Amazon is launching the Kindle Vella, giving users serialised stories in a mobile-first interactive reading experience.
Since its hinted release, people have been excited about the new Kindle Vella, Amazon’s latest update to the Kindle family since the Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019 model).
Read on to find out what the Kindle Vella is and where you can access it.
How can I access Kindle Vella?
Despite what the name might suggest, you can’t access Kindle Vella on Amazon’s Kindle e-readers, instead, you’ll have to go to the Amazon website or download the Kindle app, which is currently only available on iOS.
You will also need to make sure you’re US-bound, as currently the only way to be a reader or writer on the platform is if you live in the United States.
How does Kindle Vella work?
Kindle Vella is a platform for both readers and authors. It gives authors the chance to publish their stories and earn a small commission, and it gives readers the ability to search for stories through the broad tagging system.
Stories on Kindle Vella are between 600 to 5,000 words, with the first three ‘episodes’ of a story being free to access by the readers. If you want to keep reading, you will have to invest in Tokens, which are used to purchase and unlock subsequent episodes in a story.
Tokens can be purchased both on the Amazon US website, or in the Kindle iOS app. They can be bought in bundles ranging from US$2(~SGD $2.71) for 200 to US$15(~SGD $20.32) for 1,700 tokens.
The bigger bundles should give you about 34 episodes, though as a general rule of thumb, the more words you want to read, the more money you’ll have to spend.
The authors will receive 50% of the revenue, with bonuses based on engagement, which is determined using the platform’s social media-style features.
The social media elements include the ability to follow a Kindle Vella story, leave a Thumbs Up on any episodes and Share stories through Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels to help promote a story.
Readers who purchase Tokens will also be able to grant a Fave to the story they enjoyed most that week. Stories that receive the most Faves will be featured in the Kindle Vella store to help promote the platforms most popular stories.
Amazon claims that there are thousands of stories available on the platform right now, with more stories and episodes being added every day, and with the detailed tagging system it seems that this platform should have something for everyone.
However, for reading purposes, most readers are opting for Amazon Kindle instead, as they uses an eInk display which does not emit harmful blue rays. It reduces reading fatigue in the short run and protects your eyes in the long run too.
How do eReaders work?
There are generally two main display technologies used by computer screens, smartphones, tablets and eReaders and these are:
- liquid crystal display (LCD)
- electronic ink (E-ink)
LCD displays or “emissive displays” work by emitting light through the display towards your eyes.
E-ink displays are referred to as “reflective displays”. In E-ink displays, no backlight is used. The LEDs (light emitting diodes) diffuse the light evenly across the front of the screen. The built in LED lights shine evenly onto the page rather than into your eyes as most smartphones and tablet screens do.
The E-ink display closely mimics the appearance of ink on printed paper and studies have shown that it can reduce the problem of eye strain.
3 Amazon Kindle models, namely Kindle Basic, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis
Amazon currently offers three models: the All-new Kindle, All-new Kindle Paperwhite, and All-new Kindle Oasis. As their names make clear, they’ve all been recently updated with new and improved features.
In some ways, they are more similar than ever. Thanks to the addition of a front-lit display to the entry-level Kindle, all three of Amazon’s e-readers can be read comfortably in any light. All three can be used with a Kindle Unlimited or Audible subscription.
Display: How big and bright you want your display
The display is an expensive component, and you'll get what you pay for. All three Kindles use E Ink Carta display technology, which attempts to mimic the look of a printed page.
The differences are in resolution and brightness. The All-new Kindle boasts a 6-inch, 167 ppi (pixels per inch), 4-LED display. The Kindle Paperwhite also has a 6-inch display but increases the brightness with 5 LEDs, and increases the resolution to 300 ppi. The Kindle Oasis has a 7-inch display with a 300-ppi resolution and a whopping 25 LEDs, whose shade can be adjusted from white light to a warm amber.
Both the Paperwhite and Oasis displays are flush with the front of the device, while the All-new Kindle’s display is slightly recessed from the bezels.
Water resistance: Not all models
The All-new Kindle is not water-resistant. The Paperwhite and Oasis are IPX8-rated to withstand submersion in two meters of water for up to an hour at a time.
Problems of reading from tablets or traditional books
- Harmful blue rays from tablets, damaging to eyes in the long run
- Tablet batteries run out pretty fast
- Traditional books are big and bulky, takes up spaces
How Amazon Kindle solves these problems
- Enjoy reading with unique eink display with zero harmful blue rays
- Paper-like display and 1-3 weeks battery life
- Read anywhere with 3000 to 6000 ebooks in 1 compact ereader
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