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Should I Publish My Unproduced Screenplay To The Kindle?

Unproduced Screenplays

You need to get your unproduced screenplay out there …  Every savvy Bang2writer knows this. But beyond building your own online platform, how can you get that unproduced screenplay in front of the people who matter?

Recently I’ve had a number of enquiries from writers asking if they should publish their unproduced screenplays to Amazon Kindle. (They didn’t mean adapting their unproduced screenplay into a novel by the way … We’re talking straight-up publishing of the actual script to the Kindle).

On the face of it, this might seem like a good idea. After all, Amazon is a huuuuuge site and millions of ebooks are downloaded every day. I can also confirm I have also had good traction getting eyes on my writing using permafree ebooks via Amazon and other ebook sites. People have downloaded How Not To Write Female Characters or The Lynmouth Stories a LOT.

Most of those readers have ended up here, or buying my novels or non fiction. Some of them have bought my courses. Others have hired me as a speaker or mentor. Result. In the very least, I have hoovered up plenty of new followers via this strategy.

However … does this mean publishing your unproduced screenplay to the Kindle is a good idea? I don’t believe so. More, next.

First, The Bad News

Sorry … I don’t really understand why anyone would want to self publish their unproduced screenplay as an ebook.

For one thing, producers won’t read them. Hell, producers go out their way to not read screenplays full STOP. That’s why they farm them out to people like me! (In contrast, producers tend to hold books in high esteem … but they have to be actual books, not screenplays disguised as books).

Secondly, just like producers, most readers prefer books too. Hell, some laypeople don’t even understand screenplays EXIST. If I have to read one more Facebook or reddit thread where laypeople reckon actors make up their own lines and directors do absolutely everything my brain will explode!

Now, you may find published screenplays on Amazon or other sides, it’s true … but these titles tend to be produced, NOT unproduced. In addition, these bound, published scripts will usually be VERY famous and iconic – ie. I have The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Chinatown, Frasier etc  – but those are for my classes and workshops, not to read for ‘fun’.

Now, The Good News

So I don’t recommend publishing your script to the Kindle, boo. HOWEVER writers can still utilise Kindle books to get deals … but they need to do this by releasing novels or novellas, like Luke Jennings did with Killing Eve as Kindle Singles. (It’s important to note you need a whole strategy for this, it’s not a question of whacking it up on Amazon and crossing your fingers).

If this sounds like a cool idea to you, then check out THIS ARTICLE about adapting your script into a novel.  Also, here’s what B2Wer Brian learned from the process.

If rewriting the screenplay as a novel or novella does not appeal …

… I can recommend three other routes to get eyes on your unproduced screenplay below.

  • Use a script hosting marketplace like InkTip, MySmashMedia or The Black List. Producers may check them out looking for scripts.
  • Win or place highly in a screenwriting competition. You will need a submissions strategy. More details HERE.
  • Pitch it via sites like Roadmap Writers.
  • Here’s MORE DETAILS of how you can ‘break in’ as a screenwriter.

But … But … But …

If you really, really, really want to try the Kindle route for your screenplay, I don’t think it will harm you. I found this short article by Dave Trottier aka ‘Dr Format’ in the screenwriting world. Apparently it’s quite easy.

Good Luck!

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1 thought on “Should I Publish My Unproduced Screenplay To The Kindle?”

  1. Tidying my attic I came across a screenplay I worked on (50 years ago) with the writer of a successful stage play. It has never been produced because the studios don’t want to risk all on a period-piece musical; so for 50 years it has been a 120 page doorstop. But how about a (True)cold-war thriller written just a few years back? Unless the script-reader has an interest or is old enough to remember those days it’ll just get a pass. So to hell with adding it to the pile of doorstops try something different. Publish it on Amazon for Kindle readers it can’t do any harm and something good might just happen; for instance – A writing gig; An Indy offer “I could use this.”; An actor want the lead. Yes I know pigs can’t fly but the world and its neighbour trawl Amazon and if it leads to a new contact? Yes I have put a screenplay on Amazon and yes it remains unproduced BUT I have sold another S/P as a result and also received many interesting calls and contacts.
    So – TRY anything, providing it’s legal.

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