This post at Passive Voice caught my eye because I’m mildly curious — only mildly — in how the serialized-story platform Kindle Vella will turn out.
You may remember my post about Kindle Vella from some time ago. I’m not at all interested in this platform myself — I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole, UNLESS I had a complete, finished novel that I thought was perfectly suited to this sort of presentation. I mean, I suppose a novel would be “perfectly suited” to presentation as a serialized story if, for example, every chapter ended on a mild cliffhanger. And the chapters were pretty short and episodic. And, as I said, the overall book is totally finished so that I’ve already smoothed out all the foreshadowing and so forth.
I don’t really expect to write anything like that, is what I’m implying.
Also, as a reader, I hate serialized stories. I hate having to wait for the next installment of anything. I almost never read teaser chapters of anything.
My basic expectation is that some reasonable fraction of early adopters of Kindle Vella will experience considerable success through this platform. I wouldn’t bother deciding whether this modality is “successful,” whatever that means, until the platform has been around for a couple of years. By then any author jumping into it will probably find it much more difficult to get any traction. That’s an assumption, but I bet I’m right. Then in ten years it’ll either be gone or will have established itself for the time being with a reasonable niche of the market or, who knows, will have been supplanted by some other new platform.
Anyway, this article is one that’s focusing on the “early adopters experiencing success” part of this predicted curve. If you would like to click through, the article has links to a handful of top ongoing serials.
And here is a post from Jane Friedman’s blog, by Audry Kalman, in which an early adopter of Kindle Vella describes her experience so far. Her experience has been largely positive, and enhanced by going in cautiously and without great expectations. Kalman also recommends not trying this with a book that isn’t finished, so that does answer my personal greatest worry if I were interested in this platform as a reader. She doesn’t indicate whether the platform identifies books that have been entirely finished with all chapters uploaded, but if Vella doesn’t do this, I think it should.