How to Sell a Screenplay

At last! The definitive answer (until the next definitive answer) to the fundamental question on every writer’s mind. (Well, those who are trying to make it in Hollywood anyway.) Go for it:

Corny as it may seem, this is a site even we never get tired of

from Script Reader Pro

So, you’ve finally finished a script you’re proud of. Congrats. But are you now trying to figure out how to sell a screenplay? In this post, we’re going to take a look at the very best six options to help you do just that.

We’re not saying that selling scripts is “easy”—there are no guarantees attached to any of the steps in this post—but if you apply yourself rigorously to each of them (for as long as it takes) selling a movie script should become that much easier.

Before learning how to sell a script to Hollywood…

To get the maximum benefit out of this post, remember that you should first be writing screenplays that sell. Once you know how, get together a portfolio including at least two stellar screenplays, synopses and query letters ready to go.

You can read more about how to get together a portfolio in our post on How To Become A Screenwriter.)

Once you have a portfolio together that’s received a glowing review from a friend in the industry, or a “Recommend” grade from a script coverage service, the real work when it comes to selling scripts begins…

So without further ado, here are the six best options regarding how to sell a movie script that you should know about.

How To Sell A Screenplay Without An Agent

 

Agents have become something of an enigma because of the Catch-22 situation that your script won’t be read unless you have an agent, but you can’t get an agent until you sell a screenplay.

So somehow getting an agent has become a kind of holy grail among aspiring screenwriters. But this approach is all wrong. In reality, agents only exist so that a deal can be made and processed between you the screenwriter, and a producer, production company or studio.

An agent’s job is to make deals happen. And most of the time, this is only going to happen when a screenplay is seen as commercially strong and marketable. Since screenplay agents only get 10 percent of whatever deals they put in place, they will only make any money if the deal is big enough.

Screenwriting agents only make enough money to have a career on mid to high level deals. Doing a deal on a script sale of a hundred grand is lucrative as long as they do a lot of them. And most will only represent screenplays and writers if they find a script they can easily sell.

Stop chasing agents, start chasing managers

Screenwriting managers, however, are a different entity altogether. They will—the good ones, that is—help you become a better writer, develop your scripts, offer feedback, work with you, build your network, name drop you around town, etc. Most managers will even help you get an agent—but only, of course, if they think the agent will know how to sell your screenplay….

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