The Role of Luck (dumb or otherwise)

This post is inspired by an author’s post in one of the many Kindle Vella groups I frequent on Facebook. This author was lamenting the fact she had few reads of her newly posted serial on Amazon’s Kindle Vella platform. She said she had been told by family and friends she is a “good writer,” and was disappointed that readers had not found her serial.

“Good” is relative. As both an avid reader and writer publishing my serial fiction series on Kindle Vella, I am always amazed at what catches on and what is left relatively alone. Certainly, those authors who were already established on other platforms or had been publishing for several years have the advantage of name recognition. Many brought their readers over to Kindle Vella with them from their other endeavors. But there are some authors, new to publishing on any platform, who are drawing in readers in droves and paying their bills with their craft. (Something I aspire to.)

What sets those authors who are killing it apart from those who are not are a combination of things; chosen genre—and it appears the paranormal sells along with spicy romance, length of episodes—smaller word and token counts appear to be key to keeping the unlocks coming, promotion—some authors put out several ads a day, skill at their craft, and a good dose of luck.

I, too, have been told I am a good writer, and I’ve generated consistent reads for my “An Operator’s Daughter” series since it debuted a year ago in July. I am grateful to those who have unlocked episodes and come to know my characters—from an amazing fan who has posted reviews that touched my heart, to my immediate family, and especially to my fellow Kindle Vella authors for their support.

During the week of October 5th through 11th, 2022, Kindle Vella will allow readers with an Amazon Prime account or those who have made purchases of $50 or more to read from the Kindle Vella platform for free—up to 100 episodes each day! I would be honored if you would spend your time unlocking episodes of my series. The links are below.

Thank you for your support!



https://www.amazon.com/author/laurie_anne_brandon

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Spooktacular Reads

The Kindle Vella serial fiction site offers authors an opportunity to publish their stories an episode at a time. It is also an incredibly supportive community of writers and in this post, I want to share three of the Vellas that fit the season best.

Young Adult Category

Kim Riehle’s The Sliders Series

Sabrina, Josh, Emma, and Zack… The accident changed everything. Their world was being torn between two realities with no way to control sliding away from life at home. How could they decide who should live and who would be abandoned to death? The bonds of friendship may not be enough to keep everyone alive.

Imagine entry into a parallel world you didn’t know existed and you cannot control when you’ll be in one realm over another? After an accident, high school friends find themselves caught between their usual present school situation and survival in a feudalistic society. Riehle’s characters draw in to their upended lives and you find yourself sliding into their universe willingly; but will you, and then, immerge unscathed.


If you loved “The Office” or “Office Space” this one is for you!

Hunter Chadwick’s DDD Inc.

Welcome to the Agency! What do they do? That’s the wrong question. What don’t they do? They make sure everything is the way it is supposed to be. Kerry Chase had no idea what he was getting into when he signs a binding NDA and contract with The Agency. Now, is there any way out?

Have you ever wondered just who is monitoring your clicks on a keyboard, tracking your web browsing, or monitoring your online shopping habits? It is all happening, whether you want to consider it or not. DDD Inc. will have you wondering about the lives of those tasked with keeping track of you in this conspiracy thriller.


The town you don’t want to run out of gas in!

Kell Frillman’s Beechwood

A prison disguised as an isolated town hides away the victims of neurological enhancements. The residents have the ability to control and influence the environment around them, but someone far more nefarious than them is in control and he has dark plans for the future. As a sacrificial murder causes the layers of perplexity to unfold, secrets beyond what goes on in The Tower begin to reveal themselves. In Beechwood, everyone has something to hide, and everyone is a suspect.

As a little girl, I remember driving through Southern Utah with my parents and their dark humor related to the downwinders of the nuclear test sites (really nothing to joke about; do they really glow in the dark?) When I began keeping up with Beechwood, these towns immediately came to mind, but Frillman’s take on a place inhabited by those who are the experimenters and experimented upon takes it to a whole new level of psychological thriller. I find myself rooting for those are out to solve the mysterious death that begins the series, and the mysterious sixes, but fear those running the show just may triumph in the end.


Fear: that paralyzing feeling that keeps one from taking a step forward

The other day, an acquaintance stopped me while I was making a dash to my car to tell me they had been reading my series on Kindle Vella. I thanked her for her support, then allowed her, and myself, to get on our ways home.

I really wanted to say, “Thank you, but I haven’t seen any reads of my episodes for today, or this week.” I can check the tallies of my reads from my cellphone, and actually, do so often.

I wanted to ask, “Who is your favorite character?” or “What has been your favorite plot twist?”

Fear kept me from saying anything of the sort.

Yes, I’m grateful for the support, but please, don’t tell me you are reading when you are not.

As my character, Ashton Grace McAllister Maguire has grown up, she’s become better at advocating for herself. She won’t be victim again, although I do put her into some circumstances where she has to use her smarts and skills to find her way through them. I wish I could follow her lead.

Fear, that feeling that paralyzes us, keeping us from moving forward, keeping us from advocating for ourselves; yes, on this front, I am still a work in progress.


https://www.amazon.com/author/laurie_anne_brandon

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Ready for a summer romance?

Have you tried Kindle Vella? The first three episodes are free, and Amazon will give readers new to the platform 200 free (or sometimes 500 or even 1,000) tokens to keep reading.


https://books.bookfunnel.com/summerromancevellas/x0e20sp16u

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“Mrs. Maguire” is now live on Kindle Vella

The fourth part to my series, “An Operator’s Daughter” is now live on Kindle Vella.

The first three episodes are free. After that, my goal is to keep tokens per episode between six and 15 going forward with new episodes published on Sundays, Tuesday, and Fridays going forward.


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Coming Soon!


If all goes well, Part IV of “An Operator’s Daughter” will go live on Friday, August 12, 2022. Look for new episodes on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.

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Hot night, can’t sleep?

Enjoy these Kindle Vella titles during those hot August nights.

On Kindle Vella, the first three episodes are always free. New to Kindle Vella, Amazon will gift you 200 free tokens to keep reading (and sometimes 500 or even a 1,000!)

https://books.bookfunnel.com/allkindlevellas/fjhk0x4p7j


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More about my characters: the CATS

Felines have been a large part of my life. Since right before my husband and I were married, we’ve been blessed to always have a tuxedo cat (or four) sharing our lives.

Our first, Horatio Roo, was somewhere between four and six weeks when he was pulled from a litter of feral kittens and throughout his life, he would nurse on my fingers or thumb as he would fall asleep at night. He didn’t see himself as a “cat” and accompanied me everywhere, including to work at a local Seattle television station some evenings.

Because our cats have brought such joy to our lives, I’ve paid tribute to their calming presence and rambunctious spirits by adding them as characters within “The Operator’s Daughter” series.

Henrik as a kitten

“Bond” is mentioned in Ashton’s mother’s journals–“a left behind” cat by a former resident of the home shared by LT Gracelynn Wright and CPT Charlotte Lewis. When Charlotte took occupancy of the base-housing bungalow, she found a bag of cat crunchies and a water fountain for him to drink from–as we have found out our kitties over the years prefer drinking from running water. (An Operator’s Daughter – part I.) “Bond” is a smoothie tuxedo, and in my mind he resembles our current kitty boy, Henrik–our “lap leopard.”

As I am drafting out episodes of “An Operator’s Daughter – part IV”, “Orion” will make an appearance as Ashton’s emotional support animal. He is a six-toed Hemingway Maine Coon – greatly resembling the tuxedo Maine Coon who shared our home until just a few years ago. Niko, who was not a polydactyl cat, was the most gentle of our kitties, the largest in size and in the capacity of his heart for us and our other cats. We miss him a great deal.

Niko as a kitten with his big sis Tilda

https://www.amazon.com/author/laurie_anne_brandonhttps://www.amazon.com/author/laurie_anne_brandon

Check our my author page on Amazon at the link above!


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More about my characters: Marcus Davis

It will take until Part III in my “An Operator’s Daughter” series to learn Marcus’s last name, but that is because I wanted everyone to see themselves within this amazing young man who is Ashton’s “bestie” through tough and better times.

Ashton meets Marcus when he’s assigned the role of showing her around the high school the first day she attends classes. He goes about this job with so much enthusiasm, that Ashton doesn’t quite know what to make of him. He wins her over quickly with his welcoming smile, solid advice, and loyalty.

Many high schools have opportunities for students to serve as ambassadors. In some schools this is a club one joins, and in others, it is a selection process based upon teacher recommendation, scholarship and volunteer hours. In Marcus’s case, he applied for the opportunity, and was selected because he is a solid student, willingly gives his time to make the school’s drama productions a success, and applied to be on the school’s yearbook staff–a class where he earns credit, but it will become a full-time job for him despite working afterschool and weekends at his parents’ sub sandwich shop.

Marcus aspires to sing in the school’s elect choir ensemble group and also to be selected for starring roles in the school’s drama productions–especially the musicals. He was disappointed he did not make either during his junior year in high school, but he keeps trying.

Although his parents have high expectations for him to take his education seriously, they are not of the “helicopter variety”. As busy business owners, they leave Marcus to make things happen on his own, while other students’ parents are pushy, or donate the cash, to procure plum roles or selection into elite performance groups for their sons and daughters. Heart and talent do not always equal opportunity in a suburban public high school; a lesson Marcus will come to learn from experience.

To learn more about Marcus, and his friendship with Ashton McAllister, start with “An Operator’s Daughter – Part I” on Kindle Vella where the first three episodes are free, and Amazon will give readers new to this platform another 200 free tokens to keep reading. Marcus will also make appearances in Parts II and III, and even in Part IV–currently in development.

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