Notes on Transmedia Storytelling

Thanks to all who came out last week, we had a great event! Reid Mihalko, a sex ed speaker of Lunatic Inc. gave us the breakdown of what exactly transmedia storytelling is and how we can use it to promote our books. If you couldn’t be there but still want the skinny, below are notes taken at the event. Enjoy and learn!


  • Our speaker: Reid Mihalko
  • Twitter: @reidaboutsex
  • Facebook: reidaboutsex


  • Be a geek about how to get your message out there and mainstreamed
  • In the next 3-4 year 3-4 billion new people will come online for the first time, 80% will be doing it on their smart phones
  • Pay attention to how people are behaving in regards to social media as you walk around the world, you’ll see that you can reach so many people who are dying for content
  • Having content that fits on smart phones and tablets you have is a huge advantage.
  • Smart phones/tablets have started to outsell laptops


Reid asks the audience why members are here:

  • The Lzzie Bennet diareis which is a transmedia retelling of Jane Austin novel finally got her mom on youtube and Twitter and wants to know how her company can engage people who wouldn’t dream of being engaged that way
  • Interested in how serial fiction is making a comeback
  • Needs to promote self published books but is unconnected to social media
  • BK is doing enhanced ebooks and wants to go to the next level with lots of engagement
  • Considering releasing her book as a multimedia ebook


Back to lecture:

  • If all these young people continue to be on social media as they get older, the behaviors will stick, multitasking while engaging with people socially
  • Google transmedia storytelling and click images to find great new ways to digest the concept visually
  • Look at Disney and Lego as examples. You can introduce concepts though other medias. Get a kid interested in Star Wars by giving them a book or a video game, they understand the franchise without even watching the movies.
  • Say you have a book about hiking, have a hiking book club and use to gather people


Question: How do we apply that to client’s books that don’t have a huge franchise?

  • A book about changing your relationship with food
  • Suggestion: Write a short story about someone who has that journey, invite people to write fiction which engages them
  • Try to engage other communities
  • Make a mystery book into an online scavenger hunt
  • In TV there are types of shows that we know people will love, ie cop shows, hospital dramas etc, if you start thinking about communities in this way you can figure out was to tap into them and cross pollinate them.


Suggestion from the audience: Christian speculative book about a serial killer and his mom with a happy ending

  • What kind of devices and platforms? Always go for the free ones
  • Use the platforms together, don’t just rely on one
  • Do an interview but then also have something interactive
  • Look at the hobbies that the authors you’re promoting have and try to engage them in a fun way
  • Everything is niche marketing, people want to read about themselves, give them what they want, find the craze around the community


How do you engage for serious topics?

  • Invite people to come up with, let’s say, a sock puppet play that teaches 7th graders to help overcome poverty
  • Get people to say “I can do that!”
  • Read Trust Me, I’m Lying, Long Tails and Blue Ocean Strategy, The Tipping Point


Question: In doing something like a scavenger hunt, do you have a giveaway?

  • Part of the giveaway is the experience i.e. standing in line for a midnight showing of a movie, it’s bragging rights, it’s about being there.
  • As much as people are connecting digitally, in person events are invaluable
  • Be a broadcaster and curator of your field in a social media space, people will follow you because they are curious to know what you’re enthusiastic about if they can relate to you
  • Dig deep, who will be interested in this books, people in what communities will be into this book, how do you get your book in front of them on mobile devices?
  • The book is it’s own brand, get it’s universe out there in different ways where people can stumble upon it
  • Create a physical interactive experience
  • Understanding adult learning styles, who wants to read a book, who wants to listen to a lecture, some people are visual learners and want to watch a video
  • Create content that is static and broadcast it through the stream
  • We look at people’s iPads like we look at people’s medicine cabinets


Question: Costs for products, how do you balance where to ask for money and when to give it away for free

  • In the education world, train people for free then invite them to buy content that will take them deeper
  • Ask people what they would want as an incentive, that’s a form of engagement and it also allows you to tailor to the community and show them that you really care


Question: 50% of our audience is an older business audience, how do we approach them?

  • Engage with people in the tone of the book
  • It’s about being aspirational and inspirational, it’s about transformations and what’s possible