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?

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The Ego Shelf Grows

Sometimes I just need to stare at it. It doesn’t feel real, you know?

But it is.

Look at it. That’s my ego shelf.

I didn’t come up with that title. I don’t remember where I first saw it, so don’t give me any credit. I’m not taking it! An ego shelf is the place where a writer can put all his or her published fiction. And that’s mine. Nearly all those books are anthologies. I’ve got at least one story in each of those. The last two little books are novels that my wife edited, so they belong on our family ego shelf. (Also, check out H. K. Devonshire’s work if you’re into westerns or good science fiction!)

And that last big, thick book… that’s The Keeper of Tales.

It comes out Monday, available for order in physical copies, as well as for download onto your Kindle. You should check it out. It’s a story about stories. Tales are alive. They will be told. There’s a great review right here.

But here’s the funny thing:

I’m not content.

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Giving Up

What are your priorities?

I’ve got about sixty-seven things that come to the top of my list. I’ve got spending time in the Bible, spending time with my family, making waffles, serving my congregation (especially since I’m a pastor!), reading, keeping on top of my weekly comics purchases, writing, professional growth, making sure the house doesn’t burn down, summoning an ancient alien entity to run a restaurant…

One of those might be fake.

When you’re young, you think you can do all of that. At least I did. I’ve learned, though, that it’s just not going to happen. Wednesday a friend recommended a book I should read. I believe him when he says I’d enjoy it. I just can’t read everything that everyone recommends, though. Not if I’m going to keep on top of my other priorities.

Some things are non-negotiable. Spending time with God and with my family can’t change.

Others change with the seasons. Serving my congregation as a pastor can take a lot of time or a lot more time.

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