1. Christo

    Christo New Member

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    A peculiar quandary...

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Christo, Sep 6, 2019.

    I am hoping that someone might be able to help me with a strange quandary that I am in...I recently finished editing my thriller novel with a well established and well regarded literary consultancy. They are currently reading the manuscript with the understanding that if they think it is good enough they will champion my work to agents and publishers. I have been waiting now for a few months for a response, so I haven't submitted anywhere myself yet.
    Now my problem comes because I also have a movie producer who would like to option the story and try to make the film of my book. He is chasing me but I have been putting him off because the literary consultancy have told me that IF they want to take the book forward, agents will not be impressed if I have optioned the movie rights already, (is this true?).
    At the same time the movie producer is saying that if they are working up a movie, that may be what persuades a publisher to take the gamble on a debut author...
    What should I do? both are offering me the end of the rainbow...potentially! I'm worried the movie guy might lose interest and then the agency come back and say 'not interested', and I end up with nothing. But I don't want to mess up my chances with the agency because really it is the publishing deal I dream of most... Could anyone with more experience than me give me some solid advice please?
     
  2. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll "It's a messy business." :P Supporter Contributor

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    Super jelly.

    Perhaps you could have the agency discuss it with the movie producer.
    IDK, how it all works, but one would think that the agency would see
    a good sized commission for services rendered for a movie deal based
    upon your book. Though you have to know what is in your favor given
    any contract(s) that you may already have. Also you might want to
    discuss things with an expert that can handle this type of thing better,
    just making a best guess. Maybe consulting with a Contract Lawyer,
    or similar to get a good idea of what you should do that will be in your
    best interests. :)
     
  3. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Active Member

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    No experience here so don't listen to me.

    I am just wondering if you have spoken to a legal person about this issue? I have to think that there should be a way to "have your cake and eat it to" - meaning that it should be possible to do both. So long as you protect the potential consultancy's investment in your work, how can it be a problem for you to speak to this potential movie producer?

    As I said, I've no experience, this is just my gut feeling.

    As I read it, the consultancy has not come through yet and they have had ample time to review your work....? How can they expect you to pass up a chance at having your book become a movie/tv show? Have they paid you something for your work?? Maybe they could argue they have some rights to your work if so but idk for how long...
     
  4. Christo

    Christo New Member

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    Hi yes i put them in touch with each other but agency seems to think the best is simply to keep the movie interest on ice until they come back to me...the whole thing is that the movie guy is offering me a contract now, but that still doesn't mean the film will ever definitely get made and the consultancy is saying that giving him the option may scupper my chances of securing an agent... its a good problem to have but because like all unpublished writers I am desperate to see my book published it is very stressful, I seem close but no where at the same time... Thanks for the advice though!
     
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  5. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just curious, but how did a movie producer hear about your book? Has he read it yet?
     
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  6. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

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    It is really difficult to say for sure. What is the reputation and what type of pull does the movie producer have in the industry? Far more novels get optioned than actually move forward to script and then film. Also, what is being offered/paid for the option would be a factor. A bit player vs. a mover is a world of difference.

    On the other hand, what is the consultancy's real impact and connection with top agents or publishers? And just because they go to bat for your manuscript doesn't mean that it will go anywhere with agents and/or editors. It sounds as if you've paid for the consultancy's services. Are they dragging their feet?

    You are right in not sending to agents/publishers, as that may inadvertently close a door to where the consultancy has a connection.

    All that said...if they edited the manuscript (the consultant establishment), reading the manuscript again should not be a major undertaking. I guess some depends on the type of editing they did, and how much they anticipated your fixing what they believed to be problems (like with plot and character development, etc. rather than mostly minor grammar or typo issues).

    If you have solid interest by a film producer of, let's say, notable merit, and it your project optioned, it may deter some, as agents would not get their cut, and publishers would prefer to obtain the rights to film, as that is a potential revenue stream. But if something is optioned with a decent chance of making it to film, it will be an easier sell for agents and offer a better chance of return on investment by a publisher. Plus, if it goes to film, the producer may have connections to bring film to novelization (with publishers).

    So, based on what you said (and there are certainly far more details you know about the situation than could be shared in a short post) I would lean toward what you know has interest as opposed to what may be eventually prove to have interest. But before anything is signed, a literary attorney consultation is a good idea.
     
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  7. Christo

    Christo New Member

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    Hi I haven't signed anything with anyone yet but that works both ways as I could easily end up with everyone walking away. its not so much the legal position but more just what I should do, I want to give the guy an option to the film but I don't want to put agents off representing me as really the goal is getting published. I've been trying to figure it out for months but I'm still just waiting for one and stalling the other, its pretty stressful...Thanks for your advice though.
     
  8. Christo

    Christo New Member

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    I self published it a few years ago...got great reviews but people said it needed an editor... basically a mate of this producer read it and passed him a copy...he got in touch with me while I was in the editing process with this consultancy.
     
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  9. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ah. That's excellent. You've certainly got something people want. Good luck with the quandary. I'd take TWErvin's advice if I were you—he's a long-established traditionally published author. Talk to a legal consultant if you have any doubts.
     
  10. Christo

    Christo New Member

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    Thank you this is great advice and you are getting to the crux of everything now... the producer has a relatively new production company but successful with a good track record behind him (including a number of awards) and has worked on feature films which are 5-10m budget...so indie productions...so he is not offering much for the option and it is not like Hollywood is knocking on the door...so although it is a million miles better than where I sit today, the promise of the lit agency and their contacts has been where I've been hedging my bets. The work I did with them was extensive and outsourced to literary professionals i.e. I worked through a story edit with a (famous) playwrite/novelist and then a line edit with an editor from a publishing house. So actually the guys at the agency are only reading for the first time now... I think really that I have to just hope they come back to me in time...its a gamble either way, I don't think there is an answer without time travel!
     
  11. Christo

    Christo New Member

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    Thanks!
     

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