Amazon has launched a new platform called Kindle Vella. Unlike traditional Kindle eBooks, Vella is a platform for writers and readers to share feedback – one episode at a time.
The Vella platform offers readers the first three episodes for free. To unlock additional episodes requires an investment in tokens, but from what I have seen, Amazon is currently awarding FREE tokens to readers in the early phase of this platform release. And if you need to buy additional tokens they cost less than the price of a beer in a bar, but unlike the beer, these stories stay with you forever.
I was waiting for my cousin in his back yard to go kayaking, lying in his hammock, looking up at a ring around the sun. It was a gorgeous day to be alive…. but what if it were my last?
That is how these stories started. I then started asking friends and family: If this was your last day on Earth, how would you feel? Any regrets? Where do you think you would like to be and with whom? How you go out… is left up to me…….
Having watched both the Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin tourist missions, I think, as a tourist, I would choose Virgin Galactic over Blue Origin for a ride into space; there is just something about the civility of Virgin Galactic’s approach over Blue Origin’s. One thing Branson knows is tourism and entertainment. Taking off and landing at a SPACEPORT, with all the creature comforts, has such an appeal over something that looks vintage Russian (landing in a dirt field). The long term options seem better for Virgin Galactic with an ability to take off and land almost anywhere. I can see high-speed travel and eventually a transport to a Virgin Space Hotel. Blue Origin’s future seems limited.
That said, my bet is on SpaceX for going beyond tourism.
The Amazon Vella platform has been released. This platform brings writers together with their readers, one episode at a time. My collection of shorts is called End Of Days. I was kicking back with a friend and we got to talking about life, and what if it was our last day on Earth. One of my friends is convinced she is going to be taken out by a Walmart truck. That story, The Price Of Always, will be released next week. I would love to hear what your End Of Days would be–who knows, it might appear here.
If you like the story, select it as your FAVE and I will enjoy your feedback.
One of my favorite reads was “THE SPACE TOURIST’S HANDBOOK” by Eric Anderson, who on April 8th, 2001, blasted off in a Soyuz rocket for an eight day ride to the ISS and became the 415 person to enter space and the first person to pay to get there. His account and advice are written in this incredible handbook–– a must read for anyone wanting the see the blue dot from above.
Fortunately, the technology has advanced exponentially since 2001 and going into space with Virgin Galactic makes things a lot easier.
Space X or Blue Origin are said to dominate the Space Tourism Industry, but if you bet on their approach then you will loose.
Understanding Mr. Rubinstein’s philosophy is why Apple dominated the smartphone market and why Microsoft failed.
Would you rather be sitting above a cylinder that is exploding below you for a brain rattling ride straight up into space or take your time to climb to 45,000 ft, then rocket much more smoothly for 40 seconds and glide though space before heading back back down to Earth in comfort? There is one thing Richard Branson understands and that is Tourism. He has brought the future to the present.
Amazon will be introducing a new platform for writers and readers called Kindle Vella. If you are familiar with WattPad, it is very similar, allowing the author to release episodes one at a time, while interacting with their readers. This methodology has proven very effective for new writers on WattPad, including me, but add to this, the robust Kindle authoring platform of Amazon.
The idea is this: The author can release one episode at a time , from 500 – 6,000 words, of a Work In Progress (WIP) and add notes to the end of the episode, facilitating early feedback. The reader gets an early adoption of works by authors they follow. Sounds like a win-win. There is a catch (Being Amazon). The reader can read the first three episodes for free, but to unlock additional episodes, the reader is required to purchase a pack of tokens. The token packs seem pretty incidental
140 tokens (2+ episodes) for $1.99
368 tokens (7+ episodes) for $4.99
770 tokens (15+ episodes) for $9.99
I have not figured out the significance of those numbers, but I’m sure a gazillion was spent on the research of big data and captured user content to arrive at those magic click baits.
There will be an IOS application coming out on Amazon in the upcoming months (as of this writing: 4/21/2021) it is not yet available)
I have already uploaded my first short story (Mylar) under the series title: “End Of Days.” Come back here and look for updates when this becomes available to all.
This is the first story in a series that got me thinking. How would my family and friends feel about their last day on Earth? Would their last day be as complacent and torturous as mine? That I can’t help.. I love a twist to a good ending. Would they be angry or have regrets? Would they feel compassion, love? Would they have a sense of being cheated or fulfilled in life? Could I make this into a series of shorts? So I asked them: Where would you like to be? Who would you like to be with? How do you think you would feel? But there was one catch–– I choose what takes them out.
It seems like only yesterday CURIOSITY landed on Mars, but that took place in 2012, August 6th at 05:17 UTC. I set my alarm and was up at 3:00 AM ET, listening to what seemed a live Sci-Fi broadcast, sitting on the edge of my seat, during the Seven Minutes Of Terror.
But hearing that NASA communication stream of the Curiosity landing was like attending a masterclass of Sci-Fi writing–– a first hand grasp of space chatter and the excitement of the rover descending towards the surface, on its own. This is something every Sci-Fi author has attempted to write.
Looking up into the pink sky at what first appeared to be a meteor entering the atmosphere, we jumped back when a large parachute deployed, slowing what looked like a charred disk beneath it. We watched, trying to make sense of what it was just before a cover jettisoned and the object detached from the chute and began to free-fall in silence towards us. I grabbed the hand of my life mate, turning us on our heels as we began to run, finding cover behind an outcropping. We settled there in the dust and could hear the crackle of rapidly firing thrusters, then nervously peered out at the slowing object and could clearly make out something curled within as it dropped down and dangled from tethers, unfurling as it was lowered onto the surface. The drone above hovered in place, chattering in rapid fire, then the pop of small explosives detached the tethers and the drone arced above and away, crashing into the hills beyond, leaving this alien behind. We watched for some time as it sat motionless, then an arm was raised and perched above it a head that began to rotate in our direction. We ducked out of view, pressing our backs against the jagged wall, breathing rapidly, and having nowhere to go without being seen. We would wait for nightfall and slip away, hoping others have seen this.
Don’t miss the MARS Perseverance landing on February 18th – Show starts at 11:15 a.m. PST / 2:15 p.m. EST / 19:15 UTC