… I heard this advice at a seminar at London Book Fair 2010. It was a real watershed moment for me. It was quite literally the best advice I ever heard, because it finally unlocked the idea in my head that had been percolating for about five years, which enabled me to craft my novel so that it sold. But what does it mean?

Seems to me there’s two ways of thinking about “your book is a movie”:

Your book will want to “unlock” all possible markets … In other words, if your book can be easily adapted INTO a movie, then immediately it’s a MUCH more attractive investment for a publisher, because they not only sell it *as* a book (perhaps in many different languages), they can also sell the movie rights and others, like transmedia. What’s not to like? KERCHING!


The potential audience for your book is more media literate than ever before. This means books *need* the same kind of strong central concept and hook a movie does to stand their best chance in the marketplace. A good example of this is Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, which has the same *kind* of structure as the movie Groundhog Day, albeit for different reasons (Before I Fall is definitely not a comedy).

Concluding then:

If you can liken your book TO a movie in your book proposal, this can really help agents and publishers see who your book will appeal to – in other words, you’re helping identify your audience and showing the people who matter you know what you’re talking about, in comparison to splashing words on the page and crossing your fingers.

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One Response to Your Book Is Movie …

  1. […] I’ve written before on this blog how I was given the great advice, “Your book is a movie…. When considering Lizzie’s dilemma in GUT DECISION, the scenario was in part inspired by the movie Sliding Doors. Sliding Doors is about consequences; so is GUT DECISION. This is on purpose, though their outcomes are very different. By deciding what movie my book was “like”, I found my way through all the different things that could happen in the story and discovered its hook, that elusive *thing* that sells one’s story “off the page”. […]

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