It is no question to anybody that the screenplay and book writing markets are both extremely saturated. The only way to successfully break into either of these markets is mainly through quality writing or great marketing. This post will explain my opinion on a few effective ways to make a name for yourself in each of these two markets.
Especially in the screenwriting industry it is important to have writing that is not only quality, But also is formatted to industry standards. To figure out how to format a screenplay to industry standards, I would recommend downloading the open office screenwrite format which is free. If there are any additional questions after this, google them. After you have familiarized yourself with the art of writing screenplays, and you write your first screenplay, it is important to make sure it is perfect. There are tons of great screenwriters in hollywood already. Hollywood could keep pumping out movie after movie forever. The only problem is that the majority of these movies are remakes, knock offs, or sequels of other movies. The screenwriters already in the industry seem to come up with very few original ideas. This is the reason why it is important for some to step with some well developed original screenplays. Script readers at film studios like universal studios and lucas films literally are requested to read a hundred plus screenplays in a day. If you do end up getting an agent to read your screenplay it needs to capture them in the first ten pages or else they will throw it in the trash. There are certain arts that must be learned in order to market a screenplay. Michael Hauge explains the arts of writing query letters and marketing yourself as a screenwriter great in the book Writing Screenplays That Sell.
In my opinion the book industry is a much more saturated industry, but also a much larger industry. There are thousands of books out there and only a select few authors will ever become extremely famous. That being said people do continue to buy books and it is an art, that I don’t believe will ever die. I believe that people will buy books for two reasons. First, people are willing to pay for quality writing. A lot of books don’t make it because, quite frankly they suck. If quality writing is discovered people will buy the book. This leads me to the second reason books become commercially and artistically successful. In general, books will never be discovered unless they are well marketed. There are plenty of ways to go about this, but as a consumer I find the most successful marketing tool to be the cover of the book. If I find a book that looks interesting in Barnes and Noble or on Amazon the first thing I do is look for professional reviews. I typically don’t read a book unless there a few specific reviews about the books great quality. Even then there is one more check for me, and it is the summary on the back of the book. If there is an amazing summary on the back of the book I believe it may even cause the author to double their sales. I believe it is worth it to pay a few professionals to write a good review on your book. Also do not forget about having an intriguing name and a great grabber on the back.
If one were to search for all the information there is in the world about successfully writing and marketing books and screenplays, they would find hours of useful information. I have detailed the most important information in this post. As important as marketing is, it will never work unless there is something great to market. Quality writing will always win over poor writing.