writing

Update: My Kindle Vella Project Saga

For those who might be unaware, I, like many authors, tried out Amazon’s new reading platform Kindle Vella. It’s episodic micro-content delivered on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Whatever the author desires. Kind of like Netflix, but for stories. You get the first few episodes for free, but then if you want to keep reading, you have to buy tokens and use your tokens to unlock more content.

This provides readers with three opportunities to see if they enjoy a story and gives the author incentive to make sure their content is compelling. The trick, of course, is reader buy-in, which I’m not sure Amazon has done all that well with because many readers I have talked to have no clue what Kindle Vella is, let alone how to use it. That’s a problem. Especially for the creators of the content. If there are no readers, there is no income being generated.

The story I put into Kindle Vella was a novella I was planning to release next year. It was mostly done, so I thought, why not? Let’s give this new platform a try. If it doesn’t do well, I’ll pull it and still release it in ebook and paperback form next year as originally planned.

My story if you are one of the few on Vella

For the first month, my story sat. I think I had maybe two readers, and I know who you are. Thank you.

The next month, a few more readers, but still no recorded royalties. Well, aside from a $38 bonus Amazon gave to content creators from some shared pot of money. Not great, but better than nothing.

In September, I decided I was going to finish the series out and pull it from the platform. After a 30 day mandatory wait from the platform, I could then put it up wide in ebook and paperback. I booked a cover designer and an editor and made plans to have the book release in early December.

I MADE PLANS.

Then, I got ANOTHER bonus (significantly bigger) from the platform… for a story that was making me ZERO royalties in episodes read. How is that possible? How am I being compensated for a story no one is reading?

If I had to venture a guess, the bonus came from this larger pot of money they are paying to authors for having content on their platform and many authors bailed after the first month so there were fewer authors to share the pot. Their loss=my gain.

Enter the dilemma. Do I pull the story out of Vella when it’s making me money with zero new reads? Or do I pull it and try to do a December release when people are going to be focusing on holiday gift-giving instead of book buying for themselves and there is a paper shortage so paperbacks might not happen…

I left it in Vella. For now. Once those bonuses go away (and I predict they will in December) then I will pull it and release it as originally planned. But who am I to turn away free money?

Because of this release switch-up, I’m going to be doing a sale on one of my back titles soon, so stay tuned for that!

Until next week, my peeps!

Danielle Bannister, author and bonus collector

writing

Where You Left Me is now live on Kindle Vella!

As promised, my first Kindle Vella story is now live on the new Amazon platform. For those unfamiliar with this new platform it is an episodic reading adventure. Sort of like TV shows where you get content on a daily/monthly/weekly basis. (Release schedules are up to the authors.)

The first few episodes on Vella are free, then, if you want more, you buy tokens to redeem on the stories you want to follow. 🙂

The Book Trailer

Blurb:

Jasmine Fairchild has just been left at the altar. But that’s not where her story ends. It’s where it begins. She’s paid for the church, the reception, and the honeymoon. The guests are all present. All that’s missing is a groom. And she wasn’t beneath asking for volunteers. Her big day was not going to be ruined over a tiny detail of a missing husband. Lucky for her, she found a willing volunteer. A cute one at that.


New episodes of this story will drop every Sunday until the story is finished. After that, who knows?

Until then, I’m off to review the final proof of Girl On Fire (releasing 9-7-21)

Danielle Bannister, author and releaser of Kindle Vella episodes

writing

New release coming Aug. 1 (Sunday!)

You’re releasing a book on a Sunday? What? Don’t you normally release on Tuesday? Why, yes, yes I do. But this is not a normal release so I figured, why do a normal release day?

On Sunday, 8-1-21, I’ll be releasing my first episode of Where You Left Me on Kindle Vella. A new episodic mobile platform by Amazon. This is a token like system where the first 3 episodes are free, and then you need to buy more tokens to read more stories. It’s quite a popular way to deliver stories outside of the US, so maybe it will work for us?

My contribution to Kindle Vella

Amazon calls Vella “a new mobile-first, interactive reading experience for serialized stories,” presented in episodes ranging from 600 to 5,000 words. Mine fall around 1,500- 2000 words per episode. The platform give you a set number of tokens for free (200 at time of this post or about 4 stories.) After that, you buy more tokens to use on the stories you want to follow.

My category will be Contemporary Romance so on Sunday (in theory) you’ll be able to find my story right from Amazon’s Vella Page.

Episodes I’ve uploaded so far

Where You Left Me (description)

Jasmine Fairchild has just been left at the altar. But that’s not where her story ends. It’s where it begins. She’s paid for the church, the reception, and the honeymoon. The guests are all present. All that’s missing is a groom. And she wasn’t beneath asking for volunteers. Her big day was not going to be ruined over a tiny detail of a missing husband. Lucky for her, she found a willing volunteer. A cute one at that.

Each story on the site will tell you how many episodes are currently uploaded (not how many currently exist in the series.) Mine currently has 10 uploaded but the story has lots more to come. Once you are on the Kindle Vella site, it will also tell you keywords of each story as well as a blurb so you can browse before you buy. There is also a like and star system for stories that readers like (obviously both help the reader tremendously so if you do read on the platform, be sure to like/rate the stories you enjoyed so the author knows to keep delivering content.)

Each author determines the release schedule for their episodes. I’ve opted for every Sunday but may shift that if there is reader demand for it to drop faster.

I know Kindle Vella is new, but here is what Amazon suggests for readers:

“Follow the stories you like to keep up with the latest from your favorite characters.

When you like an episode, give it a Thumbs Up to let the author and other readers know you liked it.

The first few episodes of every story are always free–after that, purchase Tokens and redeem them to unlock episodes. Tokens may only be used to unlock Kindle Vella story episodes in the Kindle for iOS app and on Amazon.com.

When you unlock episodes, you will receive one Fave a week that you can award to the story you’re enjoying most that week. We’ll feature Top Faved stories so other readers can find them too.”

I’ll be sure to post the link once it goes live on Sunday for those interested.

Until then my peeps, stat gold!

Danielle Bannister, author and episodic writer of all the things

writing

Current Projects

Thought I’d do a quick update on my project list for those curious about what is coming down the line and what’s currently on the front burner.

Dropping today at Noon (EST) and every Monday is a weekly podcast that I do with 5 other authors called Bound By Books. Today’s topic is going to be with co-host Sherri Hayes, a BDSM and sexy contemporary romance author and myself as we dive into sex scenes in books. How and why we write them and what lines we don’t cross even in fiction. Be sure to tune in at noon, but in the meantime, you can check out our other podcasts on either of the platforms below.


Then, on August 1, and every subsequent Sunday for the foreseeable future, will be my first entry into Kindle Vella. A serialized contemporary/steamy romance called Where You Left Me.


On September 7th, I’ll be dropping this rebranded title Girl On Fire. Super stoked about this one! Be sure to add it to your Goodreads TBR list!

Some pre-orders are live now with others coming next month.

B&N: https://smarturl.it/GirlonFireBN
Kobo: https://smarturl.it/GirlonFireKobo
iBooks: https://smarturl.it/GirlonFireiBooks


As if that isn’t enough, I’m also dropping a 10th Anniversary cover for Pulled. These are EXTREMELY limited and once they are gone, they won’t be available again. They will be offered in a hardback with exclusive swag, the hardcover only, or a paperback edition. The back cover will hold the image of what I think Etash looks like, scar and all, in my mind!


Writing wise, I’m still prepping for another release in November. My collaboration with playwright Randy Hunt (should all the cards fall into place.) I’ll be doing a giveaway on my newsletter in December so be sure and join that list if you aren’t already there.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

I’m also in the process of writing three other books for next year with more ideas coming in all the time.

In fact, two of those projects are on today’s to do list so I’d better get to it. I’ve stalled long enough. It’s time to Write All the Words, Danielle!


Danielle Bannister, author and doer of all the things

writing

Surprise!

I’ve taken a bit of a leap and have submitted a story to the new Kindle Vella platform. Not sure what that is? Well it’s a brand new serial story program being launched by Amazon. Weekly, bite-sized content. Kind of like Netflix or Disney + for stories!

I had a novella series I’d been planning for 2024 but now I’ve revamped it and put it up for Vella, with the first story dropping on 8-121, and then releasing every Sunday following for as long as the story feels sustainable.

Where You Left Me coming 8-1-21

Blurb:

Jasmine Fairchild has just been left at the altar. But that’s not where her story ends. It’s where it begins. She’s paid for the church, the reception, and the honeymoon. The guests are all present. All that’s missing is a groom…and she wasn’t beneath asking for volunteers. Her big day was not going to be ruined over a tiny detail of a missing husband. Lucky for her, she found a willing volunteer. A cute one at that.


Unsure how Kindle Vella works? Here’s the breakdown.

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella

Once my story goes live, I’ll post links to it, but thought it would be fun to let you know what’s going on in just a few weeks!

Until then, keep on keeping on my friends!

Danielle Bannister, author and Kindle Vella story writer