Kindle Vella stories set to go live to readers in July

UPDATE: Kindle Vella has now launched — see new story

Amazon’s new self-published serial story venture is going live next month with Kindle Vella stories becoming available to readers in the Kindle iOS app and on by mid to late July.

Once Kindle Vella stories are available for readers, they will be able to find and view your story’s detail page in the Kindle Vella store, read the first few episodes of your story for free, use features like Follow, Faves, and Thumbs Up to engage with your story, and buy Tokens to unlock more episodes.

Amazon is offering 50% royalties to authors who self-publish Kindle Vella serialized stories through Kindle Direct Publishing, with episodes ranging from 600-5,000 words. The royalties are based on what readers spend on Tokens used to unlock story episodes. There will also be some form of launch bonus based on customer activity and engagement.

Amazon says the number of Tokens needed to unlock an episode is determined by the episode’s word count at the rate of one token per 100 words. The number of Tokens needed to unlock an episode can be seen on the episode set-up page.

Tokens will be made available through mobile channels that charge a fee and, if this is the case, the fee will be deducted from the revenue that is shared.

Here’s how earnings per episode will be calculated, according to Amazon:

  • (Number of Tokens to unlock episode) * (Tokens bundle price/# Tokens in bundle – taxes and fees) * (50% rev share) = Earnings per episode

For example, here’s how Amazon calculates earnings for a 3,025 word episode (30 Tokens) when the Tokens are purchased on the web in a 200 Tokens bundle versus an 1,100 Tokens bundle. This example is assuming no taxes or fees.

  • Episode purchased with 200 Tokens bundle: 30 Tokens * ($1.99/200 Tokens – 0) * 50% = $0.1493
  • Episode purchased with 1,100 Tokens bundle: 30 Tokens * ($9.99/1100 Tokens – 0) * 50% = $0.1362

These examples show 30 Tokens being used which is for an episode of just over 3,000 words (1 token per 100 words) with the author receiving around $0.14 for the episode, which is roughly $0.046 per 1,000 words.

You should remember that these are just example figures at present and the actual turn-out could be very different, although I would imagine Amazon will be committing resources to get the Vella business running.

Initially, KDP is inviting US-based authors to publish serial stories and say that when the scheme is available to you, you will see a Kindle Vella banner at the top of your KDP Bookshelf.

You can find out more about publishing Kindle Vella stories on the Amazon Help pages.

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