Writing is and has always been something that is embedded deep within my soul. It is something you don’t completely abandon—you’ll eventually come back to it—because it is a part of you.
We can look at writing as a gift because, in a way, it is precisely that. We share our writing with the world whether for monetary value, for free, or both; it is a “gift” that came from our hearts, minds, and souls.
I love it ever since I learned how to write and could put sentences together. And later pages that turned into a manuscript. Writing can also be a struggle because we all have those days where we may feel like we can’t seem to write a simple word or sentence down. Those long nights, the fatigue, distractions, you name it, can get the best of us.
Writing feels like climbing a steep mountain. You look back down and you've come pretty far, and you look back up and you've got so much further to go.
Though, when you keep going, you’ll see what felt like the struggle had turned into quite a blessing to share with others. If writing is something you love doing, no matter what, keep going and go some more, and keep writing. Whatever it is, don’t stop because you may never know whose life you’re impacting.
Sidenote: I started a website some months ago that I’ve been working on: pamelahester.com. I’m still updating it, but feel free to look around. I also have started a newsletter I would love for you all to subscribe to by clicking here. It’s a different one I had before, and it’s a way you can stay up-to-date with my website.
Lately, I have been having so much going on that I pretty much almost abandon my blog. I have been busy working, editing my novel, and other things I will post about soon, and I can’t believe how much time have passed since I done the March Writing Challenge. I’m not trying to make excuses, just being honest.
Well, on to what this post is about. I have learned about a month ago about the existence of Kindle Vella that I am sure some of you are aware of.
Kindle Vella is something new Amazon is trying out that authors can be a part of. The thing with it is the stories, novels, or what have you, are broken down into episodes as the chapters of the stories. The works have to be stories that haven’t been published before, free or paid.
Authors can make money off it when readers read their episodes. I don’t want to repeat what is already being said below in the article, but I believe this may be helpful for writers/authors looking to get their work out there and to reach a broader audience.
Tell me what you think about Kindle Vella. And please feel free to click the link to read the full article.
Amazon continues to push its own boundaries in the reader market, this time spreading into a micro-industry that has been gaining traction elsewhere, resulting in an exciting leap forward for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and potentially for authors as well.
The product is the newly announced Kindle Vella, a new Kindle platform created as a “mobile-first” approach to serialized storytelling.
In it, authors will have the chance to engage with readers in a new way, “one short episode at a time”.
So let’s take a deeper dive into this new platform.
In this article, you will learn:
What Kindle Vella is
How it works
Its potential benefits to authors
The step-by-step process to publish using Kindle Vella
Additional tips and strategies to use
What is Kindle Vella?
Kindle Vella is a new platform from KDP, built specifically for serialized stories. On the platform, it will allow you to publish short episodes of your story, which will then be available to readers on mobile devices and online.
There’s a lot to unpack in the above video and on KDP’s pages on the subject, but let’s break down a few of the core features:
Episodes will be between 600-5,000 words long
It is currently only available to those in the U.S.
It will be available to readers in “the next few months”
At launch, it will only be available in the Kindle iOS app and on Amazon.com
Authors will receive 50% of royalties
Readers will spend their money on “Tokens” that will be used to unlock the story, episode by episode
You can publish, update, or delete an episode at any time
Readers will have the opportunity to engage with their stories using the following
Follow: readers will be able to follow the stories they want to read
Fave: readers can mark the stories they like the most, and the stories with the most Faves will be featured in a leaderboard
Thumbs Up: readers can give a thumbs up to any episode, letting the author and other readers know which installments they liked the most
Episodes will have space for an “Author’s Note” section, allowing the author to talk to the reader directly with each episode
The first three episodes of every story will be free
Is This New?
Kindle Vella is Amazon’s response to a number of similar platforms that have sprung up over the years, such as Radish, WebNovel, and Wattpad.
Each of these platforms feature bite-sized serialization, and while monetization differs from one platform to another, popularity of this format is seeing more and more attention.
For example, bite-sized serialization platforms have been hugely popular in international markets, such as China, South Korea, and Japan.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that Amazon has thrown their hat into the ring.
I know I had shared before about why I write, and what writing means to me. Well, I would like to remind myself while sharing not only with my existing followers, but to the new ones as well. I appreciate you all.
Though I haven’t written much lately since participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in July, writing isn’t some sort of mind exercise to transfer thoughts into words on screen or paper. I write because it is a way for me to express myself creatively. I feel like I can create magic with my thoughts and with my fingers. Writing, to me, is a spiritual act because I am not only sharing what’s on my mind, in my heart, but speaking from within my spirit.
It’s also a magical thing when creating characters and world-building when it comes to writing stories. It is also scary reaching into those recesses of your brain to write and sharing what you wrote to the world. Writing helps with emotions and to overcome whatever one may be going through.
I want to forever share my writing to the world because it is one of the few ways I feel safe within my right. It’s where I can be my genuine self. Writing means the world to me since I was a little girl who had a severe stuttering problem and hates to talk. Writing makes me feel like I can conquer the world.
I want to understand words more and feel them deep course through my veins. And also because I still have so many stories and ideas to share that I keep putting off because I have a procrastination issue.
Famous authors’ quotes on why they write:
“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.” – Octavia E. Butler
“Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” – Anaïs Nin
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” — Toni Morrison
“So why do I write, torturing myself to put it down? Because in spite of myself I’ve learned some things. Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labeled ‘file and forget,’ and I can neither file nor forget. Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my lethargy, my complacency. Why should I be the one to dream this nightmare?” – Ralph Ellison
Her heart quickened with each step she took as the men in black followed her in quick strides. She glanced back briefly and gasped when she saw they were only ten feet behind.
In the dark of the night with little light from the moon had cast shadows in front of her. Her feet pounded against the dirt trails that were used for hiking. She got to keep going. She pushed herself to make it to the end of the trail. She refused to be taken back to a place she doesn’t belong like the others. She wanted to go to the place she called home where she felt safe and secure.
The men were coming closer; only four feet of distance separated them from her. She ran faster with all her might. She has been running for what seems like an hour. She got to make it to the white truck where others like her were waiting.
She was getting close though. The light from one of the men’s flashlights reflected on the truck that was not so far away now.
“We won’t let you leave!” One of the men in black exclaimed. His voice was taunting like he knew for sure she won’t leave the compound.
She shook her head violently, determined to make it even if she had to fly her way to the others. But, she won’t give the men the satisfaction of seeing her use her powers. It would give them the ammunition to use it against her.
Just when she neared the white truck, she screamed when she felt a bony hand reach out to grab hold of her shoulder. The sharp fingernails of the hand were digging deep into her flesh.
“This is it. I had made it,” she murmured. She lay in the grass with tears cascading down her cheeks and down her neck.
“What didn’t you made yet, sweetie?” A calm and soothing voice asked her.
The young girl’s eyes jerked open, and she carefully scanned her surroundings. She wasn’t in the woods running away from the men in black anymore. They wanted to snatch her just to turn her in to run extensive tests on her.
She was safe in an all-white room laying on a full-size bed. Also in the room was a night table by the bed with a book about healing, a small window with a radiator heater underneath it, and a box-shaped television in a corner on top of a wooden table.
She threw her head back against the pillows. It had all been a dream. All a dream. She was in a safe haven for people with supernatural powers just like hers. She laughs softly, but it was cut short.
The woman who stared down at her with kind eyes said, “It was such a shame those men in black wanted to take you back. They would have made life hell for you, dear. Luckily, you were able to use one of your powers to save yourself.”
“What do you mean?” The young girl asked with a puzzled look. She sat up abruptly.
“If you didn’t use telepathy, the man and the woman wouldn’t have been able to drive up in the white truck to get you. Not only that, a supernatural ability you have that I can’t seem to fathom right one, was another power you had used.” She sighed.
“Some of us aren’t so lucky. Some get captured. Well done, Phonecia! You are now safe.”
Phonecia threw her head back. So it really wasn’t a dream then, she thought.
Michael came from parents who harbored a deep secret. The man who he thought was his father turned out not to be his father. This man, Jarren Johanssen, raised him as his own, but it had been tough not only for Jarren but for Karena, Michael’s mom.
When her husband would go away on a business trip and would often be away from his family, Karena had soon become lonely. She would go to work to take care of their three children at that time that would leave her feeling weary. She had few friends she would hang out with, and a mother who occasionally would help out with the children. But, Karena needed a different kind of attention and love. While at work, she was being seduced by her boss on several occasions and had finally given in to him that night of the day her husband left for a business trip to California.
A few weeks later, she found out she was pregnant. Being hit with the conception date had hit her hard because she knew who fathered her child. And she was hoping it would have been her husband since they had an intimate moment before he left to go on his business trip.
It was the summer of 1978 in Houston, Texas when Michael found out about this at a barbeque after he graduated from high school. He had never felt so devastated since receiving this information. So, he had a sit-down with his parents and demanded answers.
“I can’t believe what I’ve heard. Is it true? I need to know!” Michael questioned as they sat away from everyone at a picnic table. He somberly sat down, shaking his head in bewilderment. He used his thumb and middle finger to massage the throb that threatened to come.
Karena had downcast eyes as she knew this day would become exposed someday. She also hated the fact that her son-in-law had blurted this secretive and personal information out to everyone. She would have to have a talk with her daughter about airing the family’s dirty laundry even to people like her son-of -law. The thing with that is, her daughter must have overheard it at some point because Karena had never told any of them.
Jarren gave his wife a sidelong glance and set his eyes back on Michael. He leaned forward and clasped his hands together on the table, trying to figure out how to say to a child the hate he has for his biological father. Or, how he truly feels about all of this. Nevertheless, it wasn’t Michael’s fault he was born. Jarren felt a rush of emotions hitting him all at once.
“Michael, I want you to know that I love you very much. I know this comes as a shock to you about me not being your biological dad, but we have gotten through the worst before. And, I’m not going to lie. It was hard raising another man’s son who, um, slept with my wife. And, er- in the beginning, I didn’t want anything to do with you. But when you were thirteen months old, and I was going through depression, you walked up and comforted me. It was the way you did it that helped-” Jarren paused because he was starting to get choked up.
Karena didn’t know whether to console her husband since she’s to blame for him to feel this way. It still hurts like hell to see her husband like this. Over the years, and after they had one more child when Michael was turning two-years-old, they had worked through it. Or so she thought. It had been hard, she won’t front, but what made it worse was Michael’s birth father kept popping up demanding to be in his son’s life.
Michael turned to his mom and saw sadness swimming in her eyes. Her long jet-black flowing hair was waving in the wind like a flag. He wanted to hear what she had to say because he needed to know not only why he was conceived the way he was, but why she never mentioned anything to him. Or at least try to. His stomach started to knot up as he expelled a long sigh.
Jarren took a quick glance at his wife with hurt and anger etched on his face. He then stood up and walked away. He has always been a proud man and not one to show his emotions much- at least not pain and sadness.
“Michael, I promise to talk about this to you. Right now, I want to wait until most of the people are gone so I can have that talk with you. Okay?” Karena reached out to caress the side of her son’s face. She is a private person and doesn’t like talking about herself or her family’s business around people who she feels is not family in that sense.
“Okay, mom,” Michael said quietly, closing his eyes when his mom planted a kiss on the top of his head. He didn’t know how to process it, and since his mom wanted to wait to talk about it, that time may not come anytime soon. He patted the head of his Saarloos Wolfdog, Rocko while he stayed at the picnic table deep in his thoughts about his life taken a drastic turn.
The next morning after breakfast as Karena and one of her daughters was cleaning the kitchen, there was a loud knock at the front door. She yells out to Michael to answer it.
She wasn’t quite in the mood for company and was hoping it would be a friend of one of her children coming to see them. But as she moves out of the kitchen and was heading toward the front door, she overheard a familiar voice.
“Hey, Michael! How’ve you been, son?” Standing at the door was a handsome dark-haired man with olive skin, gazing at her son with fatherly love in his eyes.
“I’ve been good, sir,” Michael responded. He glanced at his mom and saw she had reached his side with confusion and terror on her face.
“That’s good! Hi, Karena. Good seeing you again,” the guy said, staring into her dark brown eyes in a way that always made her feel uncomfortable.
“Michael, will you give me a moment with Mr. Xander, please?”
When Michael was out of earshot, Karena looked to the guy she fought so hard to rid herself of. The guy who, no matter where she goes, he would always seem to find her, and she that she exorcised out of her system.
“You have some nerve being here. What if my husband comes home and sees you darkening our doorstep?” She hissed at him.
“I’ve been to Michael’s graduation away from your family. Now, I’m here to see him in person. I want to spend time with our son… today.”