Kindle Vella Again

So, a while ago I was documenting my experience with Kindle Vella. When it first started no one really knew it was out there. And it was cluttered with things like Role Plays and a bunch of other nonsense that I wasn’t quite happy with.

I’ve tried writing on Wattpad, and have started to understand the type of content that works there by reading as well as writing.

And so I decided to do the same with Kindle Vella. I read one of the serials which was actually Hot Vampire Next Door by Nikki St. Crowe. It’s a steamy adult paranormal romance novel and actually pretty fun.

So, now that I understood the tone and what was popular on there I decided to give it a try. I think with platforms like these it’s really important to write FOR the platform if you want to be successful. I don’t think literary fiction is going to be popular on something like kindle vella, unless maybe you were already an established audience.

I took this week to rework a story I had published on another platform a few years ago and published it on Kindle Vella. This one is called The Vampire Institute and it’s about a girl who signs up to be a blood donor for vampires. Of course, it’s a romance.

The first seven episodes are up now and the first three are completely free! If you were able to read Her Dark Love that is the story I reworked for this. Click the cover to go read or at the very least like to support!

Why I’m quitting Kindle Vella

So, I took a break. Like a big one. I had to stop and think about if it was worth the effort for me to try and continue to post on Kindle Vella. Especially considering that I have a platform that actually pays me (Dreame). It got to be too discouraging to continue looking at stats and things and I have a concept that I like better of the story that I’m writing that I worry will be too similar. So.

The Anointed is still up. You can still read it on there if you wish. But there are so many changes that need to happen with the platform that I don’t think I’ll be using it going forward.

I took the time to figure out what I really wanted and while I do still think self-publishing is important, I’m not at a place where I can go all in and get the kind of audience I’m hoping for. So, it’s time to jump into traditional publishing again. This means finishing a manuscript instead of publishing it serially which is something I haven’t done in a long time.

I’m working on a manuscript right now that is at 22 k that is an adult fantasy romance novel. And I’m super excited about it. So, that’s where I’ve been.

Kindle Vella Week 17

Goals for the month:

  1. Get The Anointed up to 100 k, so I’ve got a few chapters ahead.
  2. Work on The Wolves of Glacier Falls, get that finished for Dreame.
  3. Start working on The Magic School novel.
  4. Work on UX design class again to finish up certification for writing app I want to create.

Okay, so maybe if I pick some goals I’ll be able to say motivated. It is so easy to become a hermit in Montana the instant fall and winter hit. It is colder, and darker. And for me, who grew up in California always surrounded by vitamin D and going to a place where half the year the sun is gone, its also SEASONAL DEPRESSION TIME. Or, as I like to call it, my yearly sadness. Not to make light of it at all but you’ve got to have a little humor about it right?

But this year I am going to try to stay on top of things and get back into the swing of things with updating. Re-read my story, and try to figure out what will happen going forward.

I also want to pick something specifically for Kindle Vella to write and I’ve thought a lot about how to make that platform work for me. I think a mystery might be what I write next for it because that is an easy way to hook people. Or maybe I’ll do a contemporary romance. Who knows? But I’ve decided that the type of project might factor into how well a serial novel does. Things were people have to remember a lot of facts might not do so well, whereas simple beach read type fiction is probably going to get a lot more reads because people can pick up where they left off.

I might be wrong about that, but it is something I’ve thought about a lot lately.

Kindle Vella Week 16 Wrap up

I dropped the ball. The holiday season is upon us. It is getting colder. It has already started to snow where I live, which means I spend all day in a cold apartment doing my “real job” and by the end of the day, I have no motivation. On top of which, I ended up with a sinus thing and was out of commission for about two weeks.

I can finally breathe through my nose again. Miracle of miracles. The thing about winter is that once it comes, I lose all motivation and I have no energy to do anything. I keep on convincing myself I need to update, and that I want to update, but my heart isn’t in it.

I’m excited about other projects at the moment but trying to get excited about a book no one is paying attention to on a platform no one is paying attention to is extremely difficult. Perhaps if I updated more, that might change things. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll sit down on my day off and do a hardcore writing day for The Anointed and schedule my chapters several weeks out. Who knows?

Kindle Vella Week 15 Wrap Up

October was the month of doing nothing. I barely updated. I got distracted by a writers conference I attended. I started work on a werewolf novel and then that werewolf novel got messed up by my computer so I am restarting that novel. I had a bad sinus thing and so everything got messed up. I put off working on the UX class.

Not a lot got done. My own fault. But sometimes that happens. You slip up, and then you get back to it. So, November will be the month of getting back to it.

The hard thing is getting excited about a project that isn’t seeing any growth or readership. While I still like the story, there are other projects I’m passionate about right now. It feels like pulling teeth trying to post on something that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Obviously, not posting this month is an issue. And I know there are things I need to work out on my end. But kindle vella itself has issues and its just easier to work with Dreame where I do have an established audience and I actually, you know, get paid.

A new month. A new chance to see if we can make this work.

Kindle Vella Week 15

So after almost a month of being distracted, it is time to get back on track. Posting regularly not only on the blog but with The Anointed. I’ve been posting since August, and because I posted mine during the Kindle Vella launch I get bonuses.

I’ve gotten two so far. The first for August was $24, and the second for September was $44.02.

A bit dismal, considering if I had submitted The Anointed to Dreame I would have gotten a signing bonus that was worth more then that. And probably could have been earning royalties by now. But I did say I would give the platform a year and see how it works and it hasn’t been a year yet. So.

On novel writing news, I am at 43 k on The Wolves of Glacier Falls. I haven’t decided for sure what I am going to do as far as publication. I had written it with the intention of posting it on Dreame. Werewolf fiction is big on there, as well as online and so I was curious to see how much I could make. The first book I wrote for that—The Red Cloak Girls—-is my highest earner on there right now.

It was a bit messy because it wasn’t as planned out as I normally do. However, I am writing The Wolves of Glacier Falls completely before posting it serially. So it should be different this time and we’ll see how it all goes.

If I submit to Dreame, I would get a signing bonus from them as well as a word count bonus. And then once I had 500 followers for that I would be able to get royalties.

Its a whole different experience. So far, for serial fiction, they are the most reliable. But we’ll see where the year goes.

Kindle Vella Week 14 Wrap up

How did I let this month get ahead of me? The writers conference took up a majority of my time. And my obsession. Suddenly, the last week of October is upon us. I’ve been distracted by the cold and just a bunch of other things. I let the month get away from me.

I haven’t written a novel that wasn’t posted serially in such a long time. Going to the writers conference made me think a lot about what I want out of my career. The thing is, while I still believe in self-publishing, and the importance of it, traditional publishing can still take me further.

But with Dreame there is that instant gratification. Knowing I’ll get royalties and I don’t have to wait for someone to review my work or anything else. For me, waiting has always been the difficult part. It’s why I became so disillusioned with submitting my stuff in the first place.

You’d work for ages on a manuscript, get rejected, but you’re still writing. Putting in the work. For what? For one person to say yes? And then to have to go through that process again with a whole different group of people?

Writing can crush your soul if you let it. Getting told no so often makes you doubt yourself. But the thing is, I AM a published writer. Published digitally. But I am still published. I get paid for my work. I’ve published 12 stories in several years on a digital publishing platform.

Yet somehow, I still let imposter syndrome get in my way. I still think I’m not good enough for print. I started sending my stuff out when I was 13, so that probably had a lot to do with it. I was not a seasoned writer and I didn’t know my craft as well as I do now.

Writers conferences always remind me that there is more out there. I just have to remind myself that I am good enough to take it. So, now its time to get on track. Ask myself what I want. And go grab it.

Kindle Vella Week 14

No change.

Partly my fault. Partly….I don’t know. I was busy obsessing and prepping for the writers conference that I attended on Saturday and Sunday. It was good. It was on Zoom, and provided me with some insight on things I hadn’t thought about.

I’m working on a werewolf romance novel that is at 35 k, 35,000 words. I’m intent on putting it on Dreame. But the conference made me ask some very important questions about what I want to do as far as my career. So, who knows?

Maybe I’ll start submitting again.

I would like to think that someday, the internet will come up with a way for fiction writers to make a living online. I just don’t know that we’re there yet and I don’t know if Kindle Vella is going to be that program.

Kindle Vella: Week 13 Wrap Up

I didn’t update for two weeks. This week, I was too excited for the writers conference I was going to. I was too busy working on The Wolves of Glacier Falls. I’ve hit 31 k on there, or 31,000 words. It’s going to be for Dreame. I worked on everything but The Anointed. My Dreame stories have been what I’m focusing on because I am actually encouraged by the numbers I see there compared to kindle vella. I almost feel like you have to have serval stories on there to have any progress but its hard to tell because its still so new.

There was too much going on and I just felt like there was one thing I had to let go. I’ve got to get back on track with a lot of stuff. The class that I’m taking. The end of the year approaches as October gets closer to the end and it just seems to go faster and faster and its easier to forget stuff.

That said, it was so lovely to go to the writers conference even if it was on Zoom. It’s always nice to get to talk to other people in the industry and people who understand exactly what it is you do. I received positive feedback on the magic school story that I’m working on so I am going to keep working on that.

I actually wrote a completely different opening scene yesterday instead of what I submitted. Then, I ended up getting ANOTHER idea for an opener. Oh, the joys of rewriting.

Week 14 it will be back to the regularly scheduled program. Updating The Anointed. Working on the UX design certificate. Getting back into gear. I feel like when fall comes around, things get colder, and you just get lazier because all you’re trying to do is staying warm. And that is kind of where I’m at this week. But I’ll get back on track and hopefully everything else will too.

Week 13 of Kindle Vella, Why Self-Publishing IS a valid option

Welcome to Week 13 of Kindle Vella. Today, I thought I’d talk a little bit about why I’m so frustrated with the lack of support Kindle Vella has received and the importance of self-publishing in general.

This morning, I happened on an old writing forum I used to look at back in the day before social media was a thing. I was looking up a publishing company and found a post from 2019 discussing vanity publishing and self-publishing.

There was a writer on there who was COMPLETELY perplexed as to why someone would “vanity publish” i.e. pay money for publishing. And, I feel, these writers have very little knowledge of self-publishing and why we must have it.

Back in, I want to say 2016, I published a novel that involved LGBTQ plus characters. It was called All The Right Notes. Now, I lucked out, and I found a publishing company for this. Totally Bound Publishing. I published it under a pen name, C. McGrath, and I’m sure you can still find it out there somewhere if you really want to.

But I received a vicious, vicious editing letter from one of the publications I sent it to that basically tore the whole thing to shreds. Now, most publishers won’t send you something that thorough with a rejection. They’ll just send you a nice thanks but no thanks letter. This publisher took the time to go over EVERYTHING they thought was wrong with my book.

At that point, I thought, okay. No big deal. I’ve been rejected plenty of times before. But years later, I thought isn’t it weird my book made an editor angry enough they wrote a whole thing detailing everything wrong with it? I can’t speak for the editor. Maybe they really just didn’t like my story.

But, while publishing is trying to change, there are places that are still stuck in the dark ages. Places where certain types of manuscripts would not ever be able to get a footing. Based solely on the ideology of the people working and reviewing the work. This is why making it possible for writers everywhere to share their story is important. Why vanity presses and self-publishing are valid options for people, despite whatever snobbish notions the writing community has about it.

Free speech is something we take for granted in America, because everyone can post every hateful comment they think before breakfast. But how quickly we forget there are still countries out there that don’t allow this–not only in their printed works—but in their media. And as long as there are such places that exist, there must be places outside of the traditional institutions a person can share their ideas. Revolutionary or not.

That there are still people who don’t think so clearly don’t know the history of publishing. Edgar Allen Poe, at eighteen, self-published his first work in 1827.

Stephen King did what many writers today do and created his own publishing company and published People, Places, and Things in 1960.

Mark Twain self published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1885.

Margaret Atwood self-published Double Persephone.

There is a notion that if you do not publish the traditional way, somehow you are less worthy than a published writer. Despite there being even modern, recent examples of writers, Colleen Hoover for example, who have proven this notion wrong.

As long as there are governments controlling writers (look up the Kakoa Page scandal that just happened recently with the Chinese government issuing the publisher pamphlets in regards to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet about what they could and couldn’t write that encouraged self-censorship) and media controlled by corporations that seek to hinder a persons message, there must always be someone that is willing to get that story out there for them.

This isn’t to say that publishers don’t serve a purpose. Obviously, they do. They are a good, reliable source of income for writers IF you can get your foot in the door. That said, there are still people who can hold it closed if they don’t like what you have to say. But the notion that there is only one way to publish legitimately is an outdated notion that needs to go. And, the fact remains, as long as the old guard has its foot there, it’s always going to be harder for certain kinds of writers to break through.

After all, it isn’t the publisher that makes the writer. It’s the writers that make the publisher. Which is why there must always be many options for writers, self-published or not, to get their story out there. It’s books they burn in revolutions not weapons and there must always be a way for words to spread regardless of who might not approve of them. Like governments, for example.

So, while I too, dream of publication in the traditional form, I will always champion for any alternative forms out there—whether it’s paying for it or being one of the chosen few from the literary elite— that let writers tell their stories when they might not have another option.