Author Stephanie A. Daniels Part 2

Good morning! Last week, author Stephanie Daniels talked about the Kindle Vella Library. I’m excited about this new platform because it’s another way to share Christian fiction. Want to know more and how you can access new stories? Let’s get started.


Despite its name, you can’t actually read Kindle Vella stories on your Kindle. Bummer, I know. On Apple devices, you can read it on the Kindle app or through your web browser. On any other device, you need to access Vella through your web browser (though I think I’ve been told it can be found on the Kindle app on some Android devices).

1) The first three episodes of every Vella story are free to read. But you do need an Amazon account, and Vella will ask you to sign in before you can read stories.

2) Follow stories you enjoy. This does two things: it helps the author’s story to be more visible on the site, and it notifies (on some devices) readers when a new episode releases.

 3) There is a thumbs-up button at the end of each episode. Click it, so it turns blue (if you liked it) and it will tell the author you enjoyed what you read. There will be a thumbs-up button at the end of EVERY episode. Clicking that each time (if you enjoyed it) can really help the author.

 4) First-time readers on Vella will be able to redeem 200 free tokens. The key in the corner is where you can redeem them. Those will unlock additional episodes for the stories you enjoy. For my story, in addition to the first free episodes, you can use the free tokens to unlock the next ten. That means you can read thirteen episodes without spending any money.

5) Tokens: The number of tokens needed per episode is based on 1/100 of the word count. Most of my episodes cost between 20-27 tokens because my episodes are usually between 2000 to 2700 words long. Amazon always gives you a greater value the more you spend. Depending on how much you plan to read on Vella, purchasing more tokens at the outset is often the best way to get the most for your money.

Story Link

I will be releasing at least 52 episodes (possibly a few more, and not likely more than 60). So 30-40 episodes in addition to the 20 already posted. If readers purchase the 1100 tokens for $9.99 and use those exclusively on my story, then that will purchase (using a 30 token average) about 36 episodes in addition to the 13 free episodes. But that’s a high average which also means readers will likely have leftover tokens to check out other stories if they so choose. If this were in book form, that would be a 350+ page book. And the bonus with Vella is getting to read all my behind-the-scenes author notes.

6) Crowns/Faves: This feature will not work while redeeming free tokens. After you’ve purchased tokens, Vella will ask you each week which story is your favorite. You must be following a story to pick it as a fave/favorite. Stories that have the most votes as a favorite are awarded a crown. Vella ranks the top 250 stories so readers can see which stories are the most popular. Fave votes expire on Saturday, so if you don’t choose a favorite story before then, it expires, and you must wait to vote again when the next week starts. There are thousands of stories on the platform right now, and the search feature is still unreliable, so every bit of notice a Christian story can get by being voted a favorite and receiving a crown from Amazon helps others to find it.

7) Reviews: Just like for books, you can leave a review for a story—even before the story is completed if you so choose.

8) Share: As with anything online these days, Vella allows you to share the story link to Facebook, Twitter, or in an email. You can also copy and paste the link to other places.


Thank you for that reader information, Stephanie. Now, would you explain to the authors about posting and payment?

When to Post

There are two options for authors. Completed stories and ongoing. This means an author can post all their episodes at once or post them one episode at a time. Technically, my story is complete, but I’ve opted to post an episode at a time to incorporate feedback from my critique partners as I go along.

Authors decide how often to release an episode. Some release episodes daily, weekly, or less often. Amazon reviews each episode for up to 72 hours before allowing the episode to go live. They may or may not always take the full 72 hours.

There is a scheduling function that allows you to schedule your episodes ahead. You decide which day of the week you’d prefer to release. I post earlier in the week because readers have until Saturday to vote for a favorite, giving them several days to read before deciding on a story to vote for. Others strategize that later in the week is a better time to post because the story is fresh in their minds.

Caution: You can’t put a previously published work on Vella. Even if it’s a story you’ve been putting on your blog. If it’s been released for public access, Amazon may not catch on right away, but they’ll discover it eventually and block it.

How to Post

First, I would advise that if you plan to traditionally publish, that you think carefully about publishing on Kindle Vella. It is a paid platform, so it could reduce your chances to get a publishing contract elsewhere.

Otherwise, this link at KDP Publishing gives great step-by-step instructions on how you can start a story there. And I am always happy to answer any questions any readers or writers might have. I don’t consider myself a tech wizard, but I didn’t have a great deal of problems getting started.

Another thing that will take getting used to is that Kindle Vella stories are not formatted like regular books. They don’t indent paragraphs and only allow regular, bold, or italic font. No pretty scene breaks here. The standard *** or — will have to suffice, although I have seen a few stories that used special characters that they were able to import. Make a change in your story along the way? You can edit any episode that has gone live or is in draft. But any changes will have to be reviewed. The episode in its current state will still be able to be read as is until the changes are accepted.


This is the difficult part to break down and is also explained better in the link above. Some of this is time-sensitive because, at the time of this post, Amazon is paying Kindle Vella authors for any free tokens redeemed on their stories. But they’ve said only until this December. Whether that means the free tokens will only be available for that long, or that Amazon will only pay authors for the free tokens until then, I can’t say.

Royalties are based on about half of what an episode costs in tokens. But there are other variables that factor in. Amazon also awards bonuses that seem to be based on the number of story followers, liked episodes, the featured banner, featured on tags, and being on the faves. The higher the visibility it seems, the bigger the bonuses.

Reports for earnings have released on the 15th of the month, and payment at the end of the month, but 60 days from your posting month. So if you start a story in October, it will be December before you’re paid. I believe it is on the same schedule as their other KDP payments. I want to again say, I’m happy to answer any questions about this new platform. I’ll be checking the comments for any questions.

Thank you, Stephanie, for all your hard work!

So, what do you think about the new Vella? Yay or nay? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Stephanie Daniels is a Christian homeschool mom and author who writes faith-filled historical fiction for young adults and the young at heart. She lives in southwest Missouri with her husband and three sons. Her first published work, The Uncertainty of Fire, is available exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle Vella. 

Amazon FaceBook Page



Author Stephanie A. Daniels

Good morning! Please give a warm welcome to author Stephanie A. Daniels.

Thank you for joining me, Stephanie. Tell us about yourself.

Who Am I

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Gail. Your posts have been a real blessing to me.

I am a Christian, a wife to a former Chicago police officer, and homeschool mom to three almost grown boys. We make our home in Southwest Missouri now, but my husband is a native Chicagoan and all three of my sons were born there. I write Christian historical fiction (usually with romance) for young adults and the young at heart.

I love The Uncertainty of Fire. Where did you get the idea?  

What’s My Story?

I’m so happy that you are enjoying this story.

The idea for The Uncertainty of Fire started over ten years ago. I used to be a counselor in our church youth group, and I was often surprised by how often Christian young ladies made life choices that contradicted the Bible. But when I reflect upon my own teen years, I realize I didn’t always make the best choices either. They weren’t always evil or sinful. But they weren’t Scripture or Spirit-led. They weren’t decisions I’d prayed about. God used those ponderings to create a main character who loves Him but doesn’t always trust Him as she should. She often makes decisions independent of His Word. And aren’t we all guilty of that from time to time?

What problems did you run into with the research?

Oh, research! It’s never-ending really, and I’m still finding out new things. One of the challenges of historical fiction is that you can’t hurry up a real event. You must work within those time constraints. When I first started this story so long ago, I’d read a lot about the Great Conflagration. But somewhere over time, I’d managed to muddle some of the timeline. That became a problem as I unraveled some plot points. Lots of things have had to change. I also had an interesting contradiction in my research concerning the Palmer House Hotel. But that might be a little lengthy to go into here. I do summarize my findings in the Author’s Note at the end of Episode 1.

Why did you become an indie author? Why Vella instead of a traditional paperback or e-book?

Becoming an indie author came as a complete surprise. It was never the path I saw for myself.  I’d submitted this book for a publisher last year, received excellent feedback and was even invited to resubmit it after so many months. But critique from different circles became difficult to filter through. I was soon overwhelmed by how to get it ready to resubmit. Life became a bit of a spinning hamster wheel as I attempted to balance getting this story where it needed to be, with all my other responsibilities. It was exhausting. A few other details persuaded me that the traditional publishing path was no longer for me. At first, I’d argued with God about the traditional publishing door still being open, but God nudged me away and when I surrendered to go indie, I was (and still am) completely at peace. God allowed me to befriend many independent publishing friends over the past few years. I believe it’s what God had wanted for me all along, but He was preparing the working relationships I would need to be successful. And setting up the platform that would allow me to publish for the first time.

Which is what leads to why I chose (or why I felt led) to Kindle Vella. The length of this story made it a good candidate for episodic storytelling. Young people are more apt to read on their phones or in a browser and I think more people will be reading like this in the future. Also, Vella gives me the option of leaving the story on the site and publishing it as an e-book and paperback in the future. So, while I work on the next steps, I’m gaining visibility and maybe even reaching a wider audience.

Where to Find My Story

I’m hearing a lot about the new Kindle Vella Library. It’s a great way to meet new authors and read serialized stories. Tell us what you’ve learned about Vella, and how we can read your story?

I have really enjoyed meeting other authors who’ve published there, and I’m excited to see that there are at least 80 Christian stories already posted. Not everyone is interested in reading in piecemeal or waiting for the next episode to release (there are already completed stories available too). But it’s a great option for reluctant readers, or avid reading high schoolers, (and adults) who are involved in many different activities but don’t have time to read a whole book. We always have our phones with us now and since every story on Vella lets you read the first three episodes for free, it might be just enough time to sample a story and decide if it’s one you want to follow and read more of.

If so, in your browser go to Readers can search for The Uncertainty of Fire while there, but the search feature lately has been undependable. Amazon is still working out some of the bugs for this new platform. The direct link to my story is

Thanks again for sharing your story, Stephanie. Readers, join us next week when Stephanie will share more about Vella.

Learn more

Stephanie Daniels is a Christian homeschool mom and author who writes faith-filled historical fiction for young adults and the young at heart. She lives in southwest Missouri with her husband and three sons. Her first published work, The Uncertainty of Fire, is available exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle Vella. 

Connect with Stephanie here:

Amazon Story


Facebook Author Page