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Based On: Books blasting the transmedia frontier


Every writer wants to have their books turned into movies…blah…blah…blah….

But wait, what was that?

The book is better than the movie?

But not all them, sometimes the movie  is teh awsome! Or at least adequate.  With all the media choices out there and the oh so successful media franchises (exploitative of their captive audiences, yes that explains the pic above) sometimes it’s a book from a movie or a animated series from a comic (manga to anime adapatations are  very popular in Japan, where they are not stuck in the Animation Age Ghetto) or any combination there in.

So ever hopeful writer, what can you do about turning your little manuscript into the NEXT BIG THING(tm) and transform you into the GOD OF ALL MEDIA?

Yes, big bold capital letters, got a problem with that?

Moving on….

Normally, if your book is a hit, your agent will shop around the media rights which then will be bought by someone who will then turn them into something else. If your lucky a studio (animation, game or movie) picks up the rights hands them to the appropriate people and away they go. You, the proud creator of whatever it was that made it that far can only hope that the subsequent adaptations will bring enough royalty checks to justify your early retirement while not destroying your precious.

Good luck with that.

But before you embark in that journey down the slimy hole of multimedia you should ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Why is someone else writing this and not you? OK, I get it, you never worked in television, don’t know squat about directing a movie and you never used a computer before the mouse came to dominate our lives. So no coding for you. Besides, your busy writing the sec0nd part of your fantasy trilogy or the sequel to last summer’s hit best book to read on the beach, etc. Not to mention he day job that pays the bills.  However, who is in a better position to distill the essence of your book into 120 minutes of cinema?
  2. Is your universe big enough? Sure your book might make the basis for the next summer’s sleeper hit and then? You really want to branch out you need a universe of possibilities that can serve as the basis for all kinds of products (not just T-Shirts or key chains). Do you have enough locations, races, history and the like to make it worthwhile for the game developer, movie maker and comic book artist?
  3. What are the franchise possibilities? This ties directly to #2. Not all books, especially commercial fiction have wider cross-media appeal. But even if no 12 year old will be mashing buttons to see if Jane stays with John. Then again, a Japanese manga company might be interested in turning Jane  & John’s story into a hit comic book story (go to the local mega-book store and see the girls fawning over Japanese love comics, I seen them). This requires an understanding of your source material plus the possibilities of each media outlet (TV, movies, music, comics, video games, etc).

Of course, your book may not be adaptable to other media markets. That’s fine. Hard enough to go through the publishing system with a winning book at the end. But it pays to know and explore the possibilities, especially if you want to turn your writing into a career and want to be in control of what you create.

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