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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Saturday, June 28, 2014

so, you think you want to make your book into a movie...

I have recently been on this bandwagon, sure that my books would make FABULOUS movies. My first idea was to send them to a friend of mine in the movie business, albeit, documentaries. When, after several months, she still hadn't read them or given them to anyone in the movie business to read, I had to give up on that idea. (And just so you know, I realize how very stupid this idea was) I then got an e-mail in my junk mailbox from someone called Nat Mundel at Voyage Media, who offers classes and every kind of service related to moving your book into some sort of visual form.

I wrote them an e-mail back, presenting the last book of my fantasy trilogy, The Wolf Moon, as the one I wanted to concentrate on. Although Voyage Media offers many ways of doing these things yourself, I opted to go the expensive route. With stars in my eyes I spent the money to have them do a 'treatment' of my book. A treatment is  synthesizing the story into the major plot points in order to have it appeal to producers. And after this was accomplished, my book would be 'shopped' by them to several producers and then stored in their data base for anyone looking for an idea. (Hello, Earth to Nikki--are you a well- known author?)

All well and good. However, once the treatment was accomplished and I read through it, I realized that my story was still too complicated and needed further condensing. And not only that, some of the most important aspects of the story had been left out of this fifteen page narrative the Voyage Media crew had come up with. With my payment, which I actually didn't think was exorbitant considering what they promised, I had a bonus call with the big man himself, Nat Mundel. This was touted as something very special and I looked forward to it, trying to frame my questions to fit into the twenty minute time slot.

When Nat called I was very pleasantly surprised. He was engaging and interested in my work and had lots of good things to say. I liked him immediately. Instead of talking for twenty minutes, we were on the phone for forty-five minutes. We spoke of what my intentions were regarding the project. Did I just want to see what would happen with this first phase--a fishing expedition I guess you'd call it, or did I want to go further? Was I committed to seeing my book up on the big screen? I said I still thought it would make a good movie, although it needed further condensing. He agreed, and I swear he either read my book himself or he had heard all about it from his crew. (or he read through the 'treatment' before the call)

So, in light of my willingness to go forward, Nat suggested a couple of things that would do just that. The first was what he called a 'look book', which reminded me of what I would call a storyboard. He sent me a sample of what Voyage Media had done for another client while we were on the phone. "I love it!" I cried. And I did. It was very cool. But then I found out how much something like this costs and my excitement dwindled a bit, but it didn't go away.

We spoke of how this would work for my book and how they put something like this together. The cost was within reason, but out of my range at this point. But the stars were back and I told him that I would like to move forward but first I had to talk to my husband.

 When I decided to go for it I went in with eyes open. It was a long shot, but hey? why not? They have editors and consultants and marketing people at their fingertips--these would all benefit me no matter what happened. And so with the help of Bonnie Solomon, editor supreme, I rewrote my book and made it into a shorter more condensed version of the original--In this version my heroine is stronger and gets it together quicker--(something like me in my own quest for success). The new version of The Wolf Moon is a great read, especially after working with a professional editor like Bonnie and the new cover design, also done by Voyage Media. Is this not fantastic?

Now I await the possibilities, hoping that my book will be picked up by a publisher who sees its worth. The Lookbook is fabulous, book is the best it can be and marketing has been accomplished by Voyage media person, Denise Cassino. With all of that in mind it is still a gamble and all authors understand this. 'You pays your money and takes your chances' as the saying goes.

For any of you out there who relate to this idea, do not hesitate to look up Nat Mundel and Voyage Media. They have lots of less costly ways to go forward and many good ideas. I highly recommend them!