How to Sell to Hollywood

January 2002
by Marisa D'Vari

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Selling books to Hollywood can be a lucrative proposition. But what are the rules of the game? How do you get books and stories read? Before you can sell, you must understand the Hollywood system.


As a former Hollywood executive and the author of Script Magic: Subconscious Techniques to Conquer Writer’s Block, I’ve received my fair share of questions about the secret of turning books and stories into Hollywood gold.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Who are these story analysts? How old are they? What is their education?


Story analysts come in every conceivable shape, size, and age. Readers at the studio are protected by a union and make very good money, often over $1000 a week, which is extremely good by Los Angeles standards. Virtually all are exceptionally well educated, and it seems as if more than half have advanced degrees, with law degrees particularly prevalent.


Few readers are able to start off as story analysts, despite their education. They fast-track their way from being secretaries or mail room clerks by “reading on the side” — offering to do coverage (what our industry calls a reader’s report which tells executives how well suited your book or story will be for the screen) for free.


2. What is their day like?


There are two types of readers. The full-time studio or production company reader is required in most places to read and analyze at least two scripts…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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