Event: Master Your Marketing w/ Christina Farley

I discovered the Writer’s Atelier through NanOrlando, when they hosted a series of NaNoWriMo prep sessions. (I didn’t use NaNo for its strict purpose of writing this year, but as a motivator to continue with my Horatio edits.) I was struck with how useful and supportive their community is. Without knowing me, they welcomed my then 2 month-old into a write-in, and everyone there truly enjoyed his presence and helped me feel comfortable.

So of course I looked at their other activities, and the online class Master Your Marketing with Christina Farley caught my eye. Last fall, three of my editing/social media clients asked my advice on building a platform for their nonfiction works, and that raised new questions for me. Farley looks to address a lot of these questions along with some basics of social media.

I asked Farley the questions that my clients asked me, to see what I might learn from her course. Below are her master your marketing with Christina Farleyanswers.

CMJ: What does a writer’s brand mean to you?

CF: I like to think that a writer’s brand symbolizes who you are as a writer. It not only ties in with your books and writing style, but it draws from who you are as a person. Also a well-developed author brand is more than just the cover of the book or a Twitter header. It delves deeper into all the aspects of the persona of you as a writer. A true test of this is a reader/editor/agent/ should be able to in one glance at any aspect of your writer’s persona grasp a clear concept of who you are as a writer.

CMJ: What does “platform” mean to you? As in, when a publisher says they’ll read a proposal or manuscript if a writer builds their platform?

CF: An author’s platform is essentially like the ‘auditorium’ (if you will) where your voice as an author is heard. Imagine you standing on the stage (scary for some of us introverted writers!) and those sitting in the audience are all of the people excited and eager to hear what you have to say. What you are displaying on the stage and how many people sitting in your audience is what the publishers are interested. An author’s platform is a key component for the nonfiction writer, and though not as important for the fiction writer, it can still be a valuable resource if utilized effectively.

CMJ: How do you divide writing and marketing time?

CF: Writing must always come first. Every time. But there are hours in your day that your brain needs a creative reprieve. That’s when you can spend time on your marketing. The key is to prioritize what is most important and essential to your marketing needs. From there, you can break down a plan and schedule yourself so you aren’t overwhelmed and your writing doesn’t goes by the wayside.

C FarleyCHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the bestselling Gilded series, a YA contemporary fantasy series set in Korea and upcoming middle grade, THE PRINCESS & THE PAGE, set in France. GILDED was nominated for Korea’s Morning Calm, Ohio’s Buckeye award, and the Tome’s It List. It also was hailed in Epic Read’s anticipated reads, PriceStyle’s recommended summer reads, Book Riot’s favorite myth inspired reads, and BuzzFeed’s 21 amazing series they’ll miss. She is a certified teacher holding a master’s degree in education and has taught writing workshops worldwide.

 

Christina’s Books:

Gilded-FarleyChristinaFarley-Silvern-high-resBRAZEN-coverpp-farley


I will always jump on learning a new way of social marketing, and will report back here on each of her courses*. You can register for the entire series or a’la carte, and also include one-on-one mentoring.

*DISCLOSURE: I arranged a discount to the courses in exchange for reporting on each one.

Two Articles I Wrote on Art as a Parent

eating at theater

I guess being a parent really does affect how I view art. Yesterday two articles I wrote dropped on different publications, Better Lemons and Dwarf+Giant, a blog of The Last Bookstore LA. I didn’t realize until I shared them to Facebook that both show how I view art differently since becoming a parent.

One is how The Cat in the Hat reads like a manual for child molesters. I thought I’d get more pushback on this story, but so far all comments except one appreciate my argument for removing that book from your collection. Thanks to Dwarf+Giant for publishing this one!

The other is the first in a series, What Theaters Need to Know: Courting Families on Better Lemons, a relaunched Los Angeles arts website. Here I detail how small changes and larger ones can go a long way towards making families feel welcome at your programming. Until you’ve had to change your child’s diaper on a nasty restroom floor while other audience members bang on the door during intermission, you really haven’t lived as a parent.

Stay tuned for some more interesting articles from me……

Marketing Fails & Immersive Ethics

A few weeks ago, I received an ominous text in the middle of the night:

catharsis-text

Needless to say, I was freaked out. Read the full story on No Proscenium to hear how an immersive marketing scheme backfired big time.

Then head on over to Story Forward, a fantastic podcast I just discovered. Noah J. Nelson of No Pro is on a panel discussing the ethics of immersive experiences. Whether you approach it as an audience member or creator, this is a great listen.

If you’re interested in knowing about immersive productions, escape rooms, etc in your area, here’s where to find NoPro. There’s an expansion to other cities in the works:

Email: no_proscenium@outlook.com (send announcements & tips)
Twitter: @noproscenium (look for between issue updates) 
Facebook: No Proscenium Page (Issue Archives for All Regions)
Medium: The No Proscenium Collection (Reviews and Essays)
Podcast: iTunes and RSS 
Patreon: Support the Newsletter and Podcast
New subscriber sign-up: noproscenium.com

Webinar: Harvesting Leads using social media

Harvesting Leads

using social media

APRIL 24 (11:30-1pm PST)
with Cindy Marie Jenkins

So you have cool content, but don’t see butts in seats as a result?

We’ll cover: 
—Generating leads for your audience beyond family and friends
—Create a fun calendar to attract new audiences
—How to follow through and invite them to your show

More about Cindy

—————-

$50 for live individual training

REGISTER HERE

More Webinars:

APRIL 17: Twitter & Instagram Tutorial

MAY 1: Pitching to Press with Diana Wyenn

MAY 8: Crowdfunding Prep with Madeline Rosenstein

Webinar: Twitter & Instagram Tutorial

Twitter & Instagram Tutorial

APRIL 17 (10-11:30am PST)
with Cindy Marie Jenkins

Is “Hey! My first tweet!” also your only tweet?

Not sure how to use Instagram to connect with audiences?

Have questions but scared to ask them?

We will:

  • Run through Twitter and Instagram Basics, step by step, so you know the correct set up and tools at your disposal.
  • Review Best Practices and Common Missteps so you feel like a power user from Day 1.
  • Plan how you will use each platform to accomplish your short and long term goals.

$40 for live webinar if you register by April 15

$50 after April 15

REGISTER HERE

More Webinars:

APRIL 24: Harvesting Leads using social media

MAY 1: Pitching to Press with Diana Wyenn

MAY 8: Crowdfunding Prep with Madeline Rosenstein

Popular Stories Written Like Postcards for Plays (Spoiler Alert: they’re boring as hell)

I started to rewrite popular movie/TV log-lines as if they’re on the back of a theater postcard (or described on a website) to hear how boring they sound. It was meant to be a joke on Facebook, but got so much attention that it might become a regular series.

I can’t tell you how often a theatrical production attracts my attention, then my eyes glaze over when I read the description. I have no solution to this chronic marketing problem except for testing different versions with samples of your target audience(s).

I wrote the first three, then friends joined into the fun:

Selfish spoiled playboy Tony Stark has done nothing with his life since inheriting his father’s fortune. After his life changing experience in Afghanistan where he is confronted by both the true consequence of his empire and his own mortality, Stark finally realized how the power of his own intelligence can be used to help the world. His old friends and investors, however, don’t always have the humanity’s best interests in mind, and Stark must make the choice between those he’s trusted his whole life and his own conscience.

*

Dreamer Dorothy Gale has no love for her farm life in Kansas, with its pig pens and farmhands who

IMG_20150818_144347.jpg

If you haven’t seen Thug Notes videos, every artist can learn from how he describes classic literature.

always seem to watch her a little too closely for her comfort as she grows up. When a tornado knocks her out, she finally travels to the world in her head over the rainbow, where she encounters talking beasts, vertically challenged villages and pagan wannabes who challenge her ideas of right and wrong. Will she stay with them and finally meet the mysterious Wizard of Oz, or will she find her way home to seek out happiness among the family she loves?

*

The well off Hobbit Frodo has settled into his calm life of leisure, brews and nature. The biggest challenge is keeping his estate-hungry cousins away from BagEnd. But then his Uncle Bilbo disappears at his own birthday party, and the trusted if suspicious family friend, a Wizard, throws him out the door in a quest to hide a magical (possibly evil) ring in the land of the elves. Constantly caught between his new adventures, true friends, inevitable betrayals and his humble Hobbit nature, Frodo must decide: stay within a group of warriors sworn to protect him or take a small boat towards a destiny that almost surely will prove to be fatal?

Friends joined into the fun, too. From Sound Designer Vincent Olivieri:

Twentysomething hacker Neo has a boring job and no family to speak of. One day, a mysterious cell phone arrives on his desk, and Neo has a series of interactions with fascinating strangers, eventually leading to his immersion in a topsy-turvy turbulent alternate universe. The previously apathetic Neo is forced to confront his own humanity and role in the human race as he enters an evil computer program and hacks it from the inside out! Contains drug use and adult situations.

From Director Kate Motzenbacker:

After encountering a rebellious group of women in a post-apocalyptic landscape, guilt-ridden drifter Max is forced to confront his own humanity. Exploring themes of environmentalism, reproductive rights, and the human condition, this piece asks the question: what is the responsibility of an individual in the absence of civilization?

From David Jette, Artistic Director of Brimmer Street Theater Co.

What does it mean to be a father? What does it mean to be a son?

These are the questions tackled by this compelling and transformative new work about a young orphan living with his uncle and aunt on a farm far from ‘civilization.’ He spends his days repairing equipment and pining to join his friends on their adventures. Until one day, one of his machines is lost in the desert and is found by an old man, who, long ago, knew the boy’s late father and how he died. The two set off to return the machine to its original owner, and after encountering some truly zany characters, find themselves at odds with the society in which they live, and in search of the force that binds them together.

*

Lot and his family live in a great little part of town, but something about this town is… unique. Unique? More like crazy! His neighbors are total hellions! Until one day, a gorgeous man in white arrives at Job’s door and asks to stay the night. When his neighbors knock on the door and make an ‘indecent proposal,’ and after a strange weather pattern settles in, laying waste to everything he loves dear, Lot and his wife decide it’s time to get out of Dodge. This dramedy about loss and faith is for the whole family, and surely worth its salt!

*

Ever have one of those days? What about one of those YEARS?

Job is a pious man, with one problem – the God he worships is kiiiiind of a dick. After making a bet with the devil (played by One Life to Live’s Kevin Conway!) Job’s deity decides to really mess with his life, in the most unexpected ways! Join us for a night of laughs, and tears, brought forth by this timeless story of the saddest man that God forsook.

Do you have ideas on this? Add your own versions or ideas in the comments.

Hollywood Fringe Festival Announces Dates for 2014

hollywood-fringe-festival-fundraising

The Hollywood Fringe is a great chance to try out or showcase some new work. I usually lead self-producing and marketing workshops leading up to the festival that include best practices to really take advantage of the Fringe atmosphere. Follow this blog for more

Here is all the information so far for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2014! From their press release:

Greetings Fringers–

We hope you had an excellent holiday weekend (or just an excellent normal weekend for our friends outside the states). As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to start thinking about our endeavors for 2014. We are gearing up for our fifth (!!!) festival next year and we’re already talking about a lot of new ideas and changes to improve the Hollywood Fringe.

The fifth annual Hollywood Fringe Festival will take place June 12th-29th, 2014, after a week of previews taking place June 5th-10th. The first big date that you should keep in mind is the opening of registration on February 1st. Check out the other dates down below.

After the feedback we received at the Post-Fringe Town Hall this year, we’ll be hosting a meeting this Saturday, December 7th at 5PM at Theatre Asylum focused on improving our venue efforts in 2014. We are specifically looking to recruit new venues within the official boundaries (including found spaces), so if you have any interest in running a space or bringing your own, make sure to stop by. There’s some more information down below.

Questions? Contact the festival at support@hollywoodfringe.org.

Fringe On!

Ben Hill, Festival Director

Venue Meeting This Saturday

Please join us this Saturday, December 7th at 5 PM in the Asylum Lab (at Theatre Asylum), 1078 Lillian Way. We’ll be focusing on these venue initiatives for 2014:

  • A venue packet to help recruit new venues and to help existing venues make the most of their Fringe experience
  • How venues can work together
  • How to bring a found/DIY venue to the Fringe
  • Matching potential venue managers or resident companies with venues who need help during the Fringe season
  • Making partnerships with local businesses
  • Dates for future venue meetings and workshops
  • And more!

Hope to see you there!

2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival Dates

Key Dates for 2014:

February 1st- Registration Open
April 1st- Registration Deadline for Guide Inclusion
June 5th-10th- Fringe Previews
June 11th- Fringe Opening Night Gala
June 12th-29th- 5th Annual Hollywood Fringe Festival
June 29th- Fringe Award Ceremony & Closing Night Party
The organization needs volunteers and interns throughout the year. Any interested persons may learn more here: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/learn/index/132