How To Sell Your Screenplay

Finally, A Way To Sell Your Screenplay

How to sell your screenplay

There are thousands of screenplays exchanging hands around the world and some of theme are really good! If you are an expert writer or an amateur exploring your writing passion, you are probably thinking questions like:

How do I sell my screenplay?

Should I approach a well known co-writer that can promote the screenplay?

Who do I know that can make it happen?

Is it safe sharing my screenplay with others?

Can they steal my story?

Should I sign those release forms for them to review it?

Should I write a book based on the story and promote it on Amazon to get exposure?

Is Kickstarter a good option?

The questions never end, and the bottom line is that all you want is to see your screenplay on the big screen and get paid for it. The only question that you should be asking is: How do I sell my screenplay?

In order to make your screenplay stand out from the rest, you will need to do three things:

1) Make it pitch-able: No successful producer, executive or decision maker in Hollywood will read a screenplay to evaluate the story. Those who are willing, probably don’t have the position, power or resources to make it happen. Most likely, they are the ones that will just steal your idea and use it themselves if they like it.

Successful decision makers would not be successful if they spend most of their life reading worthless hundred page screenplays to evaluate them. They only have time to review an idea, also known as a log-line. That is more than enough for them to green-light your concept and start reviewing your screenplay.

A “killer” log-line is the essential first step of selling your screenplay. Think of your log-line as the needle and your story as the thread. While most people are trying to penetrate the fabric with the entire spool in their hand, and others believe that they can do it if they make the end of the thread pointy enough, we recommend you use a needle and avoid the frustration. You can read more about developing your log-line at What is a good pitch?

2) Hire to pitch: You might be a very good writer, you might also have the most profound knowledge regarding your story, and you are most probably the most excited person on earth regarding your screenplay. Does that make you the right person to sell it? Do you have the pitching expertise, the connections or the objectivity regarding the value of your story that would make it sell?

Your best bet is to hire a company that specializes in exactly what you need. If you’re not sure why this is the best option, we recommend you read No Connections, No Problem.

3) Think positive: It’s not so important to think positive if you have a good log-line and you hired the right company but in any case we recommend it. You should enjoy the pitching process and work with the people you hired constructively to improve your chances as much as possible.

Conclusion: We strongly recommend the Start Pitching Package where we can work with you to register, review, improve pitch and sell your idea and screenplay. Even if you are skeptical about the end result, you literally have nothing to lose and much to gain.

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Comments

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for the info, I knew I was doing something wrong and this definitely looks worth looking into.

    Out of curiosity though, could you answer those sample questions you posted? I have though of all of those and I just want to know your advice.

    • Hello Chris,

      Those are common questions that writers face and even though there is no absolute answer, our best answers would be:

      How do I sell my screenplay?
      The answer is in the conclusion of the article. You can’t go wrong with the Start Pitching Package.

      Should I approach a well known co-writer that can promote the screenplay?
      Sure, why not. In our opinion, this could help (a) improve your screenplay and (b) have extra exposure. On the bad side, it will cost you money and author credit, while it doesn’t quarante that it will be sold and it doesn’t make it more pitch-able. We do not reveal the identity of the owner of ideas when we promote them to ensure that they are treated equally.

      Who do I know that can make it happen?
      You know MoviePitcher now and that’s all you need! 🙂

      Is it safe sharing my screenplay with others?
      It is never safe sharing a good idea with people in the industry. You should avoid mid size production companies that cannot make it happen on their own. They might not be able to pay you but they might have the means to silently promote it behind your back. You should either pitch it directly to the source or nothing at all to be relatively safe.

      Can they steal my story?
      Yes, anyone can steal your story. That is why the first thing we do is to register your idea and your screenplay so that you have solid proof that you submitted the creative material with a timestamp. In all honesty, there is no real way to secure an idea no matter how many thousands of dollars you spend with copyright lawyers. This is because legally, even if you register an idea and someone else has conceived the same or similar idea WITHOUT being influenced by your idea, then there is nothing to stop them from doing it. The best way to stay safe is to (a) register your idea with us in case someone materializes that concept based on your idea where you could pursue them legally, and (b) act fast and do your best to make it happen first. This is one of the reasons we try to get our clients ideas out as fast as possible and to get them picked up. We also try our best to pitch good ideas to multiple studios simultaneously so as to avoid word spreading.

      Should I sign those release forms for them to review it?
      Yes, these release forms are a fact of Hollywood. We also require a pretty strict release form to protect ourselves from legal nuisance and it is the only way that we can promote your idea further. If you come across someone that doesn’t ask for a release form, they are probably amateurs. What you should pay attention to, is exclusivity. There is no need to sign an exclusive agreement with a promoting company even for a short amount of time. Yes some will say that they cannot undertake a project if someone else is also promoting it, but we think that it is to your benefit to encourage competition. We sell more ideas than our competitors combined and we don’t ask for exclusivity. We only ask that you notify us if you hire someone else so that we don’t conflict with them.

      Should I write a book based on the story and promote it on Amazon to get exposure?
      No you should not. Selling a book is a completely different market and getting a best seller on Amazon is MUCH more difficult than to sell your screenplay to Hollywood. This does not increase the selling potential of your screenplay. You should write a book only if your goal is to publish a book and if you would enjoy the process.

      Is Kickstarter a good option?
      If you have a screenplay that is Hollywood material, we do not recommend Kickstarted because (a) you cannot raise enough money to produce it and (b) there is a high chance of the idea getting stolen (they even mention in their FAQ that Kickstarter is a very public place and if you don’t feel confident sharing your idea, then you should’t post it). If you have a screenplay for a local production and you require up to $10,000 to make it happen then Kickstarter might be the right choice for you. You can get paid five times more just from selling your idea (not including a potential screenplay sale) and you don’t have to produce it or offer rewards to people who invested in it.

  2. I’m 53 years old and I’m not very internet savvy. Trying to promote my screenplay, I spent countless hours for more than a year converting it into a novel to promote it on Amazon. My son gave me the same advice as you regarding Amazon but I needed to give it a try.

    You were both right since unfortunately, I have had 17 sales total and five of them where my own. I have spent $2,700 on it when my initial goal was to make money. Even though I have enjoyed the process, and I’m proud for publishing my book, I wish I had known you earlier.

    Finally, I would like to thank you since I have followed your advise and my screenplay got sold. I would also like to thank you for securing an editorial role with the production company. You guys really made my dream come true and I especially appreciate how communicative you are even though its through email only. Even my son is amazed with your patience with me!

    We sold one, but I’m not going anywhere. I have plenty more ideas!
    Warm Regards,
    Becky

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