Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Three Days

The World Needs More Blogs, Right?

Because I'm not busy enough already, I decided to create another blog with Kindle Vella reviews. (Kindle Vella is Amazon's new serial platform.) Here's why:

  1. There's no barrier to keep people from publishing stories to Vella. (Uh, other than if they aren't in the USA. That's true for readers as well. It's an odd choice.) In some ways, that's great! There's nobody enforcing weird standards, like "all stories have to be about white male professors who want to sleep with their young female students". See, that would be literary fiction. (I joke, but there's a reason that's funny.)

    However... There's also nobody enforcing any standards at all. What makes a story good is subjective, but there are a lot of unedited stories with four episodes that were abandoned by their authors when they realized that writing can be hard work and doesn't instantly result in a big audience.

  2. The Kindle Vella user interface is -- and I say this as a former professional software developer -- complete crap. Once you find a story you want to read, it's fine. But the search functionality is really limited, and there's no way to sort the results. There's also no way to know if the story is completed. Or limit the results to ones that have had new episodes loaded in the last month. It's really, really bad.

  3. Amazon is "featuring" some stories, but the criteria for that is completely unknown. And readers can like and follow stories once they find them, but in reality, unless you're looking for romance, good luck. There are so many more romance readers out there that anything with romance will rise to the top. And there's no way to search for something that isn't tagged romance. (See reason 2, the interface sucks)
So I decided to create a blog where each day I highlight a story that passes a minimum bar. I've read one or two episodes and the writing doesn't doesn't suck and there's a plot that seems to be going places. That's all I'm promising.

I Had Really Good Intentions!

I lasted a whole three days before I added the snarky section to each review complaining about all the ones I didn't review that day. Part of the problem is I'm making an effort to stay away from the ones that already have a following -- they don't need a boost. But there are times when I go through ten potentials before I find one that is good enough to recommend.

So... Have I sold you on Kindle Vella yet? The good news is there are some great stories out there if you can find them. And the format lends itself well to reading a bit while waiting in line or waiting for your dinner to cook. The first three episodes are always free, and Amazon is still giving each reader 200 free tokens (I think).

Self-promotion Time!

In case you want to check one out to see what the platform is all about, here's mine:

Dragon Freehold by T.M. Baumgartner. Image shows a woman in a mask with swords in front of purple fog
Dragon Freehold

In the shipping port of Harbor Crag, dragon magic protects the city, and the greedy duke controls the dragons.
Lisette climbs the tower with a perfect plan — steal the duke’s money to pay her shop’s taxes. But a second thief complicates everything, plunging her into the dragon’s den.
Bargaining with the dragon could end Lisette’s life, or save them all.
As Lisette races to finish her quest, she gets unexpected help from the mysterious thief. If you love dazzling adventure with a hint of romance, get the next episode of Dragon Freehold.

And Now The Content You've Been Waiting For!

Georgie has no time for badly written serials