As a novice screenwriter, there is no higher goal than to sell a script. Though the above goal would be for that script to be developed and well-received upon release, no one can deny the accomplishment of selling a script. Still, a lot is attached to selling a script, especially without an agent.
With this in mind, below will highlight a few critical tips on selling a script without an agent. Keep in mind, there is a lot you can cover in this subject. Below are just a few general points to be mindful of while discussing this area. Regardless, continue reading if you hope to learn more about selling scripts!
Have an Online Presence
It may sound cliché, but the best way to sell your script is to make a name for yourself. The only natural way to develop yourself and gain a following is through your online presence. Though there is a happy balance between your craft and utilizing the web, realize the importance of the online medium.
Have at least an Instagram and Twitter to connect with others related to your field. You could theoretically throw up questioners asking if anyone in your area has a similar interest to yours. Reddit is also great to find the specific niche you’re looking for, allowing you to grow in several ways.
However, as marvelous as the online world is, don’t expect it to make you the next great screenwriter within a few days. It’s a tool that should benefit you but shouldn’t be your primary focus. Your main focus should always be on writing without letting the constant promotion and usefulness of the web distract you. Know what it’s essential in this realm.
Do Research (Who Would Realistically Buy Your Script?)
As great as it is to have an online presence for your writing and career, research is the other part of the web. Many writers think a magical gift will come to them out of nowhere. The truth is, no one will randomly come purchasing your script. It’s a lot of work, with there being countless notable screenwriters who still struggle selling scripts.
As a result, be aware of who would realistically buy your script. If a studio accepts open pitches, know what kind of pitch they’re looking for. For example, if it’s an indie horror studio, realize you should only pitch to them if you fit under that umbrella. Don’t waste your time, especially in a field where time is such a luxury.
Consider making a google document or spreadsheet with all of the potential areas for pitches, screenwriting contests, agents, and anything else that can help sell your script. The more organized you are, the better. Research is imperative to the success of anything, especially with the notion of selling a script.
Enter Screenwriting Contests
Screenwriting contests are a great way to gain traction as a writer very quickly. Though you may fail right away, the more you work on your craft, the better your script will be. The better your script gets, the higher chance you have for your script to sell. Either way, make a note of any notable screenwriting contests you can join or create an account on Coverfly.
Join Screenwriting Workshops
As great as screenwriting contests for potentially selling a script, many don’t help writers who lose take the next step. Unless you’re consciously looking for feedback, some screenwriting contests ignore that area altogether. Either way, join some screenwriting workshops to make connections and gain the tools needed to have a better script to sell.
Go to Pitch Fests
Countless passionate individuals want to be the next great screenwriter. Pitch fests are great for meeting plenty of notable names, all within a couple of days. Though the judges vary on their value, the better pitch fests are great opportunities for novice writers.
Know How to Approach Agents, Potential Buyers, etc.
A query letter is a primary way to approach agents and potential buyers. A query letter usually includes a one-paragraph synopsis, bio, and logline. It’s in a standard business format with your address, their name, title, address, and anything else that’s applicable. These letters are commonly sent via email, making emails easy to find online.
Network and Make Connections
As we’ve mentioned numerous times throughout this article, it can’t be stressed enough about the importance of networking and making connections. Even if you’re a quiet individual, reach out to people that have similar interests to you. You’d be surprised what might happen, especially from a business perspective.
As great as trying to sell your script without an agent, don’t let it overtake you daily. The most important thing you can do is to keep writing. Don’t procrastinate or be lazy in that respect. Keep it going and allow your craft to grow, so you develop the tools necessary for people to be interested in what you write.