How this woman spearheaded Amazon’s Kindle Vella platform by providing new opportunities for independent authors

Virginia Milner, Senior Product Manager for Kindle Direct Publishing and Head of Kindle Vella, has changed the creative landscape for writers. In an ever-changing technological world, there are many platforms that help artists generate income. But what about the quality of the content for users? When designing Amazon’s latest Creator Platform, Milner kept the reader’s perspective at the forefront to deliver a more engaging experience. As a result, Kindle Vella was launched as a new reading format for serial stories.

“Customers have told us they are interested in shorter reading experiences, content they can read quickly, and more in-between moments in their day,” says Milner. “They really enjoyed having a connection to a longer story or feeling a connection to an author that you get from reading a series. So the idea for Kindle Vella was basically to combine those two things and create a product where writers could tell stories one short clip at a time, but the reader could follow the story as it was told for. weeks, months, even years. As a result, reuniting with their favorite characters is almost part of their daily routine. “

Milner started his career in the tech industry on the public relations side. The company she worked for represented startups. She soon realized that product management intrigued her more than producing press releases. After speaking with mentors, she decided to go back to graduate school.

“For me, the moment was really when I realized what the future opportunities or paths would be for me if I didn’t,” says Milner. “I was looking at the opportunity cost of going back to school versus the options that would be available to me if I didn’t. I could see very clearly a career path in public relations or a pivot to a larger marketing role. But I knew my passion was really to be able to create something and build something. … There were a lot of things I needed to learn to take that first step and also tools that I was going to need to grow into another career as a product manager, ultimately to the head of a technology team or the head of a technology company.

After graduation, she joined Amazon as a product manager, helping independent brands grow their businesses by selling merchandise on the platform. Then, four years ago, she moved to the Kindle Direct Publishing team.

“Both my parents are authors,” she smiles. “I’ve seen them spend many hours trying to get their work published. The very idea that an author could just spend their time writing and then publishing and immediately making their book or work available to all Amazon customers is so powerful and very inspiring to me.

When Milner witnessed how customers consumed content and began to understand their needs, the idea for Kindle Vella blossomed. She envisioned how a new platform could change the landscape for freelance writers. Kindle Vella allows authors to continue their content but not necessarily in the long format required on other platforms. For example, authors can produce a prologue in Kindle Vella for books they have previously published, or write a story based on one of their supporting characters.

Milner and his team also found ways for the author to engage directly with the reader. At the end of each episode, writers can leave an author note explaining the process or excitement for the chapter. It allows the reader to go behind the scenes with their favorite writers. Since launch, thousands of writers have posted thousands of stories, totaling tens of thousands of episodes.

“It was a product manager’s dream,” says Milner. “At Amazon, we have this culture where we write a press release at the start of a project for what our vision for the product is when we finish it, and we’re ready to release it to customers. So I worked on Kindle Vella from the start, wrote this original press release, and then launched it a few months ago. So it was the full end-to-end experience of creating the vision, building a team, working with the team to build the original vision, and then launching it. “

As Milner continues to evolve her career and change the landscape of freelance authoring, she focuses on the following essential steps:

  • Ask for help. People want to help you, but they don’t know what you need. Asking for what you need makes the road to success shorter and faster.
  • Don’t let fear cripple you. Instead, use it as motivation to propel yourself forward.
  • Prioritize your time ruthlessly. Recognize that you can’t do it all on your own. Spend time on things that really matter and will make a difference in achieving your overall goal.

“It’s nice to know that what you’re doing right now may not be your long-term goal,” Milner concludes. “Just be open and look for new opportunities. “

Source link

About Karren Campbell

Check Also

Richard King, Montreal writer and broadcaster, has passed away

Montreal novelist, entrepreneur and book critic Richard King died on Sunday. King brought his unbridled …