Thursday, July 8, 2021

Interviewing Author Erica Lucke Dean about Kindle Vella from Amazon

I've invited my friend and fellow Red Adept Publishing author, Erica Lucke Dean, to talk with me about a new story platform from Amazon called "Kindle Vella" that is launching next week. Erica and I will both be sharing new stories on the platform (in Erica's case, two stories!), and today I'm going to pick her brain about it a bit.

Karissa: Welcome, Erica! Tell us what you know about Kindle Vella.

Erica Lucke Dean: Kindle Vella is a new and exciting platform for serial fiction. I don’t honestly know much more about it yet, but I can’t wait to share my two paranormal/urban fantasy romance stories!

Karissa: What the heck is "serial fiction"? I mean... *I* know what it is, since I've been working on getting my story ready for this. But for those who aren't familiar with this kind of platform, can you explain it some?

Erica: Basically it means the stories will be doled out in episodes much like your favorite TV show. Bite-sized pieces of delicious fiction to snack on in our busy days.

Karissa: So… is it like Netflix? If I love your story can I just sit down and binge the whole thing in one day?

Erica: In theory, you totally could. But some stories (mine included) will premier new episodes on a weekly basis. Once they’re all finished, someone could binge the whole thing.

Karissa: So, let’s say I'm totally interested in this idea. How do I access these episodes?

Erica: Vella will be launching their new reading app for iOS and on Amazon dot com next week, and readers will be able to start feeding their cravings for hot new stories as early as launch day!

Karissa: What about an app for Android, or the Kindle Fire? Do we know anything about that yet?

Erica: Not yet as far as I know but that would be a huge lost opportunity if they didn’t.

Karissa: I agree. I gotta believe Amazon is cooking up something more behind the scenes. But from what I can tell now, this is all very experimental. Although, it’s not an entirely unique concept. Platforms similar to Vella already exist at Wattpad and Radish.

So, moving on… these episodes, I’m guessing it’s like Netflix. There’s a subscription fee or something right? We’re not giving these stories away for free are we?

Erica: Sadly, no. But Amazon has come up with an entirely new way to purchase stories… tokens! Just like at a video game arcade, you’ll purchase bundles of tokens and each story will cost a few tokens, depending on the length of the episode. It’s pretty awesome, and I’m excited to see how it plays out

Karissa: Alright, so if I'm going to pay money, these stories better be pretty good. Tell me what your stories are about.

Erica: Tales of the Day Walkers is a modern vampire story with a bit of a twisted love triangle, and a quest of a missing amulet. Eve Versus the Apocalypse is about a college color guard fighting her way to safety after a hostile alien invasion. Both feature hefty doses of romance and some kick ass women!

Karissa: Okay, those *do* sound interesting, but… for now my options are to read this on my phone or on my computer. Old farts like me can have trouble reading things on a screen for long stints of time. Maybe this isn't for me?

Erica: As I said before, each episode is meant to be a bite-sized snack. A little like the old Flash Gordon serials from when our parents were kids. Most episodes will be around 1500 words, coming at you at least once a week… sometimes twice a week!

Karissa: For those who aren’t familiar with wordcounts, 1,500 words really is snack size. In this industry, that’s usually considered “flash” fiction length. It's a length optimized for short stints of reading, and, I hope, not too much eye strain. I do happen to know episodes are allowed to be longer than that, but most of us at Red Adept Publishing have been urged to go with shorter episode lengths and I think that's a smart approach, especially considering these are really meant to be read on your phone or mobile device.

Thanks to Erica for hanging out for a minute and talking with me about this exciting and uncertain new opportunity. I'm glad I have author friends like you to talk to about this since it's so new and we don't know quite what to expect. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm also a little nervous.

Here are some more details on our stories, which we're hoping, fingers crossed, will be available next week! 

Follow Erica on Instagram or Facebook to find out about new episodes as they release.

When everyone she cares about is killed in an alien invasion, college color guard Eve uses her skills with a saber to battle her way through the changing landscape. Faced with monsters of more than one kind, Eve isn’t sure who to trust. After running into a group of survivors, she must decide if a new alliance with the dangerously sexy Archer is worth the risk. His offer of protection is tempting, but if she agrees to join him, her life may not be the only thing on the line.

When vampire Amelia’s estranged husband, Lucian, shows up unannounced after two decades, trouble isn’t far behind. For reasons he’s reluctant to disclose, Lucian is searching for the centuries-old amulet he gave her as a wedding gift, and he’s not leaving without it. Amelia must protect herself and her human companion, Elijah, from Lucian’s wrath while unraveling the mystery of his sudden ability to walk in the daylight. Dealing with his jealousy on an empty stomach is a whole different story…

Follow me, Karissa, on Instagram or Twitter to find out about new episodes and new releases in my Vella story, Serendipity at the End of the World:

Serendipity Blite and her sister, Bloom, use their unique talents to survive in the apocalyptic aftermath of the Dead Disease. When Bloom is kidnapped, Sera forms a specialized team to retrieve her. Attempting a rescue mission in an undead-infested city might be suicidal, but Sera is determined to get her sister back. After an unfortunate accident sets Sera teetering on the edge of death, she must fight to save her own life because surviving could mean finding family, love, and possibly a cure.



Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Great interview. I've been curious about Vella so this was a timely piece. I hope it's a cool venture.

Karissa Laurel said...

I hope it's cool too. But even if it's a flop, I hope it'll have been a fun experiment at least.

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