WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Try this book on Vella!

Check this out: The Last Storyteller by Audrey Kalman, new on Kindle Vella.

I was lucky enough to beta read this a while back, but I wondered why Audrey hadn’t published it since then. It’s a unique dystopian thriller that touches on the coopting of storytelling by government and commercial interests and the consequent loss of creativity.

Here, I’ll let the series blurb say it better than I can:

In the 2050s, storytelling exists only to sell distractions. Juneberry Vergara spins tales rooted in humanity, putting her at odds with the power-hungry guru who has perverted storytelling. When it seems her stories may cure a mysterious illness, a resistance group recruits her to create more. As deaths mount and a government agent closes in, Juneberry strives to claim her intuitive storytelling ability in time to defeat the Story Master and cure the deadly disease.

I’m intrigued that Audrey decided to put the book out as a serial via the new Vella option. When I first heard about Vella, I thought, Here we go: Another platform where my stuff will get buried in the avalanche of genre projects. But Audrey is a highly literary writer, and if her book can find an audience on Vella (and maybe help attract readers to her other books), there could be some potential here.

Every now and then the idea of serialization pops up, but maybe its time has come because of the intense competition for our attention spans. Readers might find it easier, and more engaging, to take in books like between-meal snacks. For now, as I understand it, Vella books are available for reading on iOS devices or on the web, and you pay for them with tokens you buy on Amazon. Authors are paid half the take, the balance going to Amazon. Here’s an article that digs into the deets.

Why not start your Vella experience with Audrey Kalman’s The Last Storyteller? You get your first 200 tokens for free, it looks like, so that ought to get you a good way into the book. Once you’re that far in, though, I’m certain you’ll be hooked.

Any Vella authors out there who want to let us know how it’s worked out so far?

15 comments on “Try this book on Vella!

  1. kingmidget
    August 15, 2021

    Chuck Litka just put a book out on Vella. He’s going to write about his experience over on Writers Supporting Writers. Not sure exaxtly when, but should be within the next few days.

  2. Audrey Kalman
    August 15, 2021

    Thank you so much for the shout-out! I have a sinking feeling that my more literary work will get lost in the sea of bodice-rippers and hard sci-fi, but I’m always up for an experiment.

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 15, 2021

      My pleasure, Audrey! I do hope people can wade through the typical indie genres and find you. As usual, it’s all about how to cut your way through all the noise. Good luck!

  3. Audrey Driscoll
    August 15, 2021

    I dunno. I’d rather just buy the book and read it when I feel like it for as long as I feel like it. The idea of futzing around buying tokens and being fed a serving at a time makes me feel grumpy. And once I start reading a book, I generally finish it unless it’s abysmal or a total mismatch.

    • Audrey Kalman
      August 15, 2021

      I’m with you… but I know a lot of people like the episodic format–so I am giving it a try!

      • Audrey Driscoll
        August 15, 2021

        It’s worth a try; can’t argue with that!

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 16, 2021

      I guess if a reader is hooked into a genre that relies heavily on cliffhangers, this might enhance the experience. It’ll be interesting to see if literary readers are inclined to try it on for size.

  4. Marie A Bailey
    August 16, 2021

    There was a time, wasn’t there, when serials were all the rage? Thinking of Dickens in particular, and periodicals like The Saturday Evening Post. So much is read online these days that I can imagine some people liking to read a series rather than carry a book around. But how does it differ from just downloading a Kindle ebook? I wish Audrey success and am interested in looking into Vella only because she has a series available through it. Yet, I really loathe Amazon. Until their workers have a true living wage and better working conditions, I avoid using Amazon for much of anything.

    • Audrey Kalman
      August 16, 2021

      Indeed, it seems everything old is new again, at least in the case of serialized fiction. I’m flattered that you want to check out Vella because of me, but if it goes against your principles, please don’t!

      In my case, I think there’s not much difference in Vella and a Kindle book. I finished and edited the book long before posting any episodes. I know some authors are “writing as they go.” I can’t imagine what that experience will be like for readers.

      • Marie A Bailey
        August 16, 2021

        Oh, I have issues with Amazon but I still use its services now and then 🙂. I think it’s a smart move, Audrey, that you would finish and edit your book before posting. It shows respect for your readers and makes me even more interested in reading your series.

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This entry was posted on August 15, 2021 by in Publishing and tagged , , , .
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