What’s a snackable book? “Snackability” is to middle-grade books what “binge-ablity” is to streaming shows.
Kids are busy. We’re all busy. Thanks to social media we’re accustomed to messages in photo or video format, or in one-hundred-forty characters. Young people have consumed messages this way their entire life. They expect short, snappy, quick communications. This is one of the reasons I’ve deliberately crafted my most recent books to be “snackable.”
“Snackability” is to middle-grade books what “binge-ablity” is to streaming shows. It’s a style that fits the lifestyle and consumption patterns of today’s tweens. Scenes are quick. Sentences, paragraphs, and chapters are short and easy to read. If my reader can skim, I haven’t done a good job making the book snackable because I’m already concise and tight to a fault. There is very little unnecessary description and exposition, but I’m heavy on awesome dialogue. I can easily list a hundred of my weaknesses, but I think I’m good at dialogue. Lastly, each chapter ends with a hook… the hook is just enough sugar high to keep the reader needing more. My Big Heart-Shaped Fail epitomizes all of the above and is told in time-stamped sections over a twelve hour day… it worked for the show 24, why not for a middle-grade book?
I think this style will appeal to young readers, especially reluctant readers. We’ve seen that it appeals to adults, as it’s very much the style of James Patterson, who’s proven that young readers and adults like it. Kindle recently-ish launched Vella, a digital reading platform that serves its customers short episodes of stories. What Kindle calls episodes, I think of as “snacks.”
When considering how to publish my many writerly confessions, I chose to do so in bite-sized blog posts. As such, I need to keep it short, so this is the end.