I Ought to Be in Pictures?
August 6, 2012 6:15 PM Subscribe
What are the realistic odds of a movie studio buying rights to fiction? What steps could one take to even attempt this?
posted by anonymous to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have had a book published by a small independent press. My partner has been wonderfully supportive and just excellent in every way through this process. Now that the book is complete, my partner would like to hire an agent to attempt to sell the book rights to movie studios. I have been immersed in the world of writing for many years, and I have serious doubts that this would be a good idea. First of all, the book is not a popular genre (literary fiction), I have no proven sales record yet, no real marketing budget, and very little experience writing screenplays. My area of writing expertise tends to be more in the realm of literary fiction, poetry and literary criticism, so I have very little to go on as far as first-hand experience with this process.
I am worried that this plan would be a waste of money in the end, since I imagine the odds of movie studios wanting to make obscure literary works into films must be very slim. My partner seems set on this course of action, and tends to see my doubts as either defeatism or low self-esteem. To that I respond that he hasn't been on the receiving end of years of rejection as most writers are. He thinks it would be a great idea because my work seems very zeitgeist-y to him. I don't want to say too much, but my book covers material very similar to several recent successful films. He believes that my work is unique enough that film studios would be interested in its take on this material.
I understand that what my partner wants to do come from a place of care and support, but I feel that we cannot afford to blow a few thousand dollars on such a long shot. I've had friends that were strung along by agents for years, to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars in attempts to sell books to major publishing houses with no success. I suspect we could find an agent more than willing to take our money, but that we might not get anything out of it.
How realistic is my partner's plan? Are there resources I can use to find out more about the process?
Anonymous because I don't want to seem like I'm plugging myself here.