I recently received the following question from an author:
What advice can you give to a self-published author about getting OPTIONED (film and television). I want to sell my book online, and plan on taking your advice on marketing online, but one of my primary goals is to get my book into the hands of producers and directors who will want to turn it into a movie, and will want to “option” it.
Here was my response:
I must be bluntly honest with you. Your book will likely never be made into a movie. Anyone who tries to charge you money to make that happen is very likely only trying to profit from your dream.
Only around 600 feature films are produced in the United States each year (the numbers vary widely year to year). Some of those screenplays are written by those in the industry, and are not based on an existing novel. Add in smaller films and, of course, the numbers go into the thousands. (YouTube doesn’t count!)
Over a million books are published each year. Most of those are self-published, of course.
Any way you choose to do the math shows how dismal the prospects are for your story ending up on the big screen, and your name splashed on movie posters.
Naturally, every novelist wants their book turned into a movie. The competition is fierce. Even if you have an agent, the chances the book will be made into a movie are nil. What you need to beware of are the myriad of scams out there preying on authors who want their books turned into films. There is an infinite number of services, programs, shady individuals, so-called “producers”, and more who are willing to “help” you for a hefty fee and these almost never result in a real movie.
Some print on demand “publishers” charge authors more than $10,000 to turn their novels into a screenplay but I don’t think any of those ever resulted in a movie – no movie I’ve ever heard of at least! There are many authors who believe their script has been optioned (most don’t know what that means). It then usually sits for an eternity, gathering dust.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I don’t want you to fall prey to any of these firms/individuals in your quest.
The best path to Hollywood is for a book to become an international bestseller. Then, people will start clamoring for the movie rights. But, that is very rare, too.
I recommend you first try to secure a reputable literary agent but they may not even look at your manuscript until you can prove your self-published book is selling. Also, beware of agents who aren’t really literary agents but who, instead, charge authors for tons of services they don’t need, while using false promises and praise to try to get the author to open their wallet. That’s a whole other industry in itself. There’s no shortage of shysters who want to prey on an author’s vanity!
Another excellent resource is HERE.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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