Today is a special day. I get to announce something pretty cool, something I've been working on for months, something only a small group of people knew about.
Back in August, I was honored to host a number of friends and family in my hometown to launch my newest book, The In-Between.
Having a hundred of your favorite people, including some of you fabulous readers, party until the wee hours of the night certainly meant a lot.
But at the end of the evening, after the pancakes and ice cream and a few tears shed (mostly by me), I realized we had a chance to do something more than celebrate. We had an opportunity do something special, something significant.
So we did.
The secret film project — now revealed!
The day after the party, I hosted a meetup to discuss the concepts of The In-Between, hang out with readers, and announce a secret project I'd be thinking of doing for awhile.
Honestly, I had no idea how the day would go.
About a dozen people showed up, and with the help of my good friend David Molnar (assisted by Will Knowles), we spent the afternoon filming each person as they shared a 60-second snippet of their story.
Everyone was asked the same question: “How are you learning to live in the in-between?”
I was blown away by the responses. The stories were beyond moving and inspiring, which reinforced the belief that everyone has a story to tell.
We turned the stories into an interactive experience
We filmed these stories because The In-Between isn't just my story. It's your story, too. And thanks to the Snippet app (which offers the most beautiful reading experience on a device I've ever seen), I'm excited to see these stories come to life.
This companion work, The In-Between: Shared Experiences, contains nine unique narratives along with completely original content from yours truly that can't be found anywhere else.
To correspond with each of the three lessons in the book, there are three stories per section:
- Part 1: Slow Down (Chuck Parish, Katie Strandlund, Kyle Reed)
- Part 2: Let Go (Brett Henley, Lindsey Hartz, Chad Miller)
- Part 3: Be Grateful (Laurel Staples, Paul O'Rear, David Hooper)
Throughout the snippet, I add my own thoughts, sharing what we learn about the in-between from each of the stories.
All proceeds go to charity
We decided the proceeds of the book should go to a great cause, and I can think of none better than charity: water. If you choose to buy this Snippet (for the price of a regular coffee), you'll help bring clean water to people in need around the world.
I'm really excited about this project. It was a lot of fun, and I think you'll enjoy the outcome. The Snippet reading experience is unlike anything I have ever seen. (If you'd like to create your own Snippet, you can request an invite by clicking here.)
So are you ready to read it? Here's what you need to do next:
- Download the free Snippet app from the iTunes store.
- Launch the app on your mobile device.
- Download my Snippet, The In-Between: Shared Experiences.
Enjoy — and please let me know what you think.
More About Snippet
Part of why I did this project was to test out a new technology and see how multimedia could spread the idea of a book even further. For those interested in the behind-the-scenes, read on for more about the experience of working with Snippet.
Q: What is a “Snippet”?
Snippet is a unique way to share short-form content in book format through interactive multimedia. Each chapter is no more than 1000 words, and a Snippet (i.e. a book, but it's a lot more than that) is around 10 chapters long.
What makes the Snippet App so unique is the attention to aesthetic excellence and its ability to embed audio, video, and social media right into the book itself — all on a mobile platform.
Q: How will this affect publishing in the future?
I've spoken with the founder, C.J., and he told me Snippet isn't intended to replace eReaders but to offer an alternative way to experience content.
I don't think books will ever go away, but technology like this can expand upon ideas and stories and provide a means of continuing the conversation begun in a book.
Q: What made you decide to work with Snippet?
I first heard about it via Pat Flynn, who launched his book, Let Go, on Snippet. It sounded like a neat way to involve readers and build on the ideas from The In-Between. (For those who read my book, you may recall I included reader-submitted stories at the end of each chapter. Snippet takes that to a whole new level.)
I should mention Snippet didn't pay me to work with them or endorse their product. It just sounded fun.
Q: Would you recommend Snippet to other writers and content creators?
Yes. Whether it's for your first writing project or as a complement to an existing work, I recommending checking it out and seeing if there's any benefit for you.
Q: Will this experience affect the way you write books in the future?
Absolutely. Hearing people's stories about the in-between left an indelible impression on me, reinforcing the value of connecting with your audience. It made me want to do more projects like this.
By the way, for those who download the Snippet, there is an opportunity at the end to add your own story. Our vision for the project is that it will continue to be a means of discussion and interaction.
Find out more about my Snippet here, and be sure to download the free app in the iTunes store.
What's one creative way you could use multimedia to tell a story? Share in the comments.