As writers, we all typically follow the same path writing-wise, especially when it comes to creating our first script. It all started with the idea that eventually turned into an endless slew of days designated for writing and crafting your story. No one forgets the day they completed their first script, it's a milestone of a day most people aren't able to accomplish.
Once you finally finish your script, you’re probably wondering where you go from there. As you know, a person isn’t going to randomly stumble upon your script and produce it for no reason. Unless you have magical powers, hard work is the only answer to properly get your script sold.
However, outside of just selling your script, there are countless steps to follow in order to sell your script. The best way to properly market your script is to get it represented by either an agent, manager, production company.
With this in mind, we’re going to go over the steps to follow to have your script represented. No matter the genre or length of your script, all of these steps apply to achieve the same common goal of getting a script representation. Let’s take a look!
Photo credit: Literary Agent Mark Gottlieb
Step 1: Create the Perfect Logline
Since your script is already created, you most likely have a logline to begin with. Most scripts begin with a logline, but having the right logline is crucial to getting your script representation. No one will bother reading your script if it’s basic logline isn’t interesting.
With this in mind, take a hard look at your logline. Look at it in detail and go over exactly how you can perfect it to the best of its ability. Once you feel confident in the interest appeal of your appeal, you can move forward with the rest of these steps.
However, make sure you're self-critical of your own logline. For most, it's a difficult task to do, but you need to have a proper logline that represents your script. Remember to keep it simple, yet appealing for the audience that reads it.
Step 2: Draft a Query Letter
Depending on who you're reaching out to, you'll likely have to draft a query of some sort. As a way to avoid retyping the same thing repeatedly, consider developing a query letter. For those of you that don't know, a query letter is a formal letter to propose a writing idea. It usually entails who you are, your logline, and a thank you.
Create a draft of one, and change a few words depending on the person or company you’re sending a letter or email to. Outside of a query letter, consider creating a cover letter and resume in case they ask for one. Basically, be prepared to have all of the documents necessary to send upon request.
Step 3: Create a List of Agents/Managers/Companies
Now that you have everything you’ll need to send out, now’s the time to create a list of agents, managers, and companies. Try to search for representation that is open for submissions. Strictly listing opportunities that aren’t open for submissions will only waste your time.
Don't submit to any of them yet, but create a detailed list of them all, so you know who is interested and who isn't. From there, you'll be able to accurately send out your query letters and submissions in no time.
Step 4: Submit According to Their Rules
Now that you have the list of people and companies you want to submit to, you need to follow all of their submission guidelines. Not submitting to them properly will ensure you a guaranteed no, or they might completely ignore you.
Yes, submitting is exciting, and counting down the days for a reply can be exhilarating, but not following the rules properly will only waste your time. Make sure you read everything multiple times before submitting to ensure that you’re submitting properly.
Step 5: Wait and Networking
Now that you’ve submitted everything you can do; you’re left to wait. Rather than sit around anxiously for a reply, your best bet is to search for ways to build your network. People and companies are more willing to represent your script if they get a notion of who you are from someone else.
Scan their websites and see who you can reach out to. Plus, if you know anyone already in the business, don't be afraid to reach out to them. The worst that can happen is a no, or they'll just ignore you.