).

Each of these three different authors will build a marketing strategy and tactics that makes sense for the things that they are optimized for:

  • Traditionally-Published Authors — well-networked, have an editorial and marketing team around them, have credibility and visibility with merchandising teams at various platforms
  • Wide Authors — can put their work everywhere (on retailers and their own website), can experiment a lot, can create free loss leaders for various properties, can exploit…


How the heck do you gain visibility on this mysterious retailer?

One of the biggest challenges I hear authors having with Apple Books is around knowing how to gain visibility there. Some of the questions authors have include:

  • How do you get merchandised in their storefront?
  • What are the key metadata optimizations you want to get right?
  • What does Apple Books want — in terms of where Apple Books fits in at Apple as well as from the authors that it works with?

I’ve heard many authors refer to visibility as a chicken and egg problem, in that you need an “in” of some sort to participate in Apple Books’ in-house…


Should fiction authors be paying attention to the best audio search engine? (Hint: Yes.)

Some of the things I share about publishing wide at all retailers with your ebooks are in the category of, “maybe the market will go this way in five years.” Others are in the category of, “implement this today to increase your sales quickly.” I know some people resonate more with one or the other more, but this article falls squarely in the former category.

My argument: start paying closer attention to fiction-based podcasts and audio search engines in general. #Legit. Hear me out.

Exhibit A: Global Ecommerce

Amazon can reach 13% of the global ecommerce market. Kobo (via Rakuten, their partnership with Walmart…

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