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4 Ways Selling the Film Rights...

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Everyone dreams of having their book made into a movie. Here's how Michele Belisle did it! The article has been curated to save you time from searching for quality content. 5 Stars

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Cinderella Story- Inspiration from Author Michele Barrow-Belisle Via Gordon A. Wilson

Editor's note. Now that Michele's book is in production for a movie, I am updating and putting this story back in circulation. Congrats Michele.

Alright, so I have written extensively about inspiration on this blog. I have found inspiration from pain, kids, students, animals, writers and of course the recurring horror aspect. I have been willing to take inspiration from where I find it and would encourage anyone to do the same. An interesting aspect of what has been happening on this blog is my interaction with some fascinating people. Fellow author and co-conspirator Sheri McInnis told me about Michele Barrow-Belisle's story and said she needed to be here. I read up a little and totally agreed. The inspiration to be found in this Cinderella story should have a universal appeal. Read on and judge for yourself.

4 Ways Selling the Film Rights to My Book was Like a Cinderella Story

Okay not the best title but I’m a sucker for fairy tales and who doesn’t love a happy ending?

Have gutsy audacious goals and never give up. Where the fairy godmother says to Cinderella, “Nonsense, child. If you'd lost all your faith, I couldn't be here. And here I am.”


Just the fact that I believed I could write a novel was gutsy for me. I'd never done anything like it before and while I've had a love affair with books for as long as I can remember, and writing had always been fun for me, the idea of actually writing an entire novel (never mind a trilogy of them) was not something I'd ever envisioned. But the characters in my head refused to be silenced, and the psychics I went to all sent the same message. (That’s another story for another time) So I wrote and learned the subtle nuances and important elements as I went along.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” Cinderella

In 2013 I published my first novel Fire and Ice, (Faerie Song Trilogy) a young adult fantasy romance. My dream was to write a bestselling novel, to sign with an amazing NY agent, to sell my manuscript to a big publishing house and to sell the movie rights. From the moment the wish left my lips, I was stunned by how many people told me it couldn’t be done. I decided not to listen to them. Gordon described my tale as a Cinderella story in a tweet and something about that description made me smile. I decided it was the perfect theme for this guest post. There was no pumpkin carriage or fairy godmother, although often I felt like there was one, but there was most certainly a hint of magic.

Listen to no one. Unless everyone around you tells you your goals are achievable. Then listen to everyone. Where the Fairy Godmother tells Cinderella “If you keep believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.”
My journey from wanting to write to actually writing was interesting. I met so many authors published and not yet published and I always found it so interesting to listen to their perspectives. Starting out, it felt like the prevailing theme song was that writing was hard, getting published even harder, making money—nearly impossible, and getting a movie deal… well just forget about it. I admit to being somewhat Pollyanna in my world views, but I chose not to let any of those statistics deter me from my intentions. That was when I met more and more uplifting, fulfilled and successful writers who were making a great living doing what they loved, and who offered encouragement, positive feedback and support. That was of great benefit on the dark days when I felt like nothing was ever going to happen.

Listen to all the rules. Keep the ones that work for you, and toss the rest. Where Cinderella’s stepmother told her she wasn’t allowed to go to the ball. And she went anyway.
They tell you not to approach anyone and say hey wanna read my book. I totally agree with that one. Although yes, I’ve done it once or twice, and yes, it has worked for me, once or twice. For the most part though, I’ve done very little direct marketing in that sense while utilizing social media. Just one example of a rule I decided to follow. As for many of the others, well…. I was told a first time writer can’t possibly hope to sell a 130K novel.

But it sold.

I was told only famous authors with multimillion dollars in book sales ever get any input into the making of their film once the rights are sold.

But I’ve been in close contact with the producer, and he has insisted on having my input to keep the story as true to the books as possible.

And here’s my favorite story: I was told you should never, ever approach an editor who’s reviewing your manuscript, without an appointment.

But I flew from Canada to New York City on a shopping trip with a friend, and on a whim, went right into the office building of one of the big NY publishing houses. I figured either the editor would refuse to see me, security would have us shipped back across the border, or…well my stomach was churning too violently to come up with any other less dramatic scenarios. But we went to the security desk and they made a quick phone call. Minutes later I was standing in the beautiful offices of my dream publisher. The editor greeted me with a smile, a stack of books to take home and a farewell hug.

A lasting impression was made because I can only imagine very few people have the audacity to brazenly break the rules like that, and with good reason. Was it a good idea? I’m not sure, but it felt inspired at the time and it worked in my favor. And while they didn’t end up publishing the manuscript I submitted, I made yet another connection and received an open invitation to submit again… and here’s the interesting part… agented or not. Something else I was told would never happen. So rules are there for good reason, I’m sure. But selectively tweaking them, worked in my favor, perhaps it would work in your favor too.

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