Friday, December 6, 2013

What is Snippet and Why Should You Use It?

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fantasy (Blood of Kings trilogy), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website.

I first heard of Snippet at the marketing retreat my literary agency hosted in Chicago this past November. A few weeks later when the Snippet dashboard opened to writers, Chip MacGregor talked about it again on his blog. I looked it up to see what it was all about. After a few minutes of looking around, I started to get ideas of how I might use it in my writing. But before I invested a lot of hours crafting a short story, I decided to create a Snippet using my Punctuation 101 posts from the Go Teen Writers blog. This seemed like a good way to test the tool with content I'd already written.

What's a Snippet, you ask?

Snippets are sort of like mini ebooks. They're short. Each chapter must be 1000 words or less. They're easy to make and free for authors to create. You simply paste text into the dashboard, format it, and publish. You can also add photos, audio clips, and video to give your Snippet more variety. Snippets work on iphones with the Snippet app. And while they are free for authors to design, they are not free to customers. The author sets the price from .99 to 4.99.

Why are these cool for authors? Because you can sell novellas that promote your books, shortened versions of your book, a companion piece to one of your books, additional topics that are related to your book, the origin story of your book, and even a series of blog posts. Take a look at the Snippet library to see what others are already doing.

You can do this as long as you own the rights to the material. I couldn't self publish a short story about Omar from Captives since Zondervan holds the rights to the characters in the Safe Lands storyworld. So if you have a contract, check it before publishing a Snippet. If I could "sell" a Snippet for free, then I could publish a story about Omar and Zondervan wouldn't mind since it would be promotion with no money involved. But that's not an option, unfortunately.

Want to try it? You can sign up for a Snippet account and check out the writer dashboard without committing to actually publishing a Snippet. Want to know more? Check out this video:


I decided to give Snippet a try. It was fun and easy. They only have one color for everything, so there was no need to worry about how to design it. All I had to do was copy and paste my text into each chapter, then format it. I also needed to create a cover, which I cobbled together from the Go Teen Writer's cover and a different picture.

I thought it might be fun to make a Snippet of the Punctuation 101 posts so that people could have them handy for quick reference. I priced the Snippet at .99 since people can still get the blog posts free if they prefer to look them up one at a time or bookmark them. But for .99, I figured some might enjoy the convenience.

My Snippet is now available through the Snippet App Store for .99. I hope it proves useful to someone, though even if it doesn't, in creating it, I learned how to use Snippet. And I think I'll be using it again when I have more time to create something unique.

If you want to learn more about Snippet or check out the Snippets availble for purchase in their library, download the free app here: http://appstore.com/snippetapp

You can also visit the website at: http://www.thesnippetapp.com/

What do you think of Snippet? Can you see any other creative ways an author might use Snippet besides those I mentioned? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

17 comments:

  1. This is really interesting. I hadn't heard of it before. Quick question that you don't have to answer if you don't want to. Does Snippit take a cut of your .99 or do you get all of the money?

    Thanks!

    ~Sarah Faulkner

    inklinedwriters.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whatever price you set your book at, you split the proceeds 50/50 with the Snippet people.

      Delete
  2. Had never heard of it before, but it sounds interesting. I'll check it out. Thank you Jill!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That looks amazing. I like the idea of short companion stories, or novellas. Is this like a self-publishing option? (Since there's one thousand words per chapter, BUT unlimited chapters.) I'm not interested in self-publishing, but it still seems interesting. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Alas, if only I had a phone!

    Snippet seems like a really cool idea, especially for aspiring writers, and for readers looking for something fresh, that's brilliant! Hopefully it'll still be around when I get a phone!

    Once again, it's brilliant,
    Tabby (http://tabbys-corner.blogspot.com/)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is that we'll see more things like Snippet in the future that work on more than iphones.

      Delete
  5. I like short stories, so this looks like a very interesting possibility. I guess you own all the rights to everything you publish, right? Like if you took a character from a Snippet and actually wrote a "real book" (I don't know how else to word it), would it be a problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No more of a problem that if you had self-published anywhere else. I suspect that Snippets would be considered less of an official ebook than Kindle or Nook books.

      Delete
  6. This is totally awesome!! I've never heard of Snippet, but it looks worth the try, and if my mom agrees, I'm getting your book! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is this available on an android tablet eg Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think so. I tried to download the app and iTunes wouldn't work on my tablet. But I have a Nook, and nothing works on the Nook but Nook apps, so if you have iTunes on your android or Kindle, try and see if you can download it. I'd love to know if you can or not.

      Delete
  8. I think I almost died of delight when I read this! My dad and I have been thinking about doing something ebook-related for a while. This sounds like the perfect opportunity to start something! Thanks Jill!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ooh, I'm liking this Snippet thing.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Will it work from my computer? I can't sign in from it, it seems. I don't have a tablet or iphone.

    ReplyDelete

Home