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

Quote of the Day: “The [financial] industry has been slow to adapt to the ways in which young people want to be communicated with and to communicate with each other.”—Ian Rosen, CEO, StockTwits (YPulse)

Instagram users can now purchase products without leaving the app. The platform’s shopping tags are evolving to allow users to check out directly inside the app from about 20 retailers using saved payment and shipping information. The move doesn’t just give Facebook a direct cut of each sale, but also allows the platform to collect data that they’ll leverage in their ad targeting. Instagram’s influence over young consumers’ purchases continues to skyrocket, and according to our Shoppability trend, 72% of Gen Z & Millennials are open to buying products on social media. (Recode)

Disney and MAC Cosmetics are debuting a nostalgic makeup line for Aladdin fans. The Disney Aladdin collection features lipstick, an eyeshadow palette, and bronzer in jewel and metallic hues that Princess Jasmine might wear with her bright turquoise outfit. The partnership is part of the lead-up to the live-action Aladdin’s debut, and isn’t MAC’s first time introducing fans to whole new worlds of Disney-themed cosmetics. In the past, they’ve also released Cinderella and Disney villains-themed lines. (Teen Vogue)

Google announced their ambitious plan to become “the future of gaming:” a cloud-based streaming service called Stadia. Gamers will be able to play across device (phones, TVs, tablets, etc.) without waiting for the title to load in a YouTube-connected setting. That means viewers can instantly play titles featured in videos and stream their own gameplay to YouTube—which could challenge industry leader, Amazon-owned Twitch. The Netflix-like service is set to launch this year. (The Verge)

Instagrammable dim sum is going global. The craze stared in Hong Kong, where Social Places serves up bao made to look like tiny pigs and charcoal custard bao filled with “a thick liquid that oozes out like lava,” introducing three or four new incarnations each month to keep customers coming back. Meanwhile at Disneyland Hong Kong, Crystal Lotus customers dine on buns that look like their favorite animated characters, including Frozen's Olaf. In the U.S., San Francisco’s Chili House and New York’s RedFarm are some of the first to take on the trend. (Bloomberg)

Netflix’s next choose-your-own-adventure series lets viewers chart Bear Grylls’ journey through the wilderness. Soon, Netflix viewers will have the chance to become outdoors experts from the comfort of their couches, as they make the survival show celebrity’s choices as he traverses tricky situations. Grylls himself says that he’s “giving viewers an all-access pass to explore the world and its landscapes in my boots” and that “For the first time, my survival is in your hands.” (THR)

Quote of the Day: “One of the biggest myths about Millennials is that they do not want to engage with human beings, especially if a chatbot, app, or a website can be deployed.”—Xiomara Lorenzo, Director, Society of Grownups (YPulse)

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