How To Sell A Screenplay In Hollywood

The ways of Hollywood are dark and labyrinthian…and that’s just for starters. Those who would dare navigate the showbiz jungle need wise and experienced guides. Here are some great tips from one of the guides at

by Jason Hellerman

What should you do with your script once you’ve finished it?

If you’ve taken the time to sit down to write a screenplay, chances are you didn’t do it only for fun. You want to make money. That’s why you’re here to learn how to sell a screenplay, and how much screenplays sell for in the open market.

Today we’re going to cover all the aspects of how to sell a screenplay to a studio, and get into the nitty-gritty of all the numbers that go along with script sales.

So let’s not waste time and get to selling a screenplay!

How To Sell A Screenplay Without An Agent

Let’s start at the very beginning. If you have a screenplay you love, but don’t have an agent, it’s going to be an uphill battle to sell your screenplay. I’m assuming that if you don’t have an agent, you probably also don’t have a manager.

I don’t have any good advice here besides “shoot it yourself.”

Or read our post about how to get an agent.

The fact is, learning how to sell a screenplay without an agent is a fruitless task. If you have a manger, they can take of everything, but if you have no one, it means you’re probably not established enough to be considered by buyers anyway.

It’s never been harder to sell a screenplay in Hollywood. To sell a script to a studio you need an agent, manager, or at the very least an entertainment lawyer to get it into a buyer’s hands.

Let’s assume you have an agent/manager.

What can you expect when you try selling a screenplay?

How to Sell A Screenplay: The Spec Market

Right now, most of the paid feature writing work in Hollywood happens at the studio level. Studios develop ideas internally, and hire writers. Or they buy external scripts, and hire people to work on rewriting or polishing those scripts. Sometimes those are called script doctors.

If you have written your own screenplay and want to sell it, you need to get past some gatekeepers to the buyers. Evan Littman, a development executive in international acquisitions recently wrote an article for us talking about five script writing tips to help impress buyers.

Basically, your script needs to pass a few levels of readers, then get to execs, then get to their bosses, then they may consider buying/producing it….

Read it all at