Book Review: Transmedia 2.0

Transmedia 2.0 book cover

Transmedia 2.0 book coverWe live in world where, increasingly, the devices we use to enjoy media no longer define the media type. We switch between books in hard copy and digital formats; watch videos on tablets as well as TVs; access email and social media on our smart phones while standing in line at the grocery store. It’s a word ripe for stories that span across multiple media channels–in other words, a world ripe for transmedia stories.

I’ve been blogging about transmedia storytelling much of this summer: what it is, why it’s effective, and how authors can use transmedia storytelling to reach and engage readers.

Well, if you’re thinking about attempting a transmedia storytelling project of your own, you’ll want to check out Transmedia 2.0: A How-To Guide for the Would-Be Transmedia Storyteller by Nuno Bernando. Bernando, of beActive Media, has been pursuing transmedia storytelling since 2003. This book shares insights from over a decade’s experience creating multiplatform stories, drawing examples from both successful and unsuccessful transmedia ventures.

Who It’s For

At first glance, Transmedia 2.0 seems to be targeted to producers and small production companies rather than individuals. It would take a team to implement all the strategies and ideas Bernando provides. So is this book a valuable resource for the independent author/creator?

My answer is a resounding YES.

Whether you’re considering a project that’s large or small in scope, Bernando’s book provides a clear overview of the principles underlying effective and engaging transmedia content.

“To my mind, true transmedia describes a storytelling process that imploys individual, complementary media that permeates the daily life of the audience and allow for personal interaction and participation. To achieve this sort of active engagement, transmedia incorporates a range of entry points across various platforms; each entry point provides the viewer with a unique perspective of the overall story.”

What It Covers

The book also provides content creators with a smorgasbord of ideas for implementation of effective and engaging transmedia content…and implementation includes far more than a bullet list of devices and social media platforms for use in transmedia tales. Check out the Table of Contents and you’ll see that Bernando covers the nitty gritty of topics such as how to finance transmedia projects, marketing strategies, and monetization of transmedia content as well as the how-to’s of storytelling and world creation.

  1. The Transmedial Approach to Entertainment Branding
  2. Financing Transmedia
  3. Building Your Storyworld
  4. Planning Your Release
  5. Marketing
  6. Monetizing Digital Content
  7. The Future of Transmedia

My Take

I came to Bernando’s book expecting to learn strategies for keeping an audience’s interest and insights into what makes for a great transmedia storytelling experience.

“Even with a relatively straightforward plotline, well-developed, ‘true’ characters are what sustain a project across multiple platforms.” –from “Creating a Brand: the Essentials,” Chapter 1

The book absolutely delivered on those things. It also helped me to think about which media platforms to use in my current project…

“Whatever technologies you choose to employ, they should serve your story and make it more immersive.”–from “Engaging Existing Communities, ” Chapter 5

…and gave me food for thought in countless other areas as well.

I may not have a team of programmers, writers, and producers at my disposal–and I’m guessing that most of you reading this don’t, either!–but Transmedia 2.0 helped me see which of those hats might be worth donning. Ultimately, transmedia storytelling is about telling a bigger story than would be possible using a single media platform. As an independent author/creator, I love the array of possibilities this book provided me–but even more, I value the fact that I feel better able to prioritize which of those possibilities to pursue. My copy of the book is highlighted and dog-eared with use. If you’re serious about trying a litte transmedia storytelling of your own, I’m sure yours will be, too!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book, which I used for my review. If you decide to purchase your own copy based on this review, I’ll receive warm fuzzies and happy points, but no other compensation. If you read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sharing Joy on the Writing Road

patrick-ross-casual-2012

patrick-ross-casual-2012

One of the things I love about writing is that the writing community is so incredibly generous–both in their willingness to celebrate with others’ successes, and their willingness to share the ups and downs along the way. Patrick Ross, over at The Artist’s Road, is a great example of an author/blogger who has shared his ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, in the years since he publicly committed to an art-committed life more than four years ago.

So it’s with great delight that pass on his recent good news: his memoir, begun September 2010, will be published this fall. From his blog:

The Artist’s Road Memoir will be Published this Fall

MAY 12, 2014 BY PATRICK ROSS

So it’s official. I’ve signed with an enterprising independent publisher and my memoir–four years after I first started working on it–will be published this October. So many readers of The Artist’s Road have traveled with me as I’ve chronicled this pursuit. I’ve shared my highs and my lows, and there were a fair number of the latter. But you’ve always supported me, and so this triumph is in part yours.

The original banner of The Artist's Road blog, taken on the road trip on Wyoming's 1-80 West.

The original banner of The Artist’s Road blog, taken on my 2010 cross-country U.S. road trip on Wyoming’s 1-80 West.

I plan to share more details about the publishing plans–and the book itself–in future posts. What I can say for now is that Committed: A Memoir of the Artist’s Road will be available in print as a soft launch from Black Rose Writing on October 16th, 2014, and in print and ebook formats a few weeks later in stores and online retailers such as Amazon.

For now, I think it’s worth looking at those highs and lows, in the hope that it is helpful to someone moving forward on a long-term creative project.

  • September 2010: complete a five-week cross-country U.S. road trip in which I interviewed creatives of all types. I had drifted away from my own creativity, but the artists I encounter inspire me to return to the path of the art-committed life. I give notice to the board of directors of the nonprofit I run, and agree to serve through the end of the calendar year as they recruit a successor.
  • October 2010: launch The Artist’s Road blog in part to share my story, but also to hold me publicly accountable to my new commitment to creativity.

To read more of Patrick’s inspiring journey from idea to publication–and his growth along the way–visit his blog, artistsroad.wordpress.com. And join in the celebration!

Friday Fun Poll: How Do You Celebrate Success?

Balloons

 What’s Your Vision for Success?

Balloons

Yesterday, I sent you on a guided visualization about success and how you envision it for YOUR creative life. I’d bet the poodle that every single person who went through the exercise came up with a different vision.

“Success” means different things to different people. Heck, it means different things to the same person at different times! 

Unfortunately, we humans have a tendency to reach one goal and immediately latch onto the next, without taking time to celebrate along the way. It’s all too easy to live in a constant state of if only…

I’d be happy…IF ONLY

  • I sold a short story
  • I found an agent
  • I got that book deal
  • I got a good review
  • I hit the bestseller list
  • I ______________

I have to make a conscious effort to celebrate success in my writing life, or those successes slide by unnoticed. 

How do you celebrate when you have a creative success or reach a goal? Check out the poll below to cast your vote and see where your fellow writers land!

How do you celebrate success--big or small--in your creative life?

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If I didn’t include your favorite celebration in the answers, please share in the comments–I love to hear from you!

Good News!

Voyagers in Space_Reading A-Z Level S Leveled Book

I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled programming (I usually reserve Thursdays for introducing new symbols and creativity exercises in the symbols for writers series) for a spot of good news:

I just had my first nonfiction book published: Voyagers in Space.

Voyagers in Space_Reading A-Z Level S Leveled Book

Voyagers in Space is a leveled reader produced by Reading A-Z, a publisher that produces a broad range of leveled reading material for classroom use. As such, it’s not a book you’ll find in the library or bookstore–it’s only available for Reading A-Z subscribers.

I loved this project, and I’m delighted with how the final version came out. Thanks for celebrating with me!

:~) Cheryl