Friday, September 30, 2011

Big Announcement 2!

The general rule in publishing is that when someone makes a really cool public announcement, they’ve probably been sitting on that news for weeks and sometimes longer.

I’ve been sitting on this news for about six months. Based on that, it should be pretty exciting, right? And I will admit, I’m very excited to finally be typing this.

So here it is: THE FALSE PRINCE has been optioned for movie rights by Scholastic Media. Gotham Group made the sale in conjunction with my always amazing agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Does this mean it’s going to be a movie now? Um, I can give that a solid answer: “I dunno.” But for the record, I’m totally in favor of it happening. If it helps, I can send the studio homemade brownies or something while they’re reviewing the manuscript (although I’ve tasted my cooking – it probably wouldn’t help).

Over the last few months, I've studied a lot about what it means to have an option.

An option gives a production company the right to begin pursuing production (find a director, a studio, a budget – minor details like that). If those factors don’t come together within the contractual time frame, then that’s as far as it goes. A lot of times, this is where the process ends, simply because there are more books optioned than movies that are made.

However, if things do come together, then other terms in the contract start to come into play. They buy the rights for that type of production, which could be anything from television movie of the week to TV series to major studio production. Then the process moves to screenplays, casting, and the all important question – exactly who do I have to schmooze to get to spend a day on set (and how close will my seat be to the catering wagon?)

Stories that tend to get made have to fit a rather strict criteria. Obviously there are exceptions, but generally speaking, the manuscript:

* Should feel different from what’s already been done.

* Needs a concept easy to sum up in one or two sentences (brilliant logline).

* Must have a strong visual potential.

* Should have a three-act structure.

* Must have a wide audience appeal.

* Needs a concept strong enough to balance its budget requirements.

And if the studio can create merchandising for it, well that’s just bonus.

Probably the biggest talk right now for a book's adaptation into film is Suzanne Collins’ THE HUNGER GAMES. Consider how well her book fits each of those criteria. Based on those above standards, it’s the perfect candidate for a movie adaptation and will undoubtedly be a great box office success.

So, does THE FALSE PRINCE meet that criteria? Obviously that’ll be for the studios to decide. Until then, I’m so entirely grateful just to be where I am. It’s still over six months until the book’s release and there are so many people involved in preparing the book for a successful launch. I cannot give them enough thanks.

And if you're a movie studio and you just got the manuscript - brownies are on their way...


Jenn Stark said...

Jennifer, this is amazing news!! Congratulations and I'm super psyched for you!!

Jenn Stark/Jennifer McGowan

Ginger said...

How exciting, I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

The Kyrouac Family said...

Jennifer, that is WONDERFUL news! Congrats to you. You should feel very honored. That is a piece of news that I don't know I could have sat on for 6 seconds let alone 6 months. I hope that things go through. I can't wait to read your books. I found them on Amazon with pre-orders being taken for the April release of "The Flase Prince".

Jen said...

Thanks Carrie. With close friends and family, I haven't been good about holding it in at all. But yeah, I couldn't publicly announce until now. And thanks for looking up the books too!

Peter said...


Stephanie Black said...

That's so exciting!!! Congrats, and I hope it all works out!

alwayserin said...

I would add that perhaps odds are slightly better since the media arm of your publishing company did the option--it shows that they have company-wide support for the project and are putting a lot of muscle into it. It's always a crapshoot, but who knows!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

that is so awesome! at least you have the option!

Jen said...

Thanks everyone. And thanks, Erin. You're right that the publisher is supporting this project, and I hope that will translate to other great things in the future.

Tanya Parker Mills said...

Terrific news, Jennifer. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Gwen said...

Nice to finally be able to let the cat out of the bag,eh?


Sharron said...

Congratulations! What wonderful news.

Don't know if you remember, but I flew in from Cleveland, Ohio to attend a talk you gave at an SCBWI meeting in Salt Lake City last year. I still remember your talk and how impressed I was with all that you shared. I started a 'list' of great speakers on the front of my blog - and you are on it.

Good luck in all your endeavors!

Jen said...


I absolutely remember you - you were a standout to me that evening! What an honor to be on that list on your blog. Thank you for that, and for your kind words here.