Updated: Nov 12, 2021
In 1836, Charles Dickens first popularized the idea of serialized fiction. Since then, the literary style has continued to enthrall readers and has established itself with permanence.
Given the advent of the Internet, mobile phones, and endless entertainment that is constantly available at our fingertips, it appears that the desire to read books has decreased.
Instead, serialized fiction writing allows readers to digest bite-sized pieces of text while continuing about their busy days.
What is "serialized fiction writing," and how does it work?
Serialized fiction writing is a method of segmenting written projects into parts. It's a long-standing practice that has been and continues to be used by scores of well-known writers.
Unlike other publishing methods, serialization allows authors advantages that would not be available if they crafted stories traditionally. For example, serial authors can create suspense from one episode to the next, receive feedback from audience members, and segment large bodies of work into manageable pieces. This last point may also increase one's chances of finishing the ongoing project!
Of course, depending on how you view serialization, the practice may mean writing multiple books or as simple as writing short stories. Either way, it is only one tool for writers to establish themselves with audiences.
Is it worthwhile for writers to serialize their fictional work?
Generally, yes, it is worthwhile. But the literary style is not meant for everyone. Thousands of writers have tried their hand at serialization and found little or no commercial success.
That said, for some writers, the process has played a relatively significant role in their success. For example, Ali Novak, who the New York Times featured a few years ago, rose to prominence with her debut novel at 15 on Wattpad.
Even though few find success, the serialized fiction industry, as a whole, is viable enough that Amazon unveiled its Kindle Vella platform. Vella is a program that provides self-published authors with the ability to write on a serialized platform and monetize their work.
How much have authors earned so far?
On Reddit's r/KindleVella community, there is a Vella Data Project that posts results monthly.
Reddit users hope to help writers understand how specific types of data impact author earnings. Here are a few examples:
Number of locked episodes read
So far, the r/KindleVella project only has data for August 2021, September 2021, and is only now collecting data for October 2021 (as we enter November).
AUGUST 2021 DATA
Based upon the data for August 2021, the royalty bonus ranged from $00.34 to $84.00. At the same time, the bonuses (ongoing until December 2021) range from $10.22 to $7,641.72. Further, the average royalty was $1.55, and the median was $7.82. For bonuses, the average rate was $701.55, and the median was $173.66.
Unfortunately, no data is available on the length of each chapter released, but the highest earner in August 2021 published 42 chapters with chapter lengths between 600-5,000 words while the lowest published only 1. This amounts to $4,163.77 for the 42 chapters or $99.14 per chapter for the highest earner. Assuming each chapter has 2,000 words, the author would earn ~5 cents a word for ~84,000 words. Likewise, the least prolific author earned 0.5 cents per word for the same estimated length. However, all may make more over time since the body of work is on Kindle Vella forever.
SEPTEMBER 2021 DATA
Based upon the data for September 2021, the royalty bonus ranged from $00.00 to $10.00. At the same time, the bonuses ranged from $14.00 to $2,692.76. Further, the average royalty was $2.20, and the median was $1.00. Further, for bonuses, the average rate was $317.55, and the median was $149.96.
In September 2021, the Kindle Vella Project started collecting data on chapters published. The highest earner published eight chapters, for a total of 14. Assuming each chapter has 2,000 words, the author earned $2,696.76 for 16,000 words or 16.85 cents per word. An excellent rate! However, all may make more over time since the body of work is on Kindle Vella forever.
Note: All earnings are pre-tax.
If you want to access the data yourself, click here to read the r/KindleVella project.
Well, how much have you earned?
So far, I have earned nothing from my project since I only began two days ago, on 5 November 2021. However, I plan to add my information as I earn bonuses.
My web serial is on Kindle Vella, titled All You Ever Wanted.
Here is my story's description: Ellie Walker is a high school student at St. Vincent's. She lives in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, with her mother, a nurse, and father, a literary agent. Despite struggles at home, Ellie makes the most of her environment. As a studious young woman who hopes to attend Yale University, Ellie tends to shun both boys and theatrics. But when a new neighbor moves in, she begins to question her world.
In November 2021, I published 1 episode with 1,535 words.
The keywords I used were:
Here is a previous blog announcement!
Stay tuned for more content on how much you could make on Amazon's Kindle Vella.
//Last Updated: 7 Nov 2021//