Marketing To The Young
The Index post with links to the previous parts of this series is:
Facebook has gained the reputation for being the venue of the old fogies, while younger people seek other social networks.
On Twitter, a #scifichat topic brought up this post on comics for 7 year old girsl:
We'll reference that comics issue in Part 13 of this series. Now let's look at what the adults are discussing on Facebook.
A question popped up on Facebook in the Allan Cole's World Group:
https://www.facebook.com/peggy.brunyansky posted this question:
This semester, I gave my students a list of songs that had a history behind them. They were to research the songs and explain that history among other things. I used "Abraham, Martin and John," "It is Well with my Soul," "Imagine," and a number more. I will add "Fortunate Son" next semester. Does anyone have suggestions of songs to add to my list?
Allan Cole recommended IN FLANDERS FIELD
Whereupon a lively discussion ensued that ranged across centuries of history and drew me in.
My first answer:
Nichevo -- an "old Russian Folk Song" written specifically for the film Fraulein and sung in that film by Theodore Bikel (who later recorded it) who knows quite a few real Russian Folk Songs and did a marvelous job of faking the reality of the Hollywood-originated brand-new-old-traditional-folk-song. He tells the story on a concert-album - BRAVO BIKEL, and I finally found the movie on Amazon.
That album is a history lesson and a half all by itself.
Then Peggy answered me:
Neat. I love sneaking in a little history and literature when students aren't expecting it. ...
Which inspired me -- meanwhile, others were posting very interesting comments about what songs to include.
So I added some more clues:
Lay down a breadcrumb trail through IMDB.COM to Broadway Musicals (like FIDDLER) back and back to the Theodore Bikel AUTOBIOGRAPHY titled THEO -- which tells the tale of his escaping Vienna (he's 90 in 2014) right before the blast of WWII, pioneering in Israel, Studying theater in London, just a goshwow tale in evocative prose written by a master raconteur. His career takes you all the way to musicals on Broadway, then movies and then TV. (Yiddish Theater - get his Yiddish album).
The grabber for modern students though is that Theodore Bikel played 2 parts on Star Trek - my favorite as Warf's human adopted father. Make them learn to use IMDB.COM and teach about inter-corporate ownerships -- Amazon, IMDB, GOODREADS, audible.com, (it's an education in Business Model of Entertainment Industry) and what it means "Voice Talent" other than singing.
That opens the topic of the remake of the music distribution system. There are few examples of actors students KNOW whose life-history in music goes back past 1929. Theo makes it easy to learn history with his exquisitely written (he's a WRITER, too) autobiography. You've got to read it to believe it. I've read a lot of them and I've never read one this good.
Do you see the depths of worldbuilding techniques you can learn by reading autobiographies?
Track which companies own which, look at corporate decisions and they won't be so mystifying when you know what they're trying to do to you (yes, TO you).
Last year, we had a major hack of Sony. Will that be in your autobiography?
I asked Peggy if I could excerpt her assignment and my answers for this blog entry. She replied:
Jacqueline, you are welcome to do so. I am so pleased that you like the assignment. My students do too and, as their first assignment, it eases them into research and citations as well as sneaking in a mini-history lesson. They tell me they enjoy the class more than they anticipated.
Many popular songs of the past are Romances -- as this discussion revealed. Many are political rabble-rousers, too -- but Romance is there. And many very popular actors of the past are associated with such Romantic songs from Broadway to Hollywood.
Making a poem like In Flanders' Field or other such commemoratives into a "song" in your novel could give you a marketing tool as part of a video promo on YouTube. Now you might have to write the song and coerce someone you know into recording it -- margins for such productions promoting a novel are very slim, but there are many unexplored possibilities.
People who have been through Peggy's course may be both the source and the audience for such an effort.
Soon, we will discuss some more innovative developments in the field of Romance Genre publishing.
For now, consider the potential of music as a component of Worldbuilding. Remember how famous Spock's Vulcan instrument became? Nimoy even made an LP album of songs (on Vinyl and some now digital
) mostly because of that quick scene on TV.
Today television rarely does that to an actor's career, but YouTube does.
Go where your audience is, express what they're feeling with all the tools at your disposal that are not at their disposal because they aren't professional writers who study the craft all day every day.
The ability to express an emotion with precision is a hard-honed talent that has become a rare skill. You can trace that kind of development if you follow the career of Theodore Bikel. And as I've recommended before, read all the Allan Cole autobiographical works.