Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
One of the things agents often hear from novelists (and sometimes memoirists) is, “My book would make a great movie!” Authors want to know if their agent will work to sell the movie rights to their book, because after all, their book is dramatic, it’s visual, it’s action-packed, it’s emotionally deep — it’s a natural for the movies!
And you know what? Most of the time, we agree! Your book WOULD make a good movie. If it’s a good story, worth telling, then it probably could be told equally well in the form of a film.
But whether your book is dramatic or visual or compelling enough to make a good movie isn’t the question.
The questions are…
- Is the book selling like hotcakes? It it a New York Times bestseller?
- Has there been tremendous buzz in the publishing industry around the book?
- Was the book sold at auction with interest from numerous publishing houses?
- Is the book racking up glowing reviews from major outlets?
It’s not whether your book would make a great movie—it probably would—but whether it has these other elements that make it an attractive prospect for a film production company.
And those elements are hard to come by. Out of thousands and thousands of books published each year, only a small handful become movies.
Your literary agent already believes in you and your book. They think your book is great—that’s why they took it on. They’ve sold it to a publisher, so don’t take it personally if they aren’t spending a lot of time aggressively trying to get your movie rights optioned. The odds are high against getting a movie option, and your agent’s time might be better spent elsewhere.
If there are signs your book would be a good fit for a production company we know about, or we get inquiries, we will always follow up and do our best to get a film option. Otherwise, it’s not going to be our top priority.
Have you dreamed of having your book made into a movie?