Consider indie authors' increasing reach to connect to an audience versus decreasing ones for screenwriters. The majority of writers in both camps, from the aspiring to employed professionals, are acting like it’s 1999. Not everyone's gotten the memo.
Indie/e-publishing authors know their readers directly through Amazon’s retail label, generate their own appearances at events, manage blogs or tweet, creating an impact equivalent to George Eastman’s portable ‘brownie' on the studio bound 19th century cameras powered by a gunpowder flash. This revolution, however, hasn’t translate at all to screenwriting. Since the 2007 WGA strike, no matter how many spec scripts they write, screenwriters are more dependent than ever on managers, agents and producers. Never has it been more important for screenwriters to become well versed about their dwindling options in the playing field of Hollywood-generated entertainment. ‘Well versed’ doesn’t refer to writing but to taking active responsibilitiy to accrue strong, genre-driven portfolios, brush aside urban media legends, and visualize Hollywood as a competitive contact sport, with explicit levels, points, and goals. Screenwriters must be engaged players in all available social media with the same self-taught ferocity expressed by the best self sellers.
As a consulting editor to authors with a 25 year track record as a motion picture literary agent (past clients include Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Stuart Beattie (Collateral, Pirates Of The Caribbean), Amanda Brown (Legally Blonde), qualifies me to give commentary on the changing literary business status quo.
Past articles: The Lone Screenwriter by Nancy Nigrosh, Indiewire, October 2, 2008 http://bit.ly/ZYMoCm reprinted Screenwriter Magazine THE BUZZ/NOV DEC ISSUE 15.6