Kindle Vella is a mobile-first episodic story platform

JC Torres - Jul 13, 2021, 10:33pm CDT
Kindle Vella is a mobile-first episodic story platform

Reading on the go has become more fashionable recently, and as much as Amazon would prefer that people buy and use its Kindle eReaders or Fire tables for that purpose, it has to concede that some people prefer reading on their phones. While certainly possible, the smaller screen and mobile use cases don’t exactly make phones conducive for long materials. That’s why Amazon is launching its new Vella platform that divides and deliveries stories into serialized chunks that you can pay for per episode.

Serialized stories aren’t actually new on mobile, but most of those have come in the form of visual novel games. These offer a library of stories split into chapters or episodes that can be unlocked using some sort of digital token. As you may have guessed, those tokens have to be bought with real money, though some games offer in-game methods to acquire a few free tokens at least.

Amazon is taking that system and is applying it to a new breed of stories delivered in episodic format. These kinds of stories are easier to digest on phones and, more importantly, keep readers hooked and excited for the next episode. Those episodes will cost Tokens which have to be bought with real money, though the first three episodes of any story is available for free.

Beyond the delivery format, Kindle Vella also offers features designed around that unique system. Following stories will allow users to receive notifications once a new episode lands, while Thumbs Up can be given to specific episodes rather than the whole story only. Publishers and authors can even share notes, insights, and behind-the-scenes content to better immerse their readers in their stories.

Despite having “Kindle” in its name, Kindle Vella is a true mobile-only experience since it’s available only on the iOS Kindle app and Amazon.com. The library is sadly available only in the US for now, and no word has been given yet on an Android launch.


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