I normally don’t jump on new trends—still not on TikTok or BookTok despite the rave reviews. I’m just lazy as sh*t when it comes to apps and social media, and especially social media apps. 😉 But I have to admit that I just started publishing my first serial on Kindle Vella to give it a try. I think the fact that it’s exactly like Wattpad, only with the higher chance of getting paid royalties, made it an easy decision.
The downside is that you can’t have the same story available for free anywhere online, so I did have to delete it from my blog here before publishing through Vella. It also can’t have been previously published for sale—ever. So, moving my current revision projects from Wattpad to Vella isn’t an option. However, Amazon doesn’t demand exclusive rights, which means I can take the same serial and post it for sale on other retail sites if I want, so that’s a definite upside. Because you know if Amazon is successful with this, all of the other retailers are going to develop their own similar program.
Vella also allows you to “unpublish” your work so you can republish it as a book, as long as you wait 30 days from your last published episode. So, you’re not stuck leaving it there for all eternity, if you don’t want to.
Check out Vella for yourself by clicking on the “Kindle Vella Library” link at the top of your KDP Bookshelf (as shown above). It will automatically redirect you to your personal Vella library where you can start creating your own serial to publish. It has the option of saving everything as a draft at first, until you’re ready to hit that publish button. Here’s a peek at what it looks like from the author’s side:
Check out my serial from the reader’s side: Thief of Dragons
WHY WRITING A BOOK IN SERIAL FORMAT COULD BE A GAME CHANGER FOR YOU:
If you’re anything like me, then you have more WIPs than finished books. Like hundreds more. Turning unfinished works/WIPs into serials on public sites like Vella and Wattpad really helps me buckle down and get them finished. That’s why I’ve been spending so much time on Wattpad lately. Readers want to know what happens next, putting the pressure on, and making it harder for me to put off a WIP for months on end, or abandoning it, altogether.
Also, it’s an untapped source of free feedback and critiques. Instead of having to complete your novel, have it edited, scour the internet for beta readers, and wait 2 weeks to a month before getting a single piece of feedback on your book – you’re getting comments in real time. It’s like having dozens of alpha readers at your disposal, waiting to help you fine tune your story while it’s still in the works. This could potentially save you from even needing beta readers later on.
All of the comments and feedback you get along the way on Wattpad or Vella can go right into your final edits before publishing. If you have multiple people saying the same thing about a portion of your story, then you know what changes to make in your final edits so it’s better received by the masses after you publish.
You just have to remind yourself that they’re not professionals, so their way of delivering that feedback isn’t always going to be nice or gentle. Some writers can’t handle that, I guess I have tougher skin. I’d rather readers be brutally honest than lie and leave me wondering why my book isn’t selling. You don’t have to reply to comments at all, but rather than taking it negatively, you can look at it with appreciation for getting that feedback PRIOR to publishing a book and having that same horrible remark turn up in a bad review, instead.
BUT WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE STEALING MY WORK?
Add a Copyright page to your story on Wattpad or mark each chapter with a copyright if you really want to cover your bases. The Alt code for © is 0169, I use it all of the time, see: copyright ©2021 A.C. Melody – there, now no one can legally steal this post.
Vella would be much more difficult to steal from, since they assign you an ASIN for every episode you publish on top of the series as a whole.
Wattpad does have something of a bad rep for people’s works getting stolen, but I’ve had loyal readers direct me to stolen, uncredited work before and it was easy for me to get it taken down by the Wattpad authorities. Readers tend to be vicious guard dogs of their favorite authors, looking out for you when you’re not even aware of it.
And if someone takes your work and republishes it while still giving you credit as the author, then just think of it as free advertisement. They’re promoting your work to new readers, and it’s not costing you a penny.
♥ If you’re already on Kindle Vella or Wattpad, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to follow & help promote my fellow Indies.
What are your thoughts on writing serials? Have you ever tried it before? What was your experience?
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