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Thread: [Publisher] Script-Lit eBooks / SLebooks

  1. #1
    Screenwriter Esper's Avatar
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    [Publisher] Script-Lit eBooks / SLebooks

    I couldn't seem to find much info about these guys, so I'm assuming they're fairly new based on their website and the market they're entering.

    I wasn't contacted directly by the publisher, so it's hard to really know what they've done, if they have any credits, clients, or if they're a new kid on the block.

    What they offer sounds compelling as I'm not opposed to collaborative work, but I guess I'm looking for other first-impression opinions.

    This is what they had to offer:

    A new platform to novelize compelling, unproduced screenplays is taking shape. Let’s face it, most screenplays (sold or optioned) will never make it to the big screen. However, they could reach millions of hungry book readers as a novel; even create momentum for a studio to green light the original script.

    We call this new literary genre, ‘Script-Lit’, focusing on women’s fiction, suspense/thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and crime. After reviewing hundreds of samples from ghostwriters, copyeditors, concept artists, and formatters, we’ve assembled a small team to expertly novelize select screenplays.

    The end product is made available to the public through Kindle, iBookstore and Barnes & Noble.

    We cover the production costs. You, the original writer retain the rights to the novelization including byline. You also retain all motion picture and television rights. Any deals made with a financier or studio outside of publishing would be handled by you or your agent/manager/attorney.

    Sample revenue model:

    (c) SL ebooks Model

    Cost bearing (up to $5000)
    SL ebooks - 100%

    Revenue Sharing (out of royalties after seller’s %/fees):
    SL ebooks - cost recovery (100% of initial royalties until costs are recouped)
    - plus 35% of future royalties

    Writer - 35%
    Note: this amount could go as high as 40% based on the eventual eBook retail price and overall publishing deal.

    Publisher - 30%
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Wait, am I understanding this right? They're saying they cover costs, but then those costs are taken from the author's royalties until they're recouped? So the author is still paying for their services, just on the back end rather than the front.

    Sounds like vanity to me.


  3. #3
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I like the idea of this initially, because it's novelizations--turning a script into a novel. However, if they are the ones who are assigning the projects, I would think that a flat rate or some type of an advance would be more appropriate, since this smells a bit like a packaging deal.

    tri

  4. #4
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Given that most screenplays could make short stories, or novellas at best, that's a pretty tall order.

    Speaking as someone who has novelized screenplays for real publishers and real movies, that got sold in real bookstores, let me just say that $5,000 for no profit participation and no rights in the book is not just "No," but "Hell no." That's where I laugh at the packager and hang up the phone.

    So, the sort of writers you'd get would be ... bargain basement writers. People who couldn't write a salable novel anyway. If I were a screenwriter I'd look askance at this deal.

  5. #5
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops View Post
    I like the idea of this initially, because it's novelizations--turning a script into a novel. However, if they are the ones who are assigning the projects, I would think that a flat rate or some type of an advance would be more appropriate, since this smells a bit like a packaging deal.

    tri
    There's nothing wrong with a packaging deal, Tri.

    There is, however, a lot wrong with a publisher asking writers to convert scripts (by whom? That's not made clear in the quoted message) into novels and not paying them appropriately.

    If I were asked, I'd advise writers to stay away from this one.

  6. #6
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Am I missing something somewhere?

    I'd write a novel based off Author Y's screenplay, and SLebooks would print and sell the novel. I could then independently sell the motion picture rights to the novel.

    What about Author Y? Has SLebooks purchased not only novelization rights to these unproduced screenplays, but also movie, TV, and derivative rights?

  7. #7
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Oh, I agree, Oldhack. I've been pursuing packagers and would like to pick up a deal. And they do pay a fair rate, even if it's got a tight deadline. But something sounds fishy here--they're not even going that far.

    Yeah, not only scripts by whom, but from where and how did they obtain them? Failed scripts? Options that didn't go through?

  8. #8
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Unimportant, that worried me too. I don't see how that could work.

  9. #9
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    I'm not getting a website on these guys. Is that a place-holder from the OPs link?

  10. #10
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    The way I'm reading this, Scriptwriter Y hires these folks to get their script (call it Screenplay Y) made into a novel.

    Scriptwriter Y keeps all rights, and gets the byline on the book.

    SLebooks finds a ghostwriter to turn Screenplay Y into Novel Y. The ghostwriter gets ... up to $5,000? Anything over $5,000 gets paid upfront by Screenwriter Y? Dunno. Ghostwriter gets ... no credit, no royalties, no nothing other than the check for writing this work-for-hire piece.

    As it stands, any competent ghostwriter can command a whole lot more than $5K for their work from real producers who genuinely have scripts that really do have thrilling plots.

    The idea that the novel will sell so well that producers will go looking for film rights that you, Screenwriter Y, proudly retain is ... well, a pious hope.

    I don't think this is a very good idea for anyone concerned, whether scriptwriter or ghostwriter.

  11. #11
    Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. kaitie's Avatar
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    Nevermind.


  12. #12
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald View Post
    The way I'm reading this, Scriptwriter Y hires these folks to get their script (call it Screenplay Y) made into a novel.
    Ah, I get it. I was reading it backwards. My bad! Thanks for the clarification.

  13. #13
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    I found this:
    Dear Authors,
    My name is James West, and I co-founded www.titledoctors.com, a naming firm and subsidiary of www.semantixcreative.com, that has worked for Hollywood studios since 2007 to the present. I now rep sold and unsold screenwriters whose works deserve your attention.

    While there are great screenplays, few and far between find their way to the big screen. Many of those screenplays would make good books, if the screenwriters knew how to write books, which they usually don’t. Therefore, I am seeking authors who would be willing to partner with screenwriters to adapt their screenplays into novella eBooks.

    Under my new banner, Scriplit, I’d like to hire talented authors that (change that to who) will turn screenplays into eBooks for Kindle, Kobo, iPad and Nook. You’ll receive an advance fee to begin, co-author credit, plus 30% of all royalties (digital and print). The screenwriter receives 50% while Scriplit receives 20% for consultation, marketing and editing the eBooks.

    If you’re interested, please contact me at: manager@industryvisionary.com or direct, 310-733-7559.
    Dunno. The companies mentioned seem on the up-and-up (though they're listed as having been founded by Jamil Barrie), but this idea seems half-baked. Adding: It's a little worrying that I can't find any link between James West and either titledoctors or semantixcreative, nor is there an industryvisionary website.
    Last edited by Unimportant; 01-07-2013 at 04:45 AM.

  14. #14
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    Can a full length feature film script (what? 120 pages?) be translated into a novella? Its says novella ebooks. I'm not a script writer, so I don't know.

  15. #15
    Screenwriter Esper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops
    I'm not getting a website on these guys. Is that a place-holder from the OPs link?
    That's just their webpage. Which is what turned me off and led me to ask questions here. It looks like its supposed to be flash interactive, but it's just a simple e-mail contact page. Information beyond that was null.

    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Anything over $5,000 gets paid upfront by Screenwriter Y?
    That's how I'm interpreting "up to $5,000" as well. Who's their production team? And will they insist I work with Artist X and Editor Z to max out that $5,000 and then incur costs afterwards? No idea - cause their sites don't give me much to go off.

    Quote Originally Posted by triceretops
    Can a full length feature film script (what? 120 pages?) be translated into a novella? Its says novella ebooks. I'm not a script writer, so I don't know.
    It can, in that a story is still a story.

    It's just a big job of translating cinematic omniscience and quicker pacing to a slower read with character internalization. Major beats like act outs still apply, but become more significant in that you're now responsible for encouraging a reader to pick a book back up that they could put down any time as opposed to just chilling for a bathroom break in a 120 minute movie.

    I guess it depends on the project. Everything you weren't supposed to do in writing it as a screenplay now gets called on in adapting it to a novel.

  16. #16
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Site now lists the production team. Also, the first couple works are up, with previews available.
    ICAO
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    Achievers strive for excellence. Perfectionists drive themselves to extinction. -- A Grapple A Day
    I've never known any trouble that an hour's reading didn't assuage. -- Charles DeSecondat

    II 2016: 2017:

  17. #17
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    No further activity.
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    II 2016: 2017:

  18. #18
    Super Browser triceretops's Avatar
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    They're dropping like flies, Cao. Thanks for the heads up.

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