Writing can take on a variety of forms, and some authors are able to turn their books into movies or TV shows. If you do end up having a really popular story or book, keep ALLi’s three guiding principles for selling rights in mind: understand the contract, capitalize on rights, and limit the terms.
Now that’s out of the way, here are some author success stories, who broke into other markets through their writing.
Book and TV Writers
Vanity Fair covered a panel who novelists-turned-TV writers, who talked about their career progression. The panel included Megan Abbott, Amelia Gray, and Charles Yu, who now work on The Deuce, Maniac, and Westworld. Some tidbits they shared were about how it’s different working with a group of writers, the rules can sometimes be different in the writer room, and current events sometimes seep in.
One author recently had a hit on Wattpad, and her story was adapted for Hulu as a TV show. Zoe Aarsen wrote Light as a Feather on Wattpad, which has been read more than 3.3 million times. Wattpad promoted the story on their platform, and Zoe, who had already written the full story before she began posting in installments, tweaked it along the way based on reader feedback.
Book and Movie Writers
One writer, A.G. Riddle, self-published his first book, The Atlantic Gene, in 2013. He turned the book into a trilogy, which has sold more than 2 million copies. Since then, he’s published more books, and four of them are an option for feature films (though that’s a completely different process).
There’s also Karen Schaler, who was a TV news correspondent and now she writes holiday screenplays. In ten months, she’s written and sold three books and two movies, though it did take about ten years to get to that point. Her movies were sold to Netflix and Lifetime, and her first screenplay, A Christmas Prince, was a spec script, meaning it was uncommissioned and unsolicited.
Karen was forced to take a break from her day job for a health issue, and she used the time to study her genre and then write her script. She also did her research about submitting her script, and after she sold it, she wrote a novel version. In the past, she’d worked with a literary agent, so she reconnected with her agent and sold her book.
All of these writers work hard and have done their research, and they can now enjoy their successes after years of hard work. It’s exciting to read about, and certainly well deserved.