MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Friday, June 12, 2009

CREATING CONTENT & GETTING PUBLISHED IN A SPINNING PARADIGM

REMARKS AT RICK FRISHMAN’S “AUTHORS 101”

IN MANHATTAN PRE-B.E.A. 2009

[expanded]

They say insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sometimes I feel that I’m insane trying to publish new authors in the world of “traditional publishing” focused almost entirely on brands. As a story merchant who’s repeatedly found ways of getting new voices noticed, I used to pride myself on being called someone who “thinks outside the box.”

Today I’m not sure there IS a box. Or if there is, it’s rapidly changing shape.

The paradigm of getting published is not only SHIFTING, it’s SPINNING.

The ONLY CONSTANT today is the continuing and accelerating need for CREATIVE CONTENT. The best kind of property to create is intellectual property. If you had a choice, wouldn’t you rather be Bill Gates than Donald Trump?

Given this situation, what to do?

(1) Be massively proactive. Every minute of every day is an opportunity for you to use or to waste. Energy creates even more opportunity, and opportunity is the yellow brick road to success.

(2) Invest in yourself. Clarify your dream, believe in it, and use all your resources to make it happen.

(3) Think big. The bigger you think, the smaller the competition and the more you’ll be heard. Don’t be afraid of your biggest dreams. They may very well be the easiest ones to turn into reality. They’re the ones that will attract the most potent allies.

Of course my companies continue to work for CONTENT PROVIDERS “inside the box” in all media, as witness the worldwide sale of Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt’s forthcoming Dracula: The Un-Dead and the continuing progress of Paramount’s “Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not!” with Jim Carrey starring, Chris Columbus (“Harry Potter”) directing, and John Collee (“Master and Commander”) writing the production script.

But, following my own advice for once, in the last twelve months we’ve also created three new paradigms “outside the box”:

1) My partner Chi-Li led us to form a new Reality TV division in joint venture with Renegade (“Blind Date”). We’re already developing three shows! Bring us high-concept ideas attached to big colorful personalities.

2) Working with AEI client Michael Simpson at Informant Media, we’ve formed a new low-budget division, now having equity funding for a slate of 6-8 $3mm-$6mm films. Looking for thrillers, sci fi, action, family with directors or cast or supplemental financing attached.

3) Started “Finish Line,” AEI’s new “brand launch” division, and well into the launch of our first client-partner Nik Halik’s Thrillionaires franchise (www.thethrillionaires.com) If you’re ready to finance the launch of your global brand, we’re here to manage the launch.

The important thing for all of us is to continue seeing the opportunities around us, worrying not about the economy, as Nik Halik says, but your economy. Trust in the power of your own imagination to find a way through the darkness toward the light.

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