1. A. Robert James
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    A. Robert James New Member

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    Does a screenplay option hinder or help

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by A. Robert James, Mar 16, 2011.

    I have a completed novel that is being edited by a friend with an English degree. While waiting for the return of my manuscript, I spoke with a film producer I know and he wanted to option the story for a film adaptation. Would this kind of deal help me attract an agent/publisher or hinder? Or does it even remotely matter to an unknown author with a first novel?

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    A. Robert James
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it all depends on the terms of the option and the period of time involved... if it leaves you free to seek a publisher, it can only help... but if it ties up the ms for a year or more and doesn't pay you enough to justify the wait, i don't see that it would be a good deal...

    a lot also depends on the rep of the producer... if well-known and at the top-level of the 7-9-tier realm of producerdom, it's worth the risk... if a low-level newbie, probably not...
     
  3. A. Robert James
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    A. Robert James New Member

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    Thanks. The wording in the option leaves the manuscript open for publication, just the film rights are tied up. I didn't think it would hurt since I can still pursue publishing. The producer is very low level but on the up and up.

    I just wasn't sure if an agent or publisher would run if there was something else attached to the project even though it is only for film rights.

    Thanks again for your insight.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as long as publication rights are still available, it would be a plus, not a minus, because the agent could still get his/her cut from a subsequent sale of the film rights, and/or any further moneys coming from a renewal of the option, and the publisher would benefit from a film version...

    how long is the option good for and how much did he pay you for it?... those factors will affect how agents and publishers feel about the option...
     
  5. A. Robert James
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    A. Robert James New Member

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    Since I am a nobody, the option is for six months at $100. Not glamorous, but more than I had before.
     
  6. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    It's a hundred bucks more than I've received. Congrats!
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, better than nothing...

    has this producer taken part in the production of any successful movies?... if so, you could use that as a 'carrot' in your queries to agents for the book ms...
     
  8. zilly
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    zilly Senior Member

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    Wait. Aren't you selling the rights? Do you really think your work is only worth $600. Do you really need $600 that much?

    If I felt my work was worth anything, I wouldn't let someone potentially tarnish it for $600.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    zilly...
    it's only $100 for a 6 month option... not $100 per month...

    and that is not 'selling' any rights... it's only an agreement to not sell them to anyone else for the period covered by the option... if the optioner doesn't purchase the property before the option expires, then it's up for grabs again...
     

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