Some of you may have recently seen my Facebook post regarding an email I received from an agent who specializes in movie and TV representation. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the whole thing, and it’s by NO means a sure fire thing, but it still felt pretty cool to be contacted. While waiting to hear back from her regarding her interest or lack thereof in CAGED, I started thinking (and most of you know what happens when I get to doing that)…
Do I really want to sell the rights to my novels?
To be perfectly honest, the thought of selling my babies off gives me anxiety. What would they do to them? Would they put them on a shelf, never to see the light of day? Would they butcher the story until it’s no longer recognizable to those that love it? Would they change the characters personalities/appearance to suit THEIR vision? Cue the tightening in my chest.
Once I calmed down a bit, I started to evaluate the situation more rationally. An author friend of mine, when posed with the question of whether or not she’d sell the rights to hers, said emphatically that she would because you only live once. I admire her spunk and grounding on the issue. I seem to lack both. To override my shortcomings, I thought I’d write down the pros and cons regarding the matter. Here they are:
- Money: Let’s be honest, everybody has a bottom line, and I’m sure that if I was offered the right amount of green, saying “no” to an offer would be nearly impossible.
- Exposure: If done well, on screen presence could do amazing things for the novels and my writing career.
- Marketing: Trying to get media coverage as an Indie author can be nearly impossible. I think that Good Morning America wouldn’t mind giving me a few minutes if I spawned a new movie or TV show.
- Cool factor: Come on…really? I shouldn’t have to explain this one 🙂
- Epic fail: We’ve all seen movies that were made from books we loved and were left thinking, “What was that?” I would never want that to happen to Ruby and company.
- No dice: Just because someone has the rights to your material doesn’t mean they’ll ever do anything with it. I don’t love feeling like Ruby would waste away on a shelf, waiting to hopefully be found and developed into something.
- Casting: This is a dead horse I’m willing to beat. If you screw up casting, you lose your audience. It’s fact. If the character shown isn’t the character written…well, let the hate-mail fly.
- No control: Hello, my name is Amber, and I’m a control freak. It’s a flaw, but it’s mine and I own it. Not having ANY say in what was done with the material that I spent years on would be close to asking me to saw my own leg off. Not quite as bad, but almost. I’m not a big enough deal to throw around any clout, so the reality for me is that I’m on the wrong end of the negotiation when it comes to what I could control. It’s not a position I’m tremendously fond of, and, frankly, it’s why I own my own business.
Now, after all that processing, I’m still no closer to an answer. I feel like the whole situation would depend on who I was dealing with. If I trusted the people around me, I would likely go for it. If not…you’ll have to just settle for seeing Ruby in the cinema of your mind. There are worse fates than that for sure.