Kindle Vella is barely out in the US: it’s a fresh new platform that’s open to experiments and new authors. So, figuring out how Kindle Vella book marketing right now is important for building future success smoothly.
But, Kindle Vella marketing is like an onion — it has layers to it. Compared to traditional self-publishing, the platform caters to a different audience, narrative format, and writing approach, and you need to account for it.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most effective Kindle Vella marketing ideas to figure the platform’s intricacies out.
Kindle Vella Marketing Strategies
First, we need to differentiate between the two Kindle Vella marketing vectors:
- External marketing outside the Vella.
- Internal marketing on the Vella itself
The task of the first marketing vector is to direct users from elsewhere to read your Vella stories, leave reviews, and ratings.
The task of the second marketing vector is to hook more Kindle Vella visitors into reading your stories as well as to appease the Vella algorithm so it pushes your stories further up.
Ideally, you need to do both to see some tangible results. However, your marketing focus will vary depending on your circumstances.
External Kindle Vella Marketing Strategies
As a self-published author who wants to try Kindle Vella, you either
- Already have readers, including email list, some social media following, website, etc;
- Starting at ground zero or close to that.
In the first case, you may want to direct your existing followers to your Kindle Vella stories. But despite the perceived effectiveness of the idea, it won’t be easy.
Your existing followers are likely used to an entirely different format than what Kindle Vella offers — a book one. A book is a familiar cozy medium you pay once for and enjoy every sip of it until it runs dry. Your average book people won’t be eager to spend their money on episodes on an unfamiliar platform created for mobile devices.
The task of your external Kindle Vella marketing is to prove to them your episodic storytelling is worth the effort of moving out of the comfort zone.
As follows, your marketing content should showcase the following:
- Unique value readers will get reading your Vella stories. What else will you readers get from your Kindle Vella stories that they don’t get from your other creations? (Is it a unique story? An interesting blend of styles and genres? Unique setting and/characters?)
- Relevancy of your stories. Why will your readers enjoy your Vella stories? (Is it the romance they like so much? Your prose flow and worldbuilding they so adore?)
- Completeness of your stories or commitment to completing your stories. People who love books love completed stories; episodes may feel like a risky commitment to them. So reassure your readers that they’ll have a finished story sooner or later.
Here’s a #1 Kindle Vella Fantasy Romance author, Emily Shore, laconically ticks two boxes at once.
Keeping our advice in mind, take a look at these Kindle Vella Marketing strategies for authors with followers:
1. Engaging social media posts about your Kindle Vella journey across your channels
Reminders are crucial for marketing (remember the rule of seven?). Sharing how your Kindle Vella progress is going, your experiences with the platform and the episodic storytelling, the joys and troubles of the writing process, reviews, etc are all great for establishing a connection with your audience on the new front and keeping people’s interest high.
For example, here’s John Conroe, an author of the popular Demon Accord’s Beginning Vella story, who shares his progress in a Facebook group.
Important: each post or mail created to drive people to your Kindle Vella should have a clear CTA and relevant links. We all are a profoundly lazy species (preserving energy is crucial in nature), so make the journey to your Vella page as comfy as possible.
2. Dialogue with the audience and/or implement interactive storytelling
By their very nature, Vella, Radish, Wattpad, and other similar platforms bridge the gap between an author and a reader, lifting a bit the shroud of the mysterious writing process. The episodic format allows one to engage with readers in the process of the story’s creation, ask them questions at the end of each episode and see how they react to the events.
For readers, it’s the chance to feel closer to their favorite creators. For authors, it’s the chance to better understand their audience.
So, try to engage in dialogue with your audience early. Create posts with polls about which story you should focus on next; ask them about their favorite and most hated characters, etc.
You can even go one step further and ask your followers to vote how they’d like the story to continue after crucial episodes. It’s a very tricky thing to pull off and is certainly not for everyone, but, it has a great potential to engage the audience.
In other words, give them the feeling of this more intimate Kindle Vella experience, so they’re more willing to see what comes out of it.
3. Asking for Crowns, Thumb Ups, Reviews
There are several things a Kindle Vella user can do to boost your story’s visibility:
- “Fave” or “crown” their favorite story
- Give it a thumbs up
- Write a review
- Follow the story
The crowns are definitely the most powerful option, which can propel your stories high up the ladder algorithm. So whenever it’s appropriate ask followers to crown your story.
There are many ways you can go about the task. In fact, the crowns are so important that some authors organize weekly giveaways with detailed instructions to boost their standing.
For example, Christina Farley, a top Kindle Vella author, organizes a special crown club
If you ask your followers for crowns, don’t forget to specify why it’s important for you if possible.
Also, we suggest sprinkling CTAs for reviews, thumbs up, and follows in relevant posts and emails. Even a single sentence with the reminders at the end of the text can make a difference.
Or you can leave a tiny block with CTA at the end of your posts. Something like this
4. Email funnel.
Email funnel remains one of the most effective marketing strategies for driving engagement. We propose following the usual scheme.
- Mail 1: Awareness. A letter that informs your followers about your upcoming Vella story/episode and why they should care.
- Mail 2: Consideration (Optional). A letter that reminds your followers about the unique selling point of your upcoming Vella creation.
- Mail 3: Conversion. On the day of the episode release, a letter with a CTA to read it. Leave reviews, thumbs up, etc.
- Mail 4: Loyalty. A letter where you thank your reader’s support, share your joy, and/or further plans.
- Day 5: Advocacy (Optional). A letter where you encourage your followers to join a crown giveaway, a group, give you a follow on Vella, etc.
5. Cross-promotion with other authors
Find authors who work in a similar niche and try to lift each other up. Nothing to add here: cross-promotion is an efficient marketing strategy.
If you want to hook new people to read your Kindle Vella stories or don’t have existing readers, it will be harder (especially without extra cash to spend on ads).
In this case, we propose
- Pushing your content on relevant social media platforms. Usually, it’s Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook. Treat it more like a fun ride where you share your experiences, thoughts, quotes, and art. Also, connect with other authors and readers, and try to bring some value to the communities you follow. However, don’t expect significant results without throwing cash at ads.
- Try resources like bookfunnel where you can tap the fanbase of other authors for a subscription fee and participate in special groups for promotion purposes. They also hold special Kindle Vella events.
- Focus extra hard on internal Kindle Vella marketing. It will be your most effective tool.
Internal Kindle Vella Marketing Strategies
One of the most important things you can do to your Kindle Vella success is to get to the top page. To achieve it, you need high ratings, a lot of thumb ups and crowns from readers, and high engagement. It’s possible through active external marketing and by using all the tools Vella gives you.
1.Make the first three episodes your main tool
The first three episodes of a Vella story are free for readers. During them, readers decide whether your story is worth their further attention and money. It means you need to ensure that your first three episodes are a captivating read with a hook and interesting characters.
It’s a tough act to balance exposition and immersive reading experience. But, episodic storytelling allows you to evenly disperse the information across different episodes. So you can leave readers in the dark regarding certain laws or lore of your world at the start of the story as long as you give them captivating characters and events to follow.
2.Get catchy Kindle Vella cover design
We know that a book cover is important for attracting attention. But, Kindle Vella is created for mobile experience first, where catchy thumbnails — Vella story images — have even more weight to them.
So, you need a Kindle Vella cover design that stands out but also caters to your target audience. Considering that Vella covers differ from traditional ones, they require a special approach. You can read more about Kindle Vella book cover design tips here
Examples of Kindle Vella Cover Design by MiblArt
3.Choose tags wisely
Kindle Vella gives you 7 tags to describe your story. Choose them carefully, prioritizing ones that are specific to your story. Don’t try to falsely advertise with tags: ensure they give a promise your story can fulfill.
4.Write proper description
Vella story description is a short paragraph that summarizes your story. Better end a description with a hook so readers are eager to learn what’s there, just a single click away.
5.Stay consistent and publish regularly
Self-Publishing with Dale has an interesting interview with Kindle Vella Principal Product Manager, Virginia Milner.
In this interview, Virginia said that more consistent authors will be more likely to get special Vella bonuses and that frequency and regularity are important for getting high placements on the Vella marketplace. She also mentions that the best results are seen by authors who publish once or twice a week.
6.Utilize author notes
Author notes in Kindle Vella are small extra fields at the end of each episode that you can use to address your audience. According to Virginia Milner, “readers love them.”
You can use author notes to share your enthusiasm, tease the next episode, share some background, or encourage your audience to interact with the story. (You can also use author notes to ask for crowns, thumbs up, reviews, and follows.)
Proper usage of author notes will help you drive engagement up and connect with the audience better.
As Audrey Carlan — the author of the successful Kindle Vella series The Marriage Auction — puts it, “Publishing on Vella is absolutely a commitment. And it’s a challenge because you have to have ready content… But once you get the hang of it, it’s kind of exciting.”
So, we wish you to get the hang of it quickly. Kindle Vella marketing can be a grind, but if you put your head and heart to it, you’ll see the results of your efforts. Good luck and have fun!