How to Read Faerie Stories on Kindle Vella

Serialized fiction written and released in episodes/chapters that you read on your cell phone is not a new concept. The format is extremely popular in Japan, Korea, and China. In the English-speaking world, this reading style is less mainstream (we tend to prefer buying an entire book at once), but we do have Wattpad, Radish, Tapas, Webnovel, Inkitt, and other sites and apps slowly becoming more popular and known.

In July 2021, Amazon released its new serialized fiction platform, Kindle Vella, for the US serial market.

If you’ve never read on a serialized fiction platform before, the learning curve on Kindle Vella might be a little intimidating. Hence, this blog post where I hope to help you get your feet wet.

One thing I really love about reading novels and webcomics in serialized format is the idea that you only pay for the chapters/episodes you unlock, and there are always ways of getting tokens or coins to unlock segments for free.

If you are the type of person who compulsively finishes reading even the books you hate, then this reading style might not be helpful to you.

But if, like me, you wished there was a way to not pay as much for the books you didn’t finish reading or didn’t enjoy, then this format style is perfect. As a serialized-fiction reader, I also don’t have to pay for scenes I end up skipping if I find the story is moving too slowly or if a scene is too gorey or too intense for my tastes. And if I skip ahead to peek at the story’s direction then realize I don’t like the way the story is going, I’m not penalized in any way.

Unlocking specific chapters/episodes means you won’t be punished as a reader for not enjoying a story.


It also means a writer will be paid for what you do read, which is far more fair to the writer than offering returns and full refunds for books you’ve read.

So, what do you say? Willing to give Kindle Vella a try?

Let’s go!

Step #1: Claim Your Free Tokens

In serialized fiction apps, beginning episodes are free-to-read, and you are gifted free tokens or coins periodically to spend however you wish.

In the case of Kindle Vella, you can read the first 3 episodes of any story for free, and you can claim 200 free tokens as a new reader on the platform.

Episodes vary from 600 to 5,000 words in length. The number of tokens required to unlock an episode depends entirely upon the length of the episode at a rate of 1 token for 100 words. (6 tokens for a 600 word episode, 50 tokens for a 5,000 word length episode, where 5k words is the size of a short story).

200 free tokens will help you unlock 20,000 words of story.

To claim your 200 tokens on Kindle Vella as a new reader, click on the “FREE tokens” text and orange key icon on the upper right hand corner of the Kindle Vella webpage.

Or look for a similar text and icon in the upper right hand corner of the Kindle Vella section within the Kindle reading app on iOS and Android.

This will trigger a confirmation pop-up. From here, click the blue “Claim Tokens” button.

200 tokens will then deposit automatically into your Kindle Vella reader account.

You can then use these tokens to unlock episodes, and you can see how many tokens you have left to spend in the same upper right-hand corner.

Step #2: Read & Unlock Episodes

The first three episodes of any story are free to read. You can read Kindle Vella stories either directly in the Kindle Vella store on your desktop or in the Kindle app on your iOS or Android phone or tablet.

At the moment, you can browse stories by category (such as the Fantasy category), by tag (such as “dark fantasy”), by Top Faved (look for the crown icon), and by stories you follow (a carousel will populate with the stories you click the button to follow). Other carousels of new releases, completed stories, and stories you might enjoy are also available for browsing.

When you find a story whose first episodes that hook you in, you can unlock the next episodes with your new set of tokens.

A pop-up will display when you reach the end of episode 3 asking you to unlock the next episode.

Simply confirm your choice to unlock, and away you go!

When you run out of tokens, you will be asked to purchase more on the website itself. $1.99 will give you another 200 tokens. $4.99 grants you 525 tokens. This amounts to 52,500 more words of story, which with the first 3 free episodes and 200 free tokens gives you a typical full-length novel.

Step #3: Follow, Thumbs Up, Crowns

There are three ways to interact with stories you love.

1) You can follow them. This allows you to get a push notification whenever the author releases a new episode, if enabled, and/or allows you to collect the story to read at a later date.

2) You can “thumbs up” an episode you enjoyed reading. This helps people browsing for new stories see how much readers are enjoying or appreciating the story.

And, 3) after you’ve purchased tokens, you earn the right to “Fave” a story once per week with a crown. The top-most “Fave”d stories are featured in the storefront with a crown above their cover icon.

Step #4: Explore Fae Stories!

As with anything new, the best way to learn is to dive in, get started, and try things out.

Wander over to Kindle Vella and start exploring! Looking to read faerie stories and other tales of the Fae? Try this tag.

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