We know how important reading with children is, yet modern life means this isn’t always easy. StorySnap is a new app that allows you to read a story to someone you love, from wherever you are in the world.
I’m Lizzie, a mum with two children who works in the learning sector. It is a great gift to be able to read with your child at bedtime, but I know from personal experience that sometimes you can’t be there in person, and that is why I came up with StorySnap.
The StorySnap app will bring families and loved ones together through sharing the gift of story. It enables you to personally narrate children’s ebooks, so you need never miss storytime, wherever you are in the world. And we’re developing partnerships with hospitals, hospices and other organisations that recognise the huge potential StorySnap has to brighten the lives of those in need.
Pledge today and create your first StorySnap personally-narrated e-books in December 2016 ready for Christmas! To pledge, go to the top of the page and click the green button that says 'Back This Project’.
Connecting loves ones who are apart
You cannot always be together with your family and friends:
- Is your family spread across a number of households - across different cities, countries or continents?
- Do members of your family work unsociable hours, travel with work or go on postings overseas?
- Is an adult or child you love regularly away from home in a hospital or hospice?
Whatever your circumstances, StorySnap will bring you and your loved ones closer as you share the magic of storytime.
Providing the next best thing to reading books aloud together
Nothing can beat reading aloud a physical book together. It connects us and comforts us. It bonds parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren. For occasions when it is not possible to be together, StorySnap is the closest, next best thing!
Going digital without distractions
In a digital world that sees distracting hotspots, bells and whistles increasingly tagged onto childhood reading and storytime, StorySnap brings simplicity. It's simply voice synchronised to the page turns of the book. While the platform is digital, StorySnap is all about a love of books and valuing the sharing of stories, as humans have done for thousands of years.
Encouraging adults and children to read
As the children in your life learn to read aloud - with you and on their own - they will be able to use StorySnap themselves. The stories they record can be shared with siblings, cousins, aunties, uncles, parents, grandparents, and friends, all of whom can appreciate their reading progress and treasure their stories.
The StorySnap App: A quick demo
It's a snap. Get going in seconds. Watch this 2-minute demo video:
Surprisingly, no. There are other platforms and apps with similarities, but StorySnap is different.
Unlike other platforms, the core idea behind StorySnap is escaping the constraints of having to be available, online at a specific storytime. With StorySnap you can record and playback stories wherever and whenever you like. The process is simple too, everything you need is within the app, meaning there is no need to double up on copies of books with one for the person recording the story and one for recipient.
Every recording made and shared becomes automatically available offline, to be enjoyed indefinitely – there’s no limitations. Offline availability means not worrying about WiFi issues or online distractions. You can even email your voice recording separately as an MP3 file to those who haven’t yet downloaded the app themselves and would like to have the story as an audiobook.
StorySnap will feature some of the best-loved children’s stories from recent years and times gone by, alongside brand new work from talented emerging illustrators and writers. Titles come from world-leading publishers, small independent publishing houses and self-publishing authors as well as from the public domain.
Our partnerships with publishers will be announced in April 2017 when the StorySnap app is officially released.
In the meantime, by supporting this crowdfunding campaign you will be able to use the beta version (from December 2016) which will include a number of favourite poems and short stories to record at no cost. Perfect for personalised Christmas gifts! These include:
- Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
- Short stories from Hans Christian Andersen (such as The Ugly Duckling)
- A selection of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories
- Poems by Eugene Fields, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Taylor (author of The Star, on which the popular nursery rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle” is based) and more.
Our charitable partnerships
We are putting in place charitable partnerships to support those in greatest need, making StorySnap available at little or no cost for specific beneficiaries to:
- Enhance the wellbeing of patients and their families in hospitals and hospices;
- Connect family members in the face of long-term separation;
- Improve literacy levels in disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities.
Partnering with Evelina London Children's Hospital
We are delighted to announce our partnership with the award-winning Evelina London Children’s Hospital. The beta version of the StorySnap app will be tested within the hospital. Evelina London’s Play Specialists will introduce StorySnap to the children in the hospital and their families, gathering qualitative insight into the perceived value of StorySnap.
We already have a great ‘Minimum Viable Product’ available in Testflight for iPad and iPhone, ready and waiting for an exclusive group of Kickstarter supporters to use, creating and sharing personally-enhanced children’s ebooks. (We’re also hoping you will provide feedback and help shape the final production of the platform.)
We’re raising funds to finalise the production and launch of the fully-functional, polished StorySnap app. With your backing, we will launch the Beta Version for iOS (iPad and iPhone) in December, followed by the general, official release for iOS in April 2017.
Conditional upon the success of this crowdfunding campaign, investors will then finance development of the app for Android tablets and smartphones, which will also be finalised by April 2017.
The StorySnap app will operate and include content in multiple languages, starting with English, French and Spanish. Other languages will be incorporated subsequently.
Exceeding our crowdfunding goal will enable us to secure and include more great stories from more publishers more quickly.
Pledge today and in December 2016 you can create your first StorySnap e-books enhanced with narration by you and your loved ones, ready for Christmas!
Ready to pledge? Great! Click on the green button at the top of the page that says 'Back This Project’. Thanks!
Like to learn more first about the rewards on offer? Read on. Before you do so, here is a preview of just some of the beautiful, exclusive StorySnap artwork featured in the rewards.
Enjoy exclusive early adopter access to the StorySnap app! Create wonderful Christmas gifts using the beta version of the StorySnap app from December 2016, ahead of the official, general release launch in April 2017. Record and share Clement Clarke Moore’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas and other classic poems and stories in the public domain for FREE, all freshly illustrated by today’s emerging talent (see the 'What stories will be included?' section above), as well brand new works.
Stock up on your supply of StorySnap Greeting Cards - Choose from various packs of 10, including a special season's greetings pack with illustrations for ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. Or opt for a StorySnap Mug - Ideal for when you want to get comfy with a good book in your favourite chair. (PLUS early access to the app with free stories.)
Select the StorySnap artwork of your choice, and receive a PDF personalised with the children's name(s) of your choice. Just send us the name(s) and we'll send you the personalised PDF for printing. (PLUS early access to the app with free stories.)
Pre-pay for TEN premium titles from publishers. Available when the app is officially launched in April 2017, you can pre-pay for ten titles now. All you will then have to do is the challenging job of choosing which ten you most want to read once the titles are announced! (PLUS a personalised Art work in PDF and early access to the app with free stories.)
Acquire a stunning StorySnap art print, perfect for any child's playroom or bedroom. These mounted inkjet prints on 300 gsm natural cotton paper make wonderful gifts, perfect for a child's bedroom or playroom. Choose A3 or A4. (PLUS early access to the app with free stories.)
Prefer a personalised print, lovingly framed and ready to hang? We've got that too. And we'll propose a number of framing options to choose from to suit your home. (PLUS early access to the app with free stories.)
Reserve a limited edition risograph print, created and signed by the artist Toma Silinaite and framed as per your preferences. (PLUS a PDF of the artwork and early access to the app with free stories.)
Commission a bespoke illustration for your favourite passage in ANY children's story or poem. Receive one copy of your print (inkjet on 300 gsm natural cotton paper) created and signed by lead illustrator Toma Silinaite beautifully framed as per your preferences, as well as 4 further copies of your print to gift to loved ones. (PLUS early access to the app with free stories.)
Commission a bespoke, framed screen print illustration for your favourite passage in ANY children's story or poem. Receive one copy of your screen print beautifully framed as per your preferences, as well as 4 further copies of your print to gift to loved ones. (PLUS early access to the app with free stories.)
Sponsor the bespoke illustration of a StorySnap story and dedicate it to your loved one(s). We will help you identify wonderful children’s poems or short stories in the public domain to choose from. We’ll then invite you to help (as much or as little as you like) in preparing a brief for StorySnap lead illustrator Toma Silinaite who will bring it to life with fresh illustrations. Once illustrated, your sponsored story will be included in the StorySnap platform, with the dedication of your choice, for all to record and share. You will also receive one copy of the print of your choice from all your chosen story's illustrations (inkjet on 300 gsm natural cotton paper) beautifully framed as per your preferences, as well as 4 further copies of your print to gift to loved ones. (PLUS early access to the app with free stories.)
Alternatively, customise your reward - Let us know what you would like as a combination of any of the above, or something we’ve not thought of offering. Perhaps a visit to the school, hospital or hospice of your choice for a uniquely tailored, very special StorySnap event? Contact us to propose a custom reward and together we’ll determine how to best meet your need!
Here some examples of the artwork:
In sharing the StorySnap idea with people, we’ve been blown away by the responses received. Here are a few examples. Thanks to all who shared your story with us! And to those who have not yet done so, please leave a comment on this campaign letting us know what potential value you see in the StorySnap app!
“My grandchildren are dotted around. I get to see them probably two or three times a year. The StorySnap app is a perfect tool for keeping close to the children.” Trish Valentine, Norfolk, UK
“I’m an army dad. Knowing that this important part of our family routine could be continued would be great – reducing the sense of distance between us.” David Walker, Scotland, UK
“My seven-year old son Jude has been in and out of hospital diagnosed with a tumor at the top of his spine. StorySnap would make him feel as if we were all together – big sister Lily or Dad could read stories to him.” Zoe Whitby, Newcastle, UK
“I’m part of a network called the WAY Foundation (Widowed And Young). For a child who’d lost a parent, to have a familiar story read by the voice of the person who’s not there would be really special.” Caroline Twigg, Bristol, UK
“It’s a lovely personal opportunity for a present. Instead of buying them another thing, I can record a story as a gift that’s totally unique and authentic to me!” David Hanney, London, UK
Have questions? Check out the FAQ lower down the page for answers to many questions including (but not limited to):
- Am I required to pay for every story I record?
- Can I have an "all-you-can-read" subscription?
- Do I need to be experienced with technology?
- Can I record and playback stories offline?
- If I share a story I have narrated, do the recipients also need to pay?
- What if the recipient can't or does not want to install the StorySnap app?
- Will there be a time limit on the stories I record?
- Is it safe to let my children use the app unsupervised?
- Are stories in languages other than English available?
- Who are the app developers?
- What is the budget breakdown?
If you still don't find the answer you're looking for, please do ask a question using the blue 'Ask a Question' button at the very bottom of this page.
Risks and challenges
Respecting rights to materials: The world of publishing is litigious. We have a great publishing rights expert in our team and will be really careful about all the issues concerning copyright and rights to use materials.
Securing a critical mass of terrific content: You only get one chance to make a good first impression and in a platform such as StorySnap, alongside the great user experience, content is king! We already have great, carefully chosen content lined up from large publishers. We will need to continue to grow our content so that there is always fresh and attractive content for regular users.We will do so once we have established proof of concept and analysed the preferences of our StorySnap community in that opening couple of months.
Curation of Quality Content: Careful curation of quality content is time consuming. We know it’s important to have only wonderful stories that are particularly great for reading aloud included in StorySnap - whether those are international favourites, new publications or that sprinkling of content form the StorySnap community. We dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly, and the time that it takes to do so, to selecting great content.
A superb platform, first time: Software development is a wonderful yet painful process. All software can run into issues with functionality. But we have a fantastic developer with whom we have been working for over a year. We’ve not taken shortcuts, we’ve not rushed ourselves to market, and we’re excited to see what you think of our platform in the coming months.
Launching for iOS first, with Android to follow: Conditional upon the success of this crowdfunding campaign, investors will finance development of the app for Android tablets and smartphones, which will be finalised by April 2017. So that Android users can still benefit from stories recorded by iOS users during the beta phase (especially those created as Christmas gifts!), we are making a lovely selection of StorySnap stories shareable as MP4 files outside of the app.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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