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Can you recommend an agent for a published (unagented) novelist who also wants to be a screenwriter?

The film and television industries are highly specialized. The revenues generated by these industries amount to BILLIONS of dollars annually. This is the reason Hollywood remains the entertainment capital of the entire world.

With financial stakes of such magnitude, published novelists will only appear on Hollywood’s radar if they have sold SIGNIFICANT ebooks or printed copies. Hollywood literary agents want PROOF that a writer has an established following from another arena before they will consider the writer a “commodity” as a film or television screenwriter.

But even then, many writers can’t make the transition. As amazing a fiction writer as Stephen King is, his efforts in screenwriting paled in comparison. The best films created from his books were adapted by other writers, like Frank Darabont who wrote and directed “The Shawshank Redemption.

Joe Eszterhas, writer of “Basic Instinct,” and Diablo Cody, writer of “Juno,” built their reputations as writers for national media before transitioning to screenwriting. Lawrence O’Donnell was a journalist and political speechwriter before he wrote for Aaron Sorkin on THE WEST WING. Peter Mehlman wrote tons of funny articles for national media before he was hired by Larry David for SEINFELD.

Therefore, I suggest a moderately successful novelist will likely need to follow the advice I offered in a previous post, Do you think most aspiring screenwriters understand the role of established literary agents?

It’s critically important for aspiring screenwriters to build positive relationships with Industry gatekeepers, rather than burn bridges. I can’t stress enough that for terribly busy agents, managers, producers and other entertainment industry professionals, TIME IS MONEY. Therefore, new screenwriters need to understand when it is the right time to approach literary agents and when it is not. Ignore this advice at your own career peril.