Transmedia and story engineering were hot topics at this year’s Willamette Writer’s Conference in Portland, Oregon. Tom shares his key takeaways, insights and lessons learned from speaking at and attending the conference.
In the show, we discuss transmedia and the future of media. Content is the greatest marketing tool you will ever have, and transmedia is how you maximize the impact of your content across various media platforms including books, film, TV, digital video and online digital content, social media, video games, merchandise and more.
Tom also shares about some key takeaways from a workshop by Larry Brooks on story engineering and how to craft a great story that readers will buy, read and share. Great stories share some common elements, themes and techniques, and learning these key concepts can help a writer go from good to great.
The future of publishing includes a lot more than just books.
Look at publishing success stories like Game of Thrones. It started out as a mediocre series of novels, barely holding on to a midlist position in the publishing industry, and the franchise then turned into one of the most successful TV shows of all time (which subsequently caused sales for the novels to skyrocket as well.) The Game of Thrones books weren’t successful because they were published or marketed in a unique or novel way. Rather, it was the entire transmedia marketing campaign used to market the TV show that turned the books into a massive hit.
So, what’s the lesson here?
If you want to create a serious business as an author and publisher in a world where publishing is changing rapidly, you have to be willing to change. Instead of just publishing books or novels, consider adding in interactive websites, social media marketing campaigns, apps, video games, TV shows, YouTube shows, songs, music, merchandise and apparel, and other forms of media not just to create additional streams of income, but to serve as tools to help market your books.
In the future, authors won’t think of themselves simply as the writers of a book. Instead, the authors who succeed and succeed big will think of themselves as the creators of a brand, of a movement, of a transmedia business.
Those authors who simply publish a book and call it a day will fade into obscurity along with the millions of other books published every year, but those who create engaging and powerful transmedia content will be able to earn significant incomes, create jobs, change the publishing industry, and exert a massive positive influence on the world through their work.
There has never been a more exciting (and profitable) time to be an author.
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