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  • Chris Bannor

The Vella Experience




So blogging isn’t my strong point. I never know if what I want to talk about is interesting to anyone else. I try to think of witty things, or trending things, but it’s really just not who I am. So, I thought maybe I need to rethink this thing. Maybe, instead of trying to push weekly blog posts, I need to just focus on writing when I have something to say. And today I have something to talk about.


Recently I decided to take my writing in a new direction. Serialized fiction. Little chunks of fiction in regular installments. If you think of a novel as a movie, then imagine serialized fiction as your favorite TV show, coming back to visit you week after week.


Maybe you don’t have time to read a full novel right now. Maybe your time is limited. The good thing about serialized fiction is that it is short. Which means if you have a few minutes in line to pick your kids up from school/practice/rehearsal, you can get through an episode or two. Arrived early for an event and have some time to kill? There is an episode waiting on your phone for you.


Last year Amazon released a new program called Kindle Vella. Vella allows writers to share their stories in this smaller, episodic form. Readers buy tokens to spend on episodes and the number of tokens is based on the episode word count. And the first three episodes of every story are free, so you can check it out, see if it’s your cup of tea, and move on or continue with an amazing new read.


And I love this format! As a writer and a reader, I enjoy the episodic nature of serialized fiction.


Now, let’s be honest, there is nothing new about serialized fiction. Authors like Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, and Alexander Dumas were published in serial format. In 1996 Stephen King released The Green Mile to bookstores in six serial installments a month apart. I remember the excitement of it. I worked in a bookstore when it came out and I won’t ever forget the excitement of unpacking boxes to get the next chapter book. Of waiting at the end of each chapter, debating over and over in my head about what would happen next.


So, it isn’t new. Online serialization isn’t new either. Whether you look at reading apps, magazines, or fan fiction sites, the serialized format is out there. And the variety of stories, the depth of plots and characters, are just as rich and compelling as traditionally published novels.


Something else that I am thrilled to talk about is the amazing community I’ve found with other writers and readers of Kindle Vella serials. They have been warm, welcoming, and immensely helpful. We’re all excited to share this new format and you can see that in the community reads, the amount of information sharing, and the sheer bolstering of each other’s goals and accomplishments.


Have you checked it out yet? Why don’t you give it a try? After all, the first three episodes are free. What have you got to lose, except maybe some free time when those three episodes are soooooo good you just can’t stop?