Pulps are Back!

Someday this summer, Amazon will unveil Vella, a new method of reading Amazon stories. Readers can read the first three episodes of any story for free, and then pay per episode after. Each episode is designed to be a short bite of each story, between 500 and 5000 words. That breaks down to between a page and ten pages per episode, roughly.

I’ve decided to put a few stories on there that will be available when Vella goes live for readers. (Current rumor is that Vella will be promoted on Prime Day, on June 21, but that’s only a rumor.)

What kind of stories await?

Well, I figured that old pulp was basically designed for this kind of storytelling, so I followed that route.

First, we have Doc Passion and the Floating City. Doc’s experiment went wild and destroyed his orbiting space station… again. But when he and his assistant Brunt are rescued by a mysterious utopia floating on the edge of space, they know there’s something more going on! Join the adventure as the Doc, passionate for science, and Brunt, his long-suffering assistant, discover the terrible secret of the floating city and topple its nefarious master!

Then I’m co-writing an entry with my friend Nathaniel J. Peters titled Dinos of the Old West. Cowboys and carnosaurs. Stetsons and stegosaurs. Deputies and dinosaurs. That’s right, folks. What would make the wild west wilder? Dinosaurs. Follow the Sheriff of Golconda as he deals with raptor gangs, triceratops thieves, and a galloping gallimimus or two. Welcome to a Wilder Wild West.

Doc Passion is already complete at 14 episodes. It’s a wild science fiction ride with as many crazy ideas as I could pack into it.

Dinos of the Old West will be a continuing story organized into seasons. It’s sitting at 11 episodes at the moment, though that’s only a quarter of the way through the first season.

And this is one of the benefits of Vella. It’s designed for continuing stories. Nathaniel and I have plotted out the first season and have some solid ideas of what happens in season 2. Our plan is to have those 11 episodes up at Vella’s launch, and then put up an additional episode every week. That posting schedule may well change, depending how many people are reading and our personal schedules, of course.

And that’s also one of the benefits of writing in a pulp style. Those stories were intended to be read over the course of several months, with the action pulling readers along. Many of the stories hinged on over-the-top action and boundless creativity. I’m hoping these stories match that spirit.

Whenever Vella goes live, I’ll be letting you know here and posting links to the stories. If the format sounds good to you, make sure you check it out!

A New Platform…?

Amazon is debuting a new program: Vella. It’s not yet open to readers. Instead, Amazon is focusing on writers so there’s product there for readers to, you know, read when the program opens up.

If you didn’t click the link, the basic idea is that on Vella, authors will post episodic fiction. Each episode will be 600-5000 words, and the stories will be formatted to be read on mobile devices. The first three episodes of each story will be free, and then reader may purchase tokens to unlock each next episode.

Honestly, I think it’s a neat concept, and apparently there are several sites already that make the idea work. For me it has the feel of the old pulp serials which I still enjoy.

But now comes the question for me as an author: Should I put effort into a new, untried platform?

Amazon is being relatively up-front about what an author can expect to receive for each read-through. The pay is comparable to those other sites. The rules about posting make sense to me. I love the idea of serial fiction.

But I’m also working my butt off with other writing projects. This would be adding one more thing. Do I have one more thing in me?

As an author, how do you decide where to put your effort?

Continue reading “A New Platform…?”