Rock operas. It became a new concept in the 1970s, that rock music coupled with a film, could further embed rock culture into a bigger market share of mainstream. Rock opera is storytelling amplified with guitar licks.
The first rock opera is in debate, but for most people, it is The Who’s Tommy that comes to mind.
The following are my favorite rock operas.
I traditionally listen to Jesus Christ Superstar at least a couple of times every Easter. It is hard to imagine anyone else but Ted Neely playing the part of Jesus. However, on the album, that part is sung by Ian Gillian.
Heavy Metal hasn’t actually been classified as a rock opera, but it is storytelling through the backdrop of metal.
Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds hasn’t really been classified as a rock opera either, but I’d still put it into this category. It is a brilliant piece of work.
As an editor who specializes in nonfiction books, I’m lucky to work with people who are experts in their fields. I learn a lot from the business and legal topics these authors explore in their writing. Sometimes, the subject matter really hits home for me and provides me with a new avenue to explore in my own business.
Recently I was able to work on Debbie Elicksen’s book, Publishing and Marketing in the Digital Age. After my first read-through of the book, I realized there is so much more I need to be doing to increase public awareness of my digital profile to promote my own books.
Many writers still go through traditional publishing houses to publish their books. Most authors receive no more than 10 percent of the retail price (e.g., Amazon sells the book for $14, the writer receives $1.40 per book sold). The other 90 percent of the book sales goes into the publishing house for editing, distribution, marketing, and publicity.
If an author self-publishes, he or she can make up to 70 percent per book sold; however, the person has to take care of his or her own marketing and publicity along with the distribution and editing. It’s hard to get connections in newspapers or magazines in order to get the information out there. Newspapers, magazines, television, and radio are the areas in which publicists at traditional publishing houses focus their efforts on getting their authors noticed. Unfortunately, nowadays these are not the best areas to get notoriety. The place to be is online with a strong presence.
Debbie’s book taught me to take control of my own publicity, which is to make sure I have a website that I update on a weekly basis to keep viewers returning. Every topic I explore on my site needs to be focused on my area of expertise, which is Alzheimer’s awareness. Whether I post a topic or ask someone to guest post, my readers know what to expect when they return. They know my topics won’t stray into what I had for breakfast or why my cats are the best in the world. The readers want information about caregiving, working with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s disease, or where they can go for help. Being consistent and keeping my web presence current is important to establishing myself online.
Using the tips from Debbie’s book, I’m beginning to build more of a following on Twitter and eventually I’ll branch out to some of the other areas Debbie has suggested. I have also reached out to other authors asking if they would like to guest post on my website which has led to me working with an author to co-write some caregiving articles for magazines.
The small steps I’ve taken so far, by using Debbie’s advice, have shown results already. One of these results was Debbie asking me to write a guest post on her website, which is an honor and an opportunity I’m grateful for. If you are self-publishing your work or going through a traditional publisher, please pick up Debbie’s book and learn to take control of your own publicity. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Plan your pitch. What do you want to accomplish and how do you want to be perceived?
Draft a road map to figure out what your message is and how it’s going to flush out.
Determine who your preferred audience is and where they live (in cyberspace).
Do some research: Who are the social media thought leaders? What are general best practices for social media overall and for each of the platforms?
Edit your work. There are enough examples of poorly thought out posts with bad grammar and spelling. Don’t be that guy or gal. Would you hire them? Exactly.
Be mindful of copyright laws. Name your source. Don’t plagiarize.
Be original. Nobody wants to read or see the same stuff all the time.
Tap into trends and what’s hot, but don’t let that define you. Those things grow old overnight.
Stay on top of your game. The only way to be a good writer is to write and practice good writing. The only way to get better at social media is to participate often.
Customize your posts. Don’t make each platform a carbon copy of the other. Once you publish a book, that’s it. You can update it, have an abridged version, but if you write the same text in a five-book series, people will turn away.
Transmedia is not about pushing content out through various forms of media. It’s not about viewing on multiple devices. It’s not about taking different characters and giving them a voice outside of the main story. It isn’t about getting the audience to engage and bring the conversation about the product to new heights.
It is all of the above.
What transmedia truly can be described as is that it is story-centric marketing.
Transmedia must begin with the story, and the story must have strong characters that can carry the message to other platforms on their own.
Nuno Bernardo is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated producer, founder and manager of beActive Entertainment. He is also the author of the book Transmedia 2.0. He reminds us that audiences are drawn to products they can resonate with and reinforce their own sense of identity.
Let me repeat that: audiences are drawn to products they can resonate with and reinforce their own sense of identity. This is why stuff goes viral. This is why social media became a thing. People crave a connection. Transmedia marketing brings the audience into the story and lets them rewrite it.
But in order to do it right, you need the following:
An exciting and convincing storyworld
A strong storyline with clearly defined points.
The following interview with Bernardo dives into this deeper.
This probably won’t be the cover for my next book with Self-Counsel Press, but then again, it could be. Those who have experienced business cyberbullying have seen a lot of toxic crap under their name. After a while it starts getting old, just like the cat or dog poop in this photo.
So while I await the galley proof (a preview copy of the laid out version of the book Publishing and Marketing in the Digital World), I have since submitted the Table of Contents to the managing editor for approval and am now working on the first two chapters, which are due to the publisher by July 1.
One chapter down and one to go, I’ve come to the realization that when this manuscript is completed in August, I will have written three whole books in eight months. No wonder my blogging schedule is off kilter.
I’ve just spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon researching the Internet for cyberbullying resources that DON’T refer to students and schools and parents. I think I can count on one hand how many links I’ve bookmarked (stories/blogs only) that relate to BUSINESS cyberbullying.
Think about it. A celebrity, athlete, corporate exec says something stupid, or maybe they don’t have to say anything at all — and Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube feeds light up with hate posts and assault the individual (or business) with words. That, my friends, is textbook cyberbullying.
But when you search for resources that refer specifically to business cyberbullying, not a whole lot shows up.
Of course, there are crossovers between the classroom and the boardroom with respect on how to deal with some of the issues. But for the most part, the schoolyard doesn’t have the added impact of commerce and trade.
I’m afraid that is it. I am still searching and will keep changing the keywords to try and draw in new links. But in the meantime, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out — especially if you are in any form of online media, have read an article online, or have visited your favorite YouTube video, that cyberbullying is a thing not reserved for just students and classrooms. It affects every businesses’ bread and butter if they should become the target.
Meanwhile, I pitched them a new book: Business Cyberbullying and How to Fight Back.
The moral of this video is when you have developed a relationship with your publisher, not all your pitches may get accepted, but the pitch process can be less formal than your first one. Even so, you need to have your stuff together for them to be able to accept it.
The manuscript has been with Self-Counsel Press’s editor and just today, I received some of the edited chapters to look over and tweak, if necessary.
I had noticed a couple of weeks ago that the publisher is already promoting this book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. (I trust all my friends will pre-order.)
Once you turn over your manuscript to someone else for editing, there is some sense of nervousness because you don’t know if the editor is going to be on the same wavelength. Will they hate it and render the script unrecognizable when you see it again? Will they get what you’re trying to say or will you have to go back to the drawing board and completely rewrite it?
I lucked out.
My editor Tanya Lee Howe was ever so gracious in sending me some feedback after she began reading it. She totally made my day when she said, “I had to email you and tell you how much I’m loving your book! I’m learning a lot and I now realize I’ve got a lot of work cut out for me in my own marketing of my books and myself as an author. Thank you for writing this book!” Whew!
So some of the manuscript is back in my lap. The publisher wants this to be on the shelves soon, so guess what my weekend will entail?
Meanwhile, if you want a sneak peek as to this book I’m writing, here is Tanya’s edited Table of Contents for the first half.
Russian President Vladimir Putin just signed a bill that will ban swearing in creative content. That might pose a problem with North American musicians, filmmakers, and publishers that want to market their wares to the home of the Kremlin.
Let me preface this to say that I have a tendency to drop F bombs now and then. It’s almost like an uncontrollable word that pops out to emphasize a passionate thought. Sprinkle in a football field or Game Three between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, and the F bombs come out a bit more often.
But I don’t write this way. I think the strongest word I might use in my blogs is “shit,” which is pretty tame by today’s standards.
I don’t think twice about reading books and other media with such language — unless the art is more about the language and not the story — then it’s a boring and lazy creation.
So seeing the headline on this story, I’m thinking this might be a good thing to do in North American film and books, too. I mean, do we really have to use F bombs in a movie about gangs? We know they use it, but does saying it in the film really further the story? (Keep in mind, I can recite Scarface from memory.)
I’m actually okay with this ban by Putin. If bad language was banned from all North American art forms, maybe we can tell stories and portray messages for the sake of the craft rather than the shock value.
Do we really need to swear like sailors in books, music, and film?