Kindle & Coffee, Kindle Vella Reviews

Project Infinity by Kayla Knue

There are many serial services out there for authors and readers alike. While my own work is on Kindle Vella, this week’s serial is not! Tapas, unlike Kindle Vella is a completely free to both authors and readers. Additional benefit to Tapas is that while the service relies on ads, it is fully fleshed out and has an active community which is growing every day.

I am so happy to present for all of you Project Infinity by Kayla Knue

As this serial is on a more established platform, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that this amazing story has been running weekly since July of 2020. This means that there are more than 60 episodes as of writing this review in October of 2021. This is also the third serial I’ve subscribed to and I’ve been following Patient Zero’s adventure for nearly a year.

It was so hard to put this review together and not provide insane spoilers that would simply reveal far too much! So I went back to the beginning and have been enjoying my second read through more than the first because there is just so much to binge!

Before we got going, there are some warnings to be had. Because of content including some graphic descriptions, this serial is intended for mature audiences only. That said, if you are looking for an LGBTQ+ Boys Love story with darker themes that might bring to mine things that may have happened to Bucky Barnes while under Hydra Control, then this serial is definitely for you.

This also means that some of this tale can be dark and potentially triggering.

As always, we’ll get started with words directly from our author:

Patient Zero was kidnapped in 1939 at the start of World War II. He was only 14 years old when he was taken to a secret underground facility that did illegal and inhuman experiments on humans.

With no memories of his past or of who he used to be, patient zero is trapped in a living nightmare of torture. He has no idea how long he’s been trapped as time has escaped him. All he knows is that anything is better than being taken to the doctor, even death.

When Captain Alexander Harvey raids the facility with a team of special ops soldiers, patient zero is freed from his hell. But he quickly discovers that the world is not as it once was. His struggles have just begun.

With all that aside, let’s jump in!

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The Nitty Gritty

I’m normally not a fan of work told in the first person. My reasoning for this that it takes a lot of creativity and work from the author to suck me in as a reader in those first few paragraphs. Without sucking me in and forging some sort of emotional connection, I tend to pass. In bookstores I put the book back on the shelf. When it comes to serials, I move on to the next tale.

Perspective of characters and the point of views of our narrators is important. We have to be hooked in. Some stories are meant to be told completely in the third person. There are so many works I’ve read in first person that didn’t jive and would have been better served in the third person.

There have been very few in which I’ve read a tale in the third person and wished it had been in first. To be honest, I’ve only been down the road of that thought process twice because the characters were so Mary Sue that I wanted a closer look at their thoughts and how they ticked. This leads me to the beginning of Project Infinity.

The second I saw the words I had learned to enjoy the quiet, I have to admit that I checked out. It doesn’t matter that at this point, I had already read The Reckoning by Kayla Knue. But because I’d read The Reckoning and had become invested almost immediately in KayIa’s characters that I was willing to keep going.

So I put on my big girl pants and pushed through. And this is what I found inside:

Project Infinity takes place in a world within our own. One where human experimentation continued following the second world war. We’re immediately introduced to the tortured Patient Zero who has been dehumanized to the point that he has forgotten his name. It isn’t just a witness to Patient Zero’s ongoing torture. It is a first person witness. There are no questions about his thoughts because in this moment we are him.

We run with him. We are tortured with him. We are blinded by the light and terrified of the darkness with him. We seek comfort with him.

This isn’t my first journey through Project Infinity. I can tell you that when I reached the words “Let’s begin phase two”, knowing what this means for Patient Zero and how it changes his life, that I had shivers.

In that moment I was so connected to the Zero that I honestly fearful for what came next even though I’ve been well beyond this experience with him.

If we weren’t warned ahead of time in the Author’s blurb, I wouldn’t share this passage with you because it would have been a spoiler.

As a reader we are so invested in the jarring, terrifying changes in Patient Zero’s life. His guard who has been with him for longer than Zero is able to remember is ordered to terminate Project Infinity.

We’re still don’t know what Project Infinity is, but what we do know is in that moment, Oskar is armed and has been ordered to kill Patient Zero.

In a unexpected move to save Patient Zero, instead of killing his patient, Oskar takes his own life.

“Oskar!” I screamed his name desperately. He couldn’t be dead. Even though his blood was pooling on the floor, I couldn’t accept it.

Everything moved in slow motion. Tears dripped from my chin as I pulled against the metal shackles. My body ached from the from the infusion, but I writhed anyway. I had to help him. He couldn’t die. Who would take care of me?

Episode 14: The Americans

Life for Zero changes in so many ways from what he knows and we’re taken along for the ride like a leaf caught up in a tornado.

As a reader and a reviewer, I can honestly tell you that the second read through was actually better than the first. And I’m not one who reads books multiple times. Normally… yet Kayla has had me reading her work through more than once for both The Reckoning and Project Infinity.

So here’s what it boils down to:

If you are a fan of LGBTQ serials, this is an amazing story for you. I’d be cognizant as a reader of the potential triggers.

As this serial is posted on Tapas, it is completely free to read and it is one that I do go back to every week as I wait eagerly for another episode.

Not ready to take my word for it? Luckily there are some great comments along the way fro readers.

Other Reviews Banner
Other reviews banner

The hardest part about snagging reviews from Tapas is that they are in line with each episode. This means I had to be incredibly picky and select early reviews that don’t spoil the story or provide more details than necessary. I hope that I selected ones that inspire you to read Project Infinity:

The Talky Bits with the Author
The talky bits with the author

Kitty: What was your favorite book growing up? Has that changed as an adult?

Kayla: Fahrenheit 451 was my “favorite” book growing up and I would likely still list it as my favorite book today, though I haven’t read it in years and can not recall much about it. I liked it for it’s sci-fi elements and I just connected with the emotional turmoil of the main character, Montag.

Kitty: Who is your favorite author?

Kayla: I don’t have one. To me if you have a favorite author it means you read/ like the majority of their written works and would buy a book just because they wrote that. I’ve not read enough books by any given author to have a favorite. In my younger days I would’ve said Ray Bradbury because he wrote Fahrenheit 451, but that is the only book of his that I’ve read 🙂

Kitty: Have these books or this author influenced your writing style? 

Kayla: No, I don’t believe so. I’ve always loved sci-fi and fantasy but I never really read books. I did however watch a lot of movies and tv series.

Kitty: Do you have a favorite serial that you would like to recommend to other authors? 

Kayla: I read a lot of boys love webcomics and would recommend basically any of them. Not sure if they count as serials though.

Kitty: I’ve had the opportunity to read your work outside of Project Infinity, and agree with you that boys love is definitely a great story that you tell. What drew you to writing in this niche of LGBTQ+ fiction?

Kayla: As an LGBTQIA+ author, boys love is just one of those things that I stumbled upon and immediately connected with. It resonates with who I am as a person. Basically it’s my kind of romance so it was easy for me to write. They always say to write what you know 🙂

Kitty: What drew you to writing sci-fi? And what inspired you to put the two together?

Kayla: I was basically raised watching sci-fi movies and tv series. It’s something that I’ve always loved because there’s no limits. Whatever you can imagine can be put into sci-fi. As for combining it with boys love, that just came naturally. I love when a story has romance.

Kitty: If Project Infinity existed in the real world and you had the opportunity to tell Captain Harvey anything about his fate or the journey he’s on with ‘Patient Zero’ what would it be?

Kayla: I would tell him that it’s okay for him to express his feelings and that there’s nothing wrong with loving multiple people.

Kitty: If you could tell your readers anything about Project Infinity without giving away any spoilers, what would it be?

Kayla: Project Infinity is a passion project created from two different stories I used to tell myself in my own mind to help myself fall asleep. The episodes are completely spontaneous every week 🙂

Kitty: With the sequel to the Reckoning on the horizon, do you have any messages for potential readers who have not yet read the first installment?

Kayla: The Reckoning is an adult dark fantasy novel that features lgbtqia+ relationships and characters. It is the beginning of the Intertwined series: a story of love, corruption, and fate.

Kitty: If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything about becoming a writer and your writing career, what would it be?

Kayla:Just write! You must first write the story before you can make it a good one 🙂

The Reckoning by Kayla Knue, Book Cover

Kitty: Finally, if you could tell your readers anything about yourself, what would it be?

Kayle: I’m non-binary but identify most closely with gay males, which is probably why I write boys love.

Kayla can be found on Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter, and Good Reads.

They have also released their first novel, The Reckoning which was reviewed in April of 2020. You can find that review here and this book is available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, D2D in addition to paperback hard cover.

This author also has Patreon which can grant readers early access to Project Infinity and hosts regular write ins, the majority on Monday mornings on their YouTube channel.

When we’re not in the middle of nowhere with horrible internet, you may be able to find me in their streams.

Upcoming feature announcements banner
Up coming announcements banner

If you haven’t seen the announcement, I am taking a week, possibly two off from writing reviews in order to move the content of our site over to a new provider. Unfortunately, attempting to import my Word Press export resulted in a big mess. This means I’m moving things over post by post and page by page.

The good news is that this new site will come with our newsletter and inline review recommendation forms on our FAQ.

Next week’s Kindle & Coffee Conversations will still be posted even though there won’t be a Kindle & Coffee review until November 1st. Keep in mind that November 1st is tentative.

I’m a lot more than excited for the new site and also for the upcoming episodes of The Explorers and Exile.

The Explorers will be getting two bonus interludes in order to celebrate Halloween/Samhain. These two interludes originally would have made up the designated break between seasons but I don’t think I’m going to be taking a break from Explorers or Exile for quite some time.

There will also be an additional episode of Exile.

If you missed the social media posts The Explorers hit number three in the crime category! While this may change in the near future, it was one of those crazy moments in which I may or may not have cried.

All of this aside, I definitely look forward to the return of Kindle & Coffee once we finish migrating our site.

Until next time, may your adventures be exciting! Just not as exciting as X’s.

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Kindle & Coffee, Kindle Vella Reviews

Kingdom of Links by Sarah Shipley

As a thriller author who’s works toe the dark and horror boundaries, one of the things I can tell is that despite my love for the dark, nitty gritty, terrifying and gory, I still love a lot of amazing midgrade/young adult books. I’m also just as inclined to pick them up as I am a slasher mystery.

I’m one of those who discovered Harry Potter as a university student and quickly learned that not only was I a Slytherin, but that I had to embrace my inner sneaky side.

In addition to Harry Potter, there was Secret of the Unicorn Queen, a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Young Adult Romance written by three authors. While the series itself is now dated, mentioning things like hand held cassette players and boom boxes, it was at the time the most amazing adventure. What teenage girl at the time wouldn’t dream of falling into another magical world with unicorns and magic and warriors, of becoming one.

Eregon and the Inheritance Cycle were good, but I have to admit that while I did make it through Brisingr, I just couldn’t get into Inheritance. There was just something missing from it that prevented me from suspending my current reality and getting sucked into the story. Hunger Games was great… but Catching Fire? Despite the little girl in me still wanting to grow up to be some sort of warrior hero, I just couldn’t get into it either.

Maybe I’ll go back and try to read them (Brisingr and the rest of the Hunger Games) again someday? Maybe not… especially since Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Vella have opened up such amazing new horizons when it comes to available reading for consumption.

Why am I telling you about my mid-grade/young adult fantasy roots even though some of these works were clearly completed while I was an adult?

Answer: They give you an idea of what inspired me to become a writer. My first book was a seventh installment of Secret of the Unicorn Queen because I believed there should have been more and I could have done it better. It existed in four composition notebooks and was one of the reasons I became a writer. How many of us got started with some sort of fan fiction?

With Harry Potter, the possibility of a world within our own was mind blowing!

Yet, my love for all of these books and more are reasons I still enjoy reading geared towards readers of a younger age bracket. It could also be that I’m still a child at heart.

While starting the adventure that came from reading Kingdom of Links, I wanted you to know what my background was in the genre and where my taste level sits. Best part, I can do so without freaking myself and others out about serial killers.

Let’s get started with the author’s blurb.

Born into the lowest Link in a kingdom of shifters, Ashley’s goal is simply to keep herself and her little brother alive. Unable to manage her shift until she’s of age, she lives a life of careful control. When the queen requests her presence at the palace, Ashley must rely on an old friend and new allies, or she’ll be squashed within the week. But can she trust anyone? This story of stinging betrayal, ruthless competition, and a slow-burn romance will hook you from the very first episode

Sarah Shipley

Now that we know a little bit about the vella itself, what am I saying about Kingdom of Links by Sarah Shipley? What drew me in with such high expectations and despite these expectations kept me unlocking more episodes?

Keep reading to find out.

The Nitty Gritty

When I wrote about the stories that I remember fondly, what I didn’t tell you is that because of them, I’m always excited when I find something that I can connect to emotionally. While I was blessed to grow up with both my parents, this story starts out simply with the story of children who live on the streets and surviving the best way that they can.

This reminded me of my younger years fishing with my father, sometimes out of necessity. Because of this I instantly connected to Ashley and Courtney, whom she rescued. What we immediately learn about Ashley is that she’s kind, loving and comes from a family that works hard to support itself.

As her adventure truly begins following receiving a summons by the queen, her parents are missing and she has to leave her little brother and Courtney behind.

From here, my brain is dialed in and connected to the characters. Luckily, with this Vella geared towards younger readers, it makes for a quick read. Despite it being a quick read, I’m still checking back daily for more as the in app update notifications still aren’t exactly synched up with author publication.

What can I tell you about Kingdom of Links without giving away the plot?

First it’s a shifter story. This information is given to us by the author.

If you haven’t noticed, my vella Exile is a shifter story. Like dragons, I am a sucker for them. In this case, it’s different. We’ve seen stories of werebears, werecats of every kind, werewolves and the occasional bunny. But our main character is neither of these popular types of shifter. In fact, Shipley goes completely against the grain and provides us with a main character who is a spider shifter.

A spider! Normally I’m not a fan of works that include serpents (unless they’re the dragon kind) or spiders. Other insect shifters include Courtney who is a flea.

In the words of Ron Weasley, ‘Why did it have to be spiders?’ I’ve even asked the author this question. You’ll find her answer in the talky bits below.

I think one of the most poignant moments in this tale comes very early in this tale. It’s one that we learn as young adults.

Not only is this a coming of age story, it’s one with life lessons told in a way that do not placate the reader.

We live in a world where people are deliberately pushed down and kept down, and kicked while they are down in order for others to survive and succeed. In same cases things are far less complicated that survival and success, instead it is simply bullying.

The fact that Ashley not only has learned this as she is coming of age, but is able to grasp what it means is not only powerful, but offers a bit of magic. It’s a gift from the author to their readers.

Why a gift?

Because despite knowing they would willingly step on her, potentially kill her, Ashley goes against her own rules. She conquers her fears and she races out there all for the chance to save a doll. While this doll is returned to her and she is able to give it back to Courtney, this is a turning point for our main character.

She’s now prepared and willing to fight for what she believes in. More importantly, despite the outcome she. has already experienced, she knows that she can.

What young person or even those young at heart need a reminder that we can conquer those that try to keep us down? I know that in reading this Vella the first time that I was in a moment of my life where I actually needed this reminder. And it is a reminder that makes Ashley’s story that much more important to be told.

So, here we are. The important bits.

Is Kingdom of Links worth the tokens I’ve purchased to read it? YES!

Will I keep reading newly posted episodes? YES!

Should you give Kingdom of Links a try? If you enjoy action and adventure or shifter stories, yes! If you do, and you didn’t, I’d be disappointed.

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Other reviews banner

My two cents not enough? Need opinions of other readers? No problem! Here are a few examples of what other readers have had to say about Kingdom of Links:

Kristin J Dawson, Author of Elven House of Ivy and Bone
The Talky Bits with the Author
The talky bits with the author

As we do every week, the author and I have taken some time to ask and answer a few questions. I hope you enjoy getting to know the author as much as I have have!

Kitty: First: What was your favorite book growing up? Has that changed as an adult?

Sarah: My favorite book growing up was probably the Betsy, Tacy, and Tib series, by Maud Hart Lovelace. I also loved Bill Pete books. Although my taste in books has grown and changed as an adult, I’m somewhat of a loyalist and so I commonly say the Betsy, Tacy books when asked as an adult what my favorite book is.

Kitty: Who is your favorite author?

Sarah: This is a tricky question as I have several friends who are authors. I couldn’t pick a favorite author any easier than I can pick a favorite friend. Recently I finished the “Unchosen” series by Kristin J Dawson and thoroughly enjoyed the story. On Vella I have enjoyed reading “One for the Levy: A Nivarden saga” by M.K. Martin, “The Dragon Hunters of Mirth: A rouge Destiny Story” by Paul Tallman, and “Courting Fae Thieves and Crowns” by Joanna Reeder.

Kitty: What drew you to writing shifter stories geared towards young adults?

Sarah: 12 years ago I adopted an 11-year-old girl with a traumatic past. I was cautious of what she read because certain topics could trigger her and throw her off. I started proofreading the books she wanted to read and found it was tough to find stories that would hold her interest without being full of triggers. Eventually I thought I’m going to write a story that will be exciting but not triggering for my daughter. I just needed an idea and the idea of shifters came in a dream. I wrote that trilogy for her, and have sat on it for over a decade. When the idea of Vella was just hitting the horizon, one of my writing buddies suggested I write a shifting story for Vella and follow it up by publishing my Shifting Bishop trilogy. 

Kitty: In the words of Ron Weasley, Why did it have to be spiders? Or, why did you select spiders for Ashley’s family?

Sarah: The same writing buddy that suggested I write a shifting story for Vella mentioned that I should have wolves in my story because that was popular. I didn’t like the idea of writing something because it is popular. I dug my heels in and was determined to find another animal my character could shift into. That same night I had a dream about a childhood friend of mine with the initials D.L. who we used to call daddy longlegs. I loved the idea of using a creature that people typically don’t like as the main character and the rest is history.

Kitty: We’re still learning about Ashley, the magic and the world she lives in. What is one thing that you would tell Ashley about her world if she were a real life person?

Sarah: Without giving any spoilers away, I would tell Ashley to trust her gut. When something in her world feels wrong it probably is. 

What would you tell your readers about the world you have created?

Sarah: Ashley’s world is one of contrast. In a day’s drive, you could go from a very poor, run down and neglected town to a rich, gorgeous kingdom. You have powerful shifters who can change into enormous battle ready forms and you have shifters who have been overlooked because they shift into vulnerable, squishable forms. These differences keep every link at odds but maybe they are actually more similar than they seem.

Kitty: Will Ashley’s story be the only one told in this universe or do you have plans for additional seasons featuring other characters?

Sarah: This is a great question. In the writing world you have plotters and pansters. Plotters plot their stories out, know exactly or close to exactly where their story is going and typically know what needs to happen in each chapter. Pansters write by the seat of their pants. They have an idea of where the story is going and how it will end but sorta just let the story spill out as it goes. I am a panster 100%. I know how this story will end and all the major plot points but I won’t know if there will be more than one Ashley story or another story in this world until Kingdom of Links is finished.

Kitty: If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing about writing, what would it be?

Sarah: Just do it! I have loved telling stories since I was young. At slumber parties I would make up choose your own ending stories for all my friends. It became a requested activity and we would stay up late making up long ongoing stories. Like I said earlier I have sat on finished books for fear of just getting out there and trying. Vella was the shove I needed to get me going but I wish I would have started putting myself out there earlier.

Kitty: As an author geared towards young adults and teen aged readers, is there something you would tell them about being a writer or becoming one?

Sarah: Get started! November is NaNoWriMo. This is a fun way to challenge yourself. Also don’t overthink it. Writing is an art. Not everyone likes the same kind of art. If you write something and another person doesn’t appreciate it, don’t let that discourage you. They aren’t your audience and that’s ok. The world is big. You are going to be someone’s favorite author. Don’t deny your audience the privilege of reading your work.

Kitty: If you could tell your readers one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Sarah: First, I’m so very thankful for your support with Kingdom of Links. A few fun little facts are that I get all my writing ideas from dreams, I type all my stories with only two fingers on each hand (I never learned when I was young to properly type), I have 8 daughters and when I need a good name or idea I turn to them to help me out.

You can find Sarah on Instagram and also her website. I encourage you to give her a follow!

Upcoming feature announcements banner
Up coming announcements banner

There is always a lot of excitement when it comes down to what is coming up in the world of Kindle Vella. For me, there are more updates coming this month for both The Explorers and Exile, both of which are gaining a bonus episode for the month of October.

If you you are a serial writer, I’ve also published the first blog in the Kindle & Coffee Conversations titled Lessons Learned by a Serial Author.

We also recognize that the holidays can be tough for some of us, all for different reasons. Because of this you’ll find bonus episodes of both Vellas offered throughout November and December. Who knows, we could reach the end of Exile and have to prepare to move on to Gathering when it comes to Under a White Moon Paranormal Mysteries. Additional announcements regarding both Vellas will be found here and also on social media. Those links are either to your left or up above if you are on your mobile device.

As always, we’re look forward to sharing another amazing serial next week.

This time, we’ll be moving away from Kindle Vella. Next week will be a Tapas & Tea takeover featuring Project Infinity by the talented Kayla Knue which has been running on Tapas since July 12, 2020. With more than 60 episodes, this completely free to read serial is waiting for you.

Take a look, get sucked in and we can meet here again next week to compare notes.

Until then, have some incredible and exciting adventures. Just not as exciting as X’s, that could get you into trouble

Conversations, Kindle & Coffee

Kindle & Coffee Conversations: Lessons Learned by a Serial Author

Conversations: Lessons Learned by a Serial Writer
New author frustration

Do any of these questions sound familiar:

If you build it, will they come?
Is it worth it to keep writing?
What if I don’t have any readers?
Should I keep writing?
Why isn’t this working for me?

If the answer is yes, you have come to the right place!

These are the same anxiety inducing questions I asked in the beginning. I still ask them on ocaission because I see so many authors succeeding on Kindle Vella, despite it being a new platform. At this point, I could say that I’m even doing well. But how do I do better?

How do we do better on a rand new platform?

These are the kinds of questions that I found, and more after stumbling on the Kindle Vella Community which is moderated and supported (albeit limitedly) by Amazon. One of the replies I posted there actually prompted me to get started with this blog which is providing information on Kindle Vella current as of October 10, 2021.

I’m going to address a few of these questions by answering even more important ones and offer a few tidbits of information. Let’s get started!

Kindle Vella remains a brand new, shiny service offered by Amazon in an attempt to provide authors with a market for serial works. When it comes to publishing, this was the one place Amazon fell flat by not offering serial writers a space to publish their work.

This service is so brand new that it remains in soft launch with the ability to read Vellas on the mobile Kindle App for iOS, not MacOS, just iOS and in your web browser for users in the United States. This means that there is not functionality to access Vellas on the Kinde App for Android or the Amazon App itself. It also means that unless you are using a VPN, in theory, you aren’t able to read Vella Episodic content outside of the US.

Kindle Vella works via micro transactions. This means that if you wish to continue reading an episodic story after the first three free episodes, you need to spend tokens to unlock additional content. While each new reader is provided 200 free tokens, in order to keep reading after those 200 free tokens you’ll need to purchase tokens directly from Amazon.

To make the browsing experience easier, authors have the ability to add tags to their story which are an easy single click search for stories with similar tags.

In theory, this service could grow to become something amazing, but it is still new. Which leads us to our next question:

Yes? No? Maybe?

In all honesty the answer to this question depends on who you ask. If an author is doing really well and they’re bringing in royalties and bonuses, they’re likely to say no

If they’re not doing well, but are seeing a little bit of exposure and the beginnings of readership, an author may say yes.

But if you’re a new author who isn’t seeing any traffic and aren’t benefitting from the bonuses, you’ll say no.

How do we objectively figure out what the answer is?

My explanation is this: Do you remember the Kindle Unlimited launch? Think back to 2012 and the announcement for Kindle Unlimited. Do you remember it? Do you remember the soft launch? Unless you’re someone who is glued to the writing market, the answer to that question is likely no.

In the beginning it was the same: a growing pool of authors and not many readers. Once advertising kicked in from Amazon AND the launch became more widespread, readership increased.

In the case of Kindle Vella, Amazon has just begun running ads. That’s right! Actual ads for the service itself outside of the ‘it’s coming soon!’ This is a huge step forward as it’s the first round of ads that exist outside of existing author platforms.

This is a sign that we’ll see additional features, support and/or region releases in the future. That said, if the launch plan is similar to the one used for Kindle Unlimited, I’d expect to see additional regions opening up in the near future. For example, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia. Based on the signs, I believe this will occur before a more widespread device support but anticipate seeing at least Android OS support early in the new year. Based on coding, it may tame a bit longer to see release to Kindle Devices themselves, which is a bit more than frustrating for existing Kindle owners that wish to use their devices to read Vellas.

As an author, this is the most important question that we can have answered. These guidelines come directly from the Guidelines for Kindle Vella.

To clarify, one thing to keep in mind is that you cannot post your manuscript containing the content of your Vella for pre-sale before posting, your Vella will not be approved for publication.

Please Note: Each episode of your Vella is reviewed independently. If you update your author message or the publication date, the episode will be reviewed again. Major changes can cause the previous thumbs up on episodes to fall off. This is a known issue and has been reported to Amazon. Hopefully we’ll see this resolved in the near future.

As an author you have the ability to request a paper check, but the best way to be paid is via direct deposit. The benefits of direct deposit over a paper check is that you do not have to wait to meet the minimum payment of $100.

You will be notified in your Kindle Vella Reports on or around the 15th of the month of any bonus monies you are eligible for.

Two months form from the date of the bonus total, you’ll be paid on or around the 29th of the month.

This September I received payment for my July 2021 sales and I look forward to receiving my August royalties on or around the 29th of October.

While we don’t know how the bonus will be impacted outside of the launch period identified by Amazon, they have been a great pick me up as a newly published author under my own name. We definitely look forward to seeing how things change or improve at the start of the new year.

If you are a resident of the United States, the rules of when and how taxes are paid are pretty strict. They likely are outside of the US, but tother countries are not my forte.

So, here’s what I know. If you make more than 400$ as an author, (business entity), despite your age or exemption status, you are required to file taxes.

The difference that you need to be aware of is that these payments are ones that need to be made quarterly. I still haven’t figured out how expenses fall into all of this yet as this is the first time I’m filing as my own entity. My previous writing exploits were filed based on W2s as I was hired by a corporation to work with the authors I ghost wrote for.

Expenses verse income are definitely things I’ll need to figure out in the future, but when it comes down to it, these are questions for an accountant. I encourage you to make sure that you reach out to one so that you can make the appropriate decisions

Keep in mind that not filing quarterly can result in penalties. YAY for tax law that no one understands…

There are a number of opportunities for authors to post their episodic work including WattPad, Tapas, InkItt, and more. One of the biggest benefits is the already established community and more polished services. It will take time for Kindle Vella to catch up to these providers. That said, these services are free and count on ad revenue to stay up with the exception of InkItt who offers free and paid content.

Selecting a platform can be difficult. We chose Kindle Vella specifically for the planned/hoped for future Kindle App and Device support for the service which in theory will offer our work to a larger pool of reader.

Currently the number of readers consists overwhelmingly of authors and the readers that they have funneled directly into the platform. These efforts are a great start at increasing the reader pool, but not all readers are open to consuming work by other authors.

At this point, Amazon is just beginning to run ads for the service. I’ve finally seen one. I was a bit more than excited. And while the Kindle and Amazon names make readers more likely to check out this new service, there’s still going to be some distrust when it comes to a new author.

Not every author coming to Kindle Vella comes with an already amassed following them. Without this kind of readership or established writing, some writers may also not be willing to go out on a limb and invest emotionally or monetarily into an unknown. This is due to the concern readers have that a new author may not follow through with their writing.

For example, it isn’t as uncommon as we would like it to be to see an author start a story, and then walk away without publishing additional episodes. In many cases this happens without the author providing a way for readers to reach them through social media or otherwise. While some of these stories which readers perceive to be abandoned may not stay that way, others will, Because of this, they may not be willing to take a chance on new work.

How to get around this trepidation, make sure that you have a way for readers to reach you within your Author notes.

Promote! Promote! Promote!

Have I mentioned promote? The majority of us aren’t authors with our own following, nor do we have social media managers handling the growth of our accounts for us. But there is one important thing that no one ever explains when it comes to social media and that is ‘How?’.

The answer to that depends on which venue you post to.

For Twitter: #authorlift #writerlift are amazing tags to search for. There are opportunities to follow and be followed by other writers who are already building their platform. You can also pin a post announcing your work and then advertise a pin for pin retweet for other writers and content creators.

Once your pin is posted you can ask the writing community to trade pin for pin, that you follow back and add and repost from the replies to your tweet. This can help build a following of authors and extend your reach presence on Twitter.

Here’s an example of the text from that kind of post:

I have a new Pinned Post promoting my novel The Explorers, an #episodic#thriller. Hey #WritingCommunity, #Review or #ReadingCommunity I’d like to trade a :pin: for a :pin:

I follow back!

#writerslift#writerslife#kindlevella#bookreviewer#serialreviewer

On Instagram, follow authors who write in the same genre, engage them and their followers and make sure to use tags that bring readers to you. For example I wrote dark fiction which tows the thriller, horror and suspense side of things. Here is an example of tags that I use: #kindle #kindlevella #kindlevellastories #reader #amreading #readingcommunity #writercommunity #suspense #thriller #horror #mystery. Additional tags are catered to the post itself.

On FaceBook there are a number of Kindle Vella Reader and Writers groups. This one is my favorite:

In addition to these groups there is also a KindleVella Reddit.

The potential is endless if you’re willing to get out there and self promote.

So, how do you take this a step further? How do you continue to grow your exposure?

Check out Discord. There are a number of author groups where you can meet and interact with other authors one on one. Trade critiques, review their stories and promote their stories on your social media. Doing so can increase your reach and a lot of the the time these authors return their favor and their readers may even follow you as well. It’s definitely worth the time to cultivate the relationships with other authors as they’ll tell you what worked for them if they ask.

If you’re a horror writer, you can message me about the Horror Kindle Vella Authors Discord and I’ll be glad to talk all things crazy.

If you’d like to request a review for your Vella or other Serial work, check out our FAQ as information on how to submit requests are listed there.

What else can you do? That is up to you. So far, ads haven’t been panning out, but this can be because of the newness of the platform and the limited reach of the soft launch.

One things I can tell you is that the more you interact with others, the better that you can do.

FEW! This was a lot. I’m hoping that something in this post has helped you as an author.

Leave additional questions and comments below and I’ll do my best to address them in the future.

Until next time, have an exciting week. Just not as exciting as X’s.