1 – Why Hollywood Wants Your Book
I know what you’re thinking – why does Hollywood want my book?
There are several reasons:
- Films adapted from books are typically more successful than original screenplays as they
generate 53% more revenue than original screenplays worldwide.
- An incredible 70% of the world’s top 20 grossing films are based on books according to Frontier
- It is easier to build a movie or television franchise around a world that you, as the author, have
- More than 50% of all films and television series are based on books.
For example, movies like Legally Blonde, The Martian, Still Alice, The Celestine Prophecy, Fifty Shades of
Grey, and Eragon are all major motion pictures that started out as self-published works.
2- So, how do You Pitch your book to Hollywood Producers?
If you want to pitch your book to Hollywood Producers who have deals at Netflix, Amazon, Paramount,
Universal Studios, Warner Bros., etc. – You need to understand how the process differs from Agent
The very first thing you as an author should recognize is that there is a “formula” Hollywood follows for
adapting your work.
- The first step is to work with a development executive who is familiar with the Hollywood
formula who can help you adapt your book for film or TV. This is the process that is least
understood by authors. I will try to explain it as simply and concisely as possible.
- What this entails is working a Development Executive who knows what it takes to develop a 2-
page pitch, pitch deck, and synopsis or treatment of your book to film. Film or TV producers do
NOT read books. As an author you have to formulate these types of pitches so that a producer
can visualize and “feel” the emotional beats of your story in a condensed manner.
- You can also work directly with certain book agents who facilitate book to film deals, but those
agents are very limited. And they’re usually not available to self-published authors, though the
biggest example of a self-published author getting their book made into a film is “Fifty Shades of
- In a nutshell, a synopsis or treatment is a compelling written pitch of your story; its hook; main
characters; point of view; and most dramatic pieces and turning points. A pitch deck is a
treatment’s visual cousin: it is the written pitch in a “look book” of sorts. A 2-page written or
verbal pitch is all of those items contained into 5 minutes if it’s a verbal pitch and a 2-page
- If it’s a verbal pitch, you’ll need to practice to get it right and within the 5-minute limit.
- If you think this sounds easy, it’s not. In many cases large sections of books must be taken from
the written word and converted into a visual scene or scenes with action and dialogue.
- Plus, many parts of the book may need to be left out, or condensed into 1-2 scenes to keep your
visual audience engaged. There is an art to make this happen.
3- How to reach the right Hollywood Producers to pitch your book to film or TV.
Once these materials are completed, you’d expect to be able to reach Hollywood producers whose
contact information you can find on IMDB Pro and other websites to reach out to. But it doesn’t work
like that. Those are called “cold pitches” which usually end up in the spam or delete film at the
Honestly, you can try to pitch cold, and purchase books about how to write all your pitch materials, but
that will take hours of learning.
If you’re passionate about your book becoming a film or TV, it is suggested to work with a Development
Executive who -
a. Has years of experience in formulating book to film pitches and has a track record.
b. Has contacts with Hollywood Producers that he/she can pitch your book to film or TV directly.
c. Knows which Hollywood Producers are right for your book, as one size does not fit all.
Keep in mind that development executives are on the inside track with Hollywood Producers, and they
know what individual Producers are looking for.
For instance, you wouldn’t pitch a horror film to a producer who specializes in action thrillers. You’ve got
to know the difference.
4- What Content Hollywood is Looking for Right Now?
Hollywood producers are looking for projects with well-defined worlds and characters; plots with unique
twists and turns; and original content that makes them feel some type of emotion above all else.
At the same time, Hollywood is also looking for particular kinds of projects at the moment. Stories with
diverse characters, for example, are in high demand. So too are unbelievable true-life-stories, Christmas
stories, horror stories, animation stories, and medical, police, and detective dramas. A new trend is
Again, trends change, so Development Executives know what’s in demand in the marketplace and who
to sell it to.
5- Want to Learn More?
If you’re interested in learning more about how to produce materials for a book-to-film or TV pitch and
how to meet with Producers we work with, you can sign up for our mailing list and we’ll send you
additional information. Send an email to email@example.com with the subject line: Book to Film or
Our clients include both book to film and TV authors and feature screenplay writers for whom we have
successfully secured Hollywood Production deals and secured independent film funding in budget
ranges from $5M to $20M. When you sign up, you’ll receive additional information.
I hope you found this information useful, and I wish you much success in your pursuit of a book to film
or TV deal.
Thanks so much, and I look forward to seeing you at The Bookfest!