Amazon has unveiled an all-new way to get your reading fix, and it’s called Kindle Vella. The new take on reading delivers serialized stories that seem very similar to what we’ve seen in the TV sector for quite some time. Best of all, the first three episodes of each series are completely free, allowing you to try until you find a perfect read. This new attempt by Amazon brings a level of transparency to book purchases that could prove to be a breath of fresh air for those who bought books to find out they weren’t a good fit after all. Continue reading to learn more.
Kindle Vella lets you try every series for free
If you’d like to fill some free time with reading, Kindle Vella could be a great place to start. The new service gives readers access to “thousands of stories” that range “from 600 to 5,000 words” in length. Once you’re hooked on a series, you’ll pay with tokens that are purchased with real money. Thankfully, the first three episodes of every series are free to try.
Kindle Vella is described as a mobile-first experience. At launch, Vella is only available on the Kindle app for iOS or via the web — a decision that’s bound to get a bit of flak from anyone who is fully committed to Kindle devices. That being said, the limited availability we see now is likely to change if Vella becomes a successful product for Amazon.
“We designed Kindle Vella as a mobile-first experience because we know readers are becoming more and more interested in stories that can be read quickly on their phones. At the same time, readers want the connection that you get from reading a story or author for a long period of time,” said David Naggar, vice president of Books and Kindle Content.
Pricing varies between series and episodes, but one token tends to cost about a penny, with bulk purchases offering a slight discount. Tokens can be purchased in four sizes, 200 for $1.99, 525 for $4.99, 1,100 for $9.99, and 1,700 for $14.99. As mentioned earlier, the first three episodes of every series are free, with subsequent episodes averaging out to roughly 50 tokens or less each, according to Amazon. Tokens can be managed in the iOS app or on the upper-right hand of the Vella website.
Outside of limited availability on iOS, I am actually very optimistic about the launch of Kindle Vella. Time and time again, I’ve been burned by buying an item to find out I don’t actually like it after the fact. I would argue this is the very reason that free-to-play games are overwhelmingly more popular than alternatives that are paid upfront.
Since these serialized stories are supported by actual purchases after a few episodes, I am hopeful that Kindle Vella will not be subdued into a money-grab in-app purchase system that has arguably been plaguing the App Store and Google Play Store for years.
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