website, blog and vanity nexus of writer R F Brown

Posts tagged ‘marketing’

WRITE’N TIME (or: yes, your business card looks very professional, but your novel sucks)

soundomusicLast week I paid $40 for a ninety minute class called Marketing For Writers. I’ve paid more and less for similar courses before. Despite my contention that the industry of squeezing money from poor writers is bigger than the companion industry of writing and selling actual books, I did come out of class with some “take aways”, as was phrased by the paid facilitator.[1] Here are a few take aways I’ll spoil you with for free:

The world isn’t going to come to you, Unknown Writer. You have to go to them.

You are the best advocate for your work. You understand your work and care more about it than anybody else ever will.

Make a list of what you’re skilled at besides writing, e.g. my inventory – pubic speaking, writing book reviews/op-eds/social commentary, interviewing people, knowledge of theater and music, schmoozing, people organization and event planning.

Now, where are opportunities in my section of the universe to exercise my skills and introduce myself/my name to potential readers. Are there skills in which I require more training or exposure? 

Start small. Identify local opportunities to support your local writer/reader community, e.g. schools, libraries, colleges, book clubs, churches, podcasts, conferences, association. Small efforts add up and payoff over time.

Become confident talking about yourself and your writing. Write a 30 second elevator pitch and memorize it. 

Design your author specific resume and hand out with your business cards, or bookmarks, or pens what whatever collateral.[2] Don’t be afraid to pitch your ideas to local power brokers. 9 times out of 10 the answer will be no, 10 out of 10 if you never ask.

 

Have many irons in the fire. You never know what opportunity will be the one to propel your writing career.

I want to reflect for a moment on this “have many irons in the fire” guidance. It invokes a condition of anxiety I’ve continually struggled with before and after becoming a fulltime writer. For those who don’t know me personally – I am one lucky sonofabitch. Five years ago when my career in green investments dried up, my gay husband, who is a well-paid physician asked me if I wanted to quit earning money and write. At his insistence? Okay. I could advise you, Fellow Writer, to just marry well and don’t get pregnant. The fact is even I wrestle daily with the clock. I have no job, yet I find all the hours I need each day to beat myself severely for time-mismanagement, distractions, procrastination, and undocumented acts of sloth.

If you’re a writer with a regular job, kids, a house to keep together and you still find time to produce without implementing every insidious method of procrastination, share with me your magic formula. I could never get serious about writing when I was working fulltime on trying to stay afloat in different professional ocean. The marketing class guy said he has three kids and he writes every morning from 4 to 6am. Maybe that’s commitment to craft, but fuck that write? Still, how else are you going to make the time to get anything individually creative done? If we want what writing we can pull off to be read by anybody, according to Teach, we’re going to have to find the time to hand our writer’s resume off to every local Rabbi or Rotary Club secretary.

This guy teaching the class had a lot of super advice for building your personal brand and your author platform, but you can’t even pay somebody to give you 26 hours in a day. Here’s my advice, Dear Writer, for you to take away from this blog post: sit your ass in a chair and write.

Work on your novel, your play, your poetry with the conviction of mind that the only person who’s ever going to be lucky enough to read your bullshit is you. Write for writing sake, then revise, revise, revise. Dedicate what time you have to creating perfection without any concern for who will read you. Is anybody reading this fucking blog post, for example? No. But, I am writing something, anything today, and I believe it will come back to me in some positive way I can’t imagine. Once you’ve written something good, you may make a bubble-tea date with your alderman or neighborhood book yenta. Have many irons in the fire, but make sure your work is always in the hottest spot all day long.

-RFBrown

[1] I once took a class with a professional writing coach who called such of paid-for revelations revealed as Ah, hah moments. “Any AH, HAH’s?” she would ask the class at the end of a session.

[2] The instructor said c.v. I’ve titled my writer resume “Scriptor Vitae.”

book reports – THE THEATER WILL ROCK, Elizabeth L. Wollman

THE THEATER WILL ROCK: A HISTORY OF THE ROCK MUSICAL FROM HAIR TO HEDWIG (2006)

There does seem to be a common understanding that before the musical Hair there was nothing like Hair and that most of what followed Hair were flop imitations – Dude, Via Galactica, Rainbow. Though Hair became a classic, theatrical producers stopped throwing their money away on rock scores by about 1975. What Elizabeth Wollman’s through history brings forward is that Hair’s influence in musical theatre can be seen in decades of cultural tug-of-war between keeping rock music’s aesthetics authentic and produce musicals that have mass audience appeal. Hair’s long beautiful hair grew into Grease, and Les Mis, and Mama Mia but through the use of softer forms of rock music. We don’t really recognize how things of changed since Rogers and Hammerstein. Unlike any work I’ve read on the topic of musical theatre, or even in rock journalism for that matter, Wollman finally provides language for describing the variety of very different kinds of musical theatre that are too often lazily categorized as “rock musicals.” For once Hair is rock musical, Jesus Christ Superstar is rock opera and Dreamgirls and Smokey Joe’s Cafe are other things too, well categorized here. I have a couple of quibbles. First, I think Wollman doesn’t emphasize that much of the failure in those fabulous post-Hair rock flops lies in being rushed to Broadway with big money backers and no existing source material. Most of the truly great shows in musical theatre are drawn from novels, plays or history. At least Hair had the huge benefit of a long and sometimes painful gestation period before finally coming uptown. The big rock flops of the early 1970’s were being made-up on the spot. Ironically two of the successful rock musicals from the same period, Your Own Thing and Two Gentleman of Verona were adapted from that rebellious beatnik Shakespeare. Next, Wollman makes frequent reference to off-off Broadway shows like House of Leather and The Legend of Johnny Pot which barely ever opened, meanwhile her research overlooks shows like Promenade (259 performances) and Salvation (239 performances). Finally, between her socio-historical chapters the author includes some short academic meditations on audience attitudes, marketing experiments, and musical aesthetics. These interlude essay are well written they do seem like step children, sections from a different book. If you are seeking musical aesthetics and composition for musical theater, you won’t find much here on the specific shows or songs. However this is excellent work on cultural commodification and the economics of Broadway over the last forty years.

Irving Berlin Re-Signs Agreement with Rodgers n Hammerstein 23 Years After The Last One Died

link: Irving Berlin Music Company Re-Signs with Imagem Music Group, Rodgers & Hammerstein :: Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization :: News.

Irving Berlin Music Company Re-Signs with Imagem Music Group, Rodgers & Hammerstein

Relationship Dating From 1990 Continues With Global Representation of Irving Berlin Brand and Grand Rights, and On-Going Music Publishing Representation in North America

The Irving Berlin Music Company (IBMC) has just re-signed its ongoing representation agreement with the Imagem Music Group/Rodgers & Hammerstein for international brand management and grand rights exploitation, and music publishing in North America. “Our partnership with the IBMC and the Irving Berlin family began in 1990,” says Ted Chapin, President of Rodgers & Hammerstein, a division of the Imagem Music Group. “We have enjoyed working with Mr. Berlin’s three visionary daughters over the years, with unprecedented success in the arenas of publishing, recordings, TV specials, books and events, major revivals of his musicals on Broadway, in London, and on the concert stage, and the creation of new stage properties such as WHITE CHRISTMAS and TOP HAT. We look forward to a continued, and fruitful, collaboration with the IBMC and the Berlin family.”

About Irving Berlin

Born Israel Beilin in a Russian Jewish shtetl in 1888, he died as Irving Berlin in his adopted hometown of New York City in 1989. Songwriter, performer, theatre owner, music publisher and soldier, he wrote scores to more than a dozen Broadway musicals (including ANNIE GET YOUR GUN), and dozens of Hollywood movie musicals, including two which have recently become successful stage properties: WHITE CHRISTMAS and TOP HAT. His more than 1,200 songs include “White Christmas,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “Easter Parade,” “Always,” “Blue Skies,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “God Bless America.” Irving Berlin’s love for, and generosity to, the USA is legendary, and through several ongoing foundations, including the God Bless America Fund, he donated tens of millions of dollars in royalties to Army emergency relief and the Boy and Girl Scouts. Numerous awards and accolades include an Academy Award for “White Christmas,” a Congressional Gold Medal, a special Tony Award and commemoration on a U.S. postage stamp. Learn more about Irving Berlin at www.irvingberlin.com and www.rnh.com. Like Irving Berlin on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/irvingberlin.

About the Imagem Music Group

Imagem Music Group (André de Raaff, CEO and Co-founder) is the number one independent music publishing company in the world, unique for its leadership role in classical music, Broadway, and pop/rock. Boosey & Hawkes represents the world’s leading classical composers from Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky to such contemporary artists as John Adams and Steve Reich. Rodgers & Hammerstein controls the rights to the world’s most popular stage and film musicals, including THE SOUND OF MUSIC,OKLAHOMA! and THE KING AND I, as well as representing works by Irving BerlinAndrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Schwartz and more. Imagem Music’s ever expanding pop catalogue includes such writers as Elvis Presley, Ludacris, Phil Collins, Genesis, Anna Nalick, Temper Trap, Steve Robson, M.I.A., Bombay Bicycle Club and Daft Punk. Imagem is also active in production library music; London-based Imagem Production Music represents over 100,000 tracks, while California-based 5 Alarm Music represents more than 40 different music libraries. The Imagem Music Group has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels and Amsterdam, and exclusive agents throughout the world. Imagem: making the difference!  www.imagem.com.

Sum Poosie Cat Energy Drink – Great Tasting and Good Looking!

“On one side we have “Poosie the Cat” and on the other side we have a “Bottle Model” of the month! The first thousand bottles are hand signed by each model. What it comes down to is this … would you rather have the same old bull…or would you like “Sum Poosie?”

link:   Sum Poosie Cat Energy Drink – Great Tasting and Good Looking!.