Aspiring screenwriters and TV writers should shift their focus from selling a screenplay or television series, to building an audience for their work. It might sound like a futile effort, after all, the screenplay isn’t a movie yet and no one has seen the television series, so how does an audience fit into the ‘selling’ scenario?
By building an audience, a screenwriter or television writer attracts a producer to their project. Why do you think producers buy books and adapt them into movies? Because they come with a built-in audience.
Extreme Screenwriting has one approach to creating an audience, via a video teaser the client launches via Facebook’s look-a-like audience, then drives traffic to the video on YouTube, creating a viral audience to attract producers. Clients have had fantastic success with this approach and you’re welcome to visit the site and attend the free Marketing Webinar on ‘How to get a Producer to Call You’ to learn the how-to details at http://www.extremescreenwriting.com
However, this article is going to take a look at another approach to building an audience. An approach that’s been recognized by producers for a long time and that’s the book. Do you think producers buy books because they like the book? Maybe, but it’s more likely they purchase the rights to a book because it comes with a built-in audience. A major selling point for purchasing any project, whether it’s a screenplay, television series or book is whether or not it can attract an audience. A book that already has a fan base is sure to attract attention from Hollywood.
This brings us to THE BOOK ROUTE. If you’re an aspiring screenwriter or television writer who’s been struggling for five years or longer to make a sell, it’s time to consider adapting your material into a book! Self-publish the book and market it to build an audience, then use the screenplay (or pilot), plus the book’s audience to make the sell to a Hollywood producer. This is what writer/director Lee Chambers did with his screenplay “The Pineville Heist”. The project started out as a screenplay. After a few years stringent marketing, the screenwriter adapted the screenplay into a book. The book gained a teen audience and was made into a movie!
There are other benefits to adapting a screenplay or television series into a book, like the extra selling power the project has accumulated. The writer has a feature film screenplay to sell and the rights to the book, plus residuals for BOTH because the movie will generate more book sales! And the writer’s book fan-base will definitely want to see more if the book’s made into a movie. That means the project went from being a single screenplay or a television series and has blossomed into a franchise! The writer/ director I mentioned above is already in talks for part II of his book/movie deal!
This is a great way to go and it should be given serious consideration. But wait a minute. What if the writer specializes in screenplays or television writing and doesn’t know how or doesn’t want to tackle the monstrous undertaking of writing a book? An option would be to hire a ghostwriter or write the book in smaller sections, like half-a-chapter at a time at a slow rate, like 1-2 pages a day. That means 30-60 pages every month! At that pace, it won’t take long for the writer to complete the book.
Then what? Like screenwriting or television writing, books have to be polished to perfection to gain traction in the marketplace. Doing all the steps to get a book published, like proofreading/copyediting, interior design, book covers, eBook conversions, book reviews, etc., can be a daunting task. I recommend using a site like http://www.Book-Fixer.com. It’s a one-stop shop for all your book, self-publication needs. And I believe they have a marketing plan that shows the writer how to do a one-time setup that puts the book’s marketing on auto-pilot.
If you don’t want the hassle of taking on a book, that’s fine. But if you’re still waiting for a sale several years from now, consider going the book route.