Are you a writer who likes money? Ok, maybe you’re not totally in love with money. Like in the sense of being greedy. But you know you need more to live the life of your dreams.
Are you a writer who likes money?
Ok, maybe you’re not totally in love with money. Like in the sense of being greedy. But you know you need more to live the life of your dreams.
And while money might not be able to buy true happiness, it can unlock the doors to some pretty amazing experiences.
If you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, and are looking for new ways to make money online, check out Amazon’s Kindle Vella program. Kindle Vella is one of the latest tools Amazon has built in their massive self-publishing platform Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).
We’ll show you how to publish on Kindle Vella and make money by following these six simple steps.
Note: Making money with Kindle Vella is fairly simple but small errors can put you back weeks, months or even years. The best way to avoid roadblocks and speed up the process is by hiring a coach or taking a course with a proven track record. The team at Publishing.com has seen hundreds of success stories from our students for making money online with Amazon. Click here to check out our course.
Kindle Vella is an awesome, gamified way for writers like you to share your work in a new way with a large audience of Kindle readers. We'll quickly walk you through how Kindle Vella operates.
Kindle Vella allows authors to publish their books one short episode at a time. Readers can get the first three episodes (chapters) for free and then they have to buy tokens to unlock more chapters. Authors get 50% of the money from the tokens and additional monthly bonuses Amazon pays out based on customer activity and engagement.
Publishing through Vella is free and easy, and you won’t have to go down the traditional publishing route. (However, authors have to be U.S.-based to use Vella so it’s not yet available for international authors.) Vella even has a new feature that lets readers comment on episodes and have conversations about what happens in the story.
What's best of all is Vella is very lucrative. You can read reviews by students from our course and how much they are earning from the Amazon program and direct publishing.
We'll give you some steps to get started with Kindle Vella today.
First, make sure you’re signed into your Amazon account. Then you’ll be able to head over to the Kindle Vella publishing section to start. Click on the “Start a story” button and follow the steps to publishing your first episode.
And don’t let the terms throw you off. Your Vella Story is simply the title of your book, while Vella Episodes are the chapters. You’ll get the hang of it!
The first page you’ll see has a bunch of fields to fill out for the information about your story. Start by naming your story. This would be the title of your book, not the title of your first episode.
Next, add your author name. This can be your real name or a pen name if you’d rather publish anonymously. You can also add other authors who helped if your book was a collaborative effort.
Then you’ll add your story’s description. Amazon describes this as a place to “introduce your story and make an impression on readers.”
Also keep in mind that you can go back and edit your story’s details and descriptions whenever you want. This is one of the great benefits of self-publishing on KDP. You have total control to update whatever you want. This is a lot different from the traditional publishing method where your book, its cover and the descriptions are locked in and 100,000 hardcopies are printed for bookstores.
The next step is to choose an image for your Vella Story. Maybe you already have a book cover you can use for this. Or you could hire a freelance graphic designer on websites like Fiverr and Upwork to do this for you. Graphic designers are pretty affordable these days and can help you create a cover image that is professional and stands out from the crowd.
If you’re trying to save money (and time), you can also use free stock images on sites like Pexels and Pixabay. Find an image that fits your genre or topic and one you think will entice people to click on your story.
Amazon recommends uploading a square image, “with any important visuals centered. It doesn’t need to include the title or author name, as these will be displayed under the image automatically.”
After you fill out the main details of your story, you’ll pick categories and story tags. This will give readers an idea of the genre of your story and help them find it.
You can pick one primary category and an optional secondary category. Choose the category that best describes your story. Examples of categories include:
Next, story tags tell readers what is unique about your story. You can add up to seven short tags like:
Now you’re ready to hit “Publish” and start bringing in those sweet royalties.
Once you’ve filled out the details for your story, click on the button at the bottom of the screen that says, “Publish and start Episode 1.”
You’ll be sent to a new page where you can name your first episode title. Instead of Chapter One, you’ll be able to pick a title that is catchy and attention-grabbing. Maybe look at some other popular Kindle Vella episode titles for inspiration. Or you could study the titles of episodes from your favorite TV series. You can even use some of the latest cutting-edge AI writing tools out there to help you brainstorm.
After picking an episode title, you’ll copy and paste your chapter text from your book into the Vella website. You can also write directly into Vella if you’re creating on the fly.
Kindle Vella also has some cool features where you can add author’s notes to episodes. You can communicate directly with your readers by giving them extra details about your episodes or behind-the-scenes aspects of your story or writing process.
You’ll also have the option to create an author poll where you can hear directly from readers about what they like and don’t like. Just add a question and answer choices (each reader will be able to vote for one choice), then choose a poll close date.
Once you do all this, you’ll be able to preview your episode to see how it will look to readers. You can also see how many Tokens will be needed to unlock the episode. In the case of Episodes 1-3, readers won’t need to use tokens. But for later episodes, tokens are set based on word count and capped at 50.
Looks good? Great! You’re almost done…
Now, when do you want this episode to go live? You can pick the release date for immediate publication or schedule it for a different date. Maybe you want to release a new episode every Friday. Whatever you want! You’re in control.
Finally! You can now hit “Publish” and within 72 hours, your first Vella Story Episode 1 will be live!
Break out the bottle of champagne, give yourself a pat on the back and maybe take a nap! But once you wake up, there are two final steps to make money with Kindle Vella.
Now that your first Vella episode is available to readers, it’s time to start spreading the word. Don’t be intimidated by the marketing your self-published book on Amazon. Marketing is simply talking about what you’ve done. There’s nothing mysterious about it and you don’t need a Master’s Degree in Business & Marketing to simply tell people about your book.
Leverage your social media platforms to post about your book. Give your followers (even if you only have a few right now) a taste of why you wrote it, what inspires you to write, or maybe a behind-the-scenes look at how you developed your characters.
Maybe start an email newsletter to start building up a community of readers you can stay in touch with over time.
There are a ton of ways to market your Vella Story. Get creative! And don’t be shy. It’s going to be hard to make money if you lock yourself away in a closet and are afraid to talk about your amazing work.
If you really do struggle to put yourself out there, consider hiring someone to help with the marketing so you can get back to the hard work of writing. There’s no shame in delegating some of these tasks so you can focus on the things only you can do.
Now, your Vella Story is live and you’re gaining traction with readers. There’s one final step…
This is the fun part! Checking how much money you’re making.
And the great thing about Amazon’s KDP and Vella is that Amazon gives authors a ton of tools to manage their episodes and eBooks. One of those tools is your Kindle Vella Dashboard in KDP Reports.
You’ll want to track royalty earnings, story likes and how many episodes are being read. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on whether you’re on track to receive any bonuses. (On top of token royalties, Amazon will sometimes pay out bonuses based on customer activity and engagement.)
Now that you’ve seen how easy it can be to get started with Kindle Vella, what are you waiting for? Take your book ideas and turn them into a thriving online publishing business. And if you need extra resources on how to do this, check out our free webinar that breaks down every step of the process. We explain the right mindset to have to set yourself up for long-term success.
Sign up for our free self-publishing course and get on the path to building your dream life!