How to read Amazon Kindle Vella

Amazon Kindle Vella
(Image credit: Amazon)

Quick steps

  • Download the Kindle smartphone app, or find the Vella website
  • Find stories you want to read
  • Buy tokens to read more stories

If you like reading stories online, you should know how to read Kindle Vella, as Amazon's serialized short story platform has proven quite popular.

However, as well as being popular, Kindle Vella can be a little bit complicated if you don't know exactly how it works. That's why we've written this guide on how to read stories using Vella.

Tools and Requirements

  • A PC, or Android or iOS smartphone
  • You'll have to pay for services
  • You need to be US-based

Amazon Kindle Vella

(Image credit: Amazon)


  • To access Kindle Vella, you'll need to have a PC or an iOS or Android smartphone, and will need to be based in the US. Vella doesn't work on Kindle ereaders.
  • If you're a PC user, you'll need to head over to the Vella section of the Amazon online store which you can find here.
  • If you're on a smartphone, head over to the Play Store or App Store and download the Kindle app - it's literally just called that, 'Kindle'.

Amazon Kindle Vella

The Amazon Kindle Vella home screen on a PC. Not the selection filters. (Image credit: Future)

  • You can use the browser to find a new story you want to read. Filtering tools will help you narrow down the daunting list of titles. Maybe check out some forums around the web to find suggestions, too.
  • Once you've found a story you want to check out, you can read the first chapter for free by pressing Read episode 1.
  • If you want to read more, you'll need to buy tokens. You can do this by just trying to check out a new chapter - Vella will readily prompt you to buy its digital currency. There are a few different options for how many you'll purchase. If you're in Vella for the long haul, you should buy more, because they cost less when bought in bulk, but if you're just dipping your toes in then perhaps buy fewer.
  • Once you've bought tokens you can spend them on further chapters - the price will depend on the word count per chapter. Simply try to read and you'll be prompted to spend the currency on more text. It's pretty easy to follow.

Final thoughts

Amazon Kindle Vella is a great service for aspiring authors, as you can test out the popularity of a story without having to commit to hundreds or thousands of writing hours on a tale that doesn't resonate with people.

It's just a shame that Vella is a little hard to use. Also, since it's not available on Kindles themselves, and can only be accessed by US authors as well as US readers, the number of people using the service is pretty low.

But sooner or later, to keep the reader count high, Amazon will have to open the doors to more users.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.