Guest Post: 'The Survivors' Is More Than Just A Good Book: Transmedia & Marketing

Today’s Ypulse Guest Post comes to us from Derek Baird, a consultant and writer on youth, education, media, and technology. He spoke with YA author Amanda Harvard about her new book, The Survivors, which she has interwoven with connections to social media and music to develop a truly unique experience for the reader. Check out Derek’s interview with the author below…and read a sample chapter from The Survivors here.

The Survivors Is More Than Just A Good Book: Transmedia & Marketing

The SurvivorsThe Survivors is a Young Adult Fiction book series by Nashville-based author Amanda Havard that tells the story of fourteen ill-fated survivors of the Salem Witch Trials and their descendants, who have been in hiding for over three centuries in rural Montana.

What makes this series really interesting — and worthy of the buzz it’s creating — is the way that Havard has woven social media and music into her own creative process and also used it to enhance the reader’s experience.

Harvard has an exciting and new vision for YA Fiction that incorporates all types of media to share the story of The Survivors. I sat down with her to discuss how her novel is rooted in history and mythology, her obsessive attention to detail, her transmedia strategy, and her collaboration with indie singer-songwriter Chris Mann on an original song for the book.

Derek Baird: Your novel opens with a prologue set in 1692 Massachusetts during the height of the Salem Witch Trials. Throughout the novel you’ve woven in historical events and make references to folklore, myths, and legends. What made you decide to include these elements? Do they serve a deeper purpose in the series?

Amanda Havard: I like to think that The Survivors is a “what if?” story in a world where obscure mythology and folklore are true and the…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

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Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

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