Dec. 30, 2020

How to Best Use Excitement to Share Your Message - BM252

How to Best Use Excitement to Share Your Message - BM252

Do you want to know how to best use excitement to share your message? Listen as joint venture super-connector, Kimberly Hobscheid shares her powerful tips and techniques to be open, honest, and authentic on your presentation stage.

In this week's powerful episode "How to Best Use Excitement to Share Your Message" you will discover...

  • The basics you need to know to get started forming joint venture relationships
  • How to handle the biggest fears and frustrations entrepreneurs have sharing their message
  • How to overcome the stigma of "being salesy" when promoting your value and expertise
  • How Kimberly's "road to joy" formula can help get through hard, challenging days
  • What to do when there are tasks you don't enjoy and take time away from your passion
  • How to use joint venture opportunities to synchronize talents and relationships
  • Common mistakes entrepreneurs make and how to avoid them
  • And a whole lot more...

 

Register today (it's free) for Kimberly's special

ENTREPRENEURS ROCKET FUEL WEB SUMMIT #7 - January 4-6, 2021

 

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Transcript

How to Best Create a Screenplay with Your Book

Interview with Susie Schaefer

Susan Friedmann:        

Welcome to Book Marketing Mentors, the weekly podcast where you learn proven strategies, tools, ideas, and tips from the masters. Every week, I introduce you to a marketing master who will share their expertise to help you market and sell more books. Today, my special guest is Susie Schaefer. Susie's love of books goes beyond the feel of a fabric cover or the smell of a library.

Known as the book angel for cause publishing, her passion for helping authors publish quality books and market them successfully through Finish the Book Publishing brings her tremendous joy, especially when they become an Amazon bestseller. Susie's passion for films and acting is served by writing, editing, and consulting screenplays under Movie Muse Productions.

Susie has taught workshops and programs for various writing, editing, and publishing groups nationwide. And she's honored to be a judge for the Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Book Awards. When not reading, reviewing, or publishing books, Susie can be found practicing yoga, meditating on the beach, or planning her next travel adventure. I was recently introduced to Susie and was so impressed with her expertise, I knew that I just had to have her on this show.

\Susie, what an absolute pleasure it is to welcome you to the show and thank you for being this week's guest expert and mentor.

Susie Schaefer:             Thank you so much, Susan. It's great to be here.

Susan Friedmann:        

Susie. We've got many things I know that we can talk about. I'd love to start with what caught my attention when you and I first met, and that was the whole idea of screenplays. And I know that it may be limited in terms of what our listeners might be thinking about, but I've had many authors who've said to me, "What can I do? How do I go about writing a screenplay, because I believe my book would make a fabulous film?" Let's start off there. What should we know just to get started in this arena?

Susie Schaefer:            

I think the first thing that people should know is there are really two ways. If you're looking at submitting a screenplay to a production company, there are really two ways to go about it. First of all, if you've written a book, you can develop a screenplay based on your book. But other people may not have published a book and they might actually decide they've got a concept and maybe a loose manuscript that hasn't been through editing yet, but then they decide that they want to write a screenplay based on the manuscript.

It's two different directions that people can actually start from. And then from there, I say, you know what? Just start writing your dialogue, and then partner with someone who understands how to write and edit a screenplay so that they can guide you in the right direction and help you with character development and your dialogue.

Susan Friedmann:        

How would that work then for a nonfiction book? I could see this for a fiction book, but would the same apply to a nonfiction book?

Susie Schaefer:            

For a non-fiction book, really what you want to consider is could it be a documentary? I'm actually working with a client right now. His book is extremely compelling. And I said to him, "Hey, I think this would make a great documentary. Let's talk about that after we get to the bestseller." Certainly, it is possible. Movies are not just created from fiction. There might be a non-fiction book.

For example, someone who goes through leaving a traumatic relationship or something to that effect where it's a nonfiction book, but the actual concept can be developed from that to create a Hollywood style movie.

Susan Friedmann:        

A lot of different things to think about. Obviously, this is something that you do, guiding authors in the direction of screenplays. Is that correct?

Susie Schaefer:            

Exactly. And how I got the title of "muse" is because when I work with people, I'm very intuitive. A lot of times I will learn the concept of their book, whether it's fiction or nonfiction, and then I can come up with basically a direction for them to go in writing their screenplay, or if they decide that they want me to actually write it with my writing partner, then I can do that as well.

But usually, it'll give me kind of some steps for that author to go in and say, "Okay, so here's where I could see this going," and give them some ideas for characters and how to take that book from a manuscript or a finished book into something that can be developed into either a movie or documentary.

Susan Friedmann:        

As you're saying all this, I'm thinking there have got to be a ton of mistakes that authors can make in this direction. What might be some of the top ones that we need to be aware of?

Susie Schaefer:            

When specifically we're talking about screenplays, I think one of the mistakes that people make is that they don't understand the format to write a screenplay in. And there are several different software programs that you can find online to use that actually help you in creating the correct format for a screenplay. So that's one thing. The other thing is that they think about it in terms of the way the book is written and really what you need to think about it in terms of is the way that somebody is going to see it on the screen.

So you have to shift your mindset. It can't be very descriptive, because you're going to be giving up a little bit of that creative licensing to whoever... If your screenplay's picked up by a production company, they're going to actually create a lot of the visuals around that. You can give some brief description, but really you kind of have to give that up to whoever produces the movie. Whereas in your book, you're going to be very descriptive because you want to show your readers and paint the picture for them about what the scene looks like.

Those are some things, especially first-time screenwriters, that they don't quite understand how to translate from a book version into a screenplay and how that has to change. I think another thing that tends to happen is that when you're going from a book into a screenplay, the big difference is going to be that you're going to cut a lot of information out. A screenplay is going to run max 120 pages.

There's a lot of information that has to be removed, anything that's not pertinent to moving the story forward in a direction that creates an arc with a beginning, a middle and end, and a conclusion to the movie.

Susan Friedmann:        

You mentioned being picked up by a production company. I think that's obviously what people... If they're going to write a screenplay or get involved with a tool is like, okay, how am I going to get picked up by a production company? How does that world work?

Susie Schaefer:            

It works in that you have to do your homework. You have to find ways that you can submit. For example, if you're submitting to Amazon, Netflix, you have to understand how the process works. It's always good to have connections, especially if you have connections with small production companies. For a first time screenwriter, if you're going to pitch your screenplay, it is good to pitch it to some of the smaller production companies, because they do look for new and upcoming writers that they can do on a smaller budget.

So yeah, not everybody gets picked up by Amazon and Netflix the first time around. It's just kind of the nature of the beast, but certainly, go after some smaller production companies and see what comes of it. Regardless of if they pick it up or they don't, it's a learning process. You can't get discouraged by it and just understand. Because it's the same thing as in publishing. Not everybody gets picked up by a traditional publisher. The same thing happens with screenplays.

You have to just be diligent and know that you're going to get some nos and keep moving forward.

Susan Friedmann:        

Now, I'm thinking not knowing anything about this world at all, but I'm thinking that there are potentially targeted production companies who are only interested in a certain topic, let's say documentaries, is that correct?

Susie Schaefer:            

That is true. In fact, that's why it's important to do your homework and to see what types of companies or what types of projects each production company will take. Some production companies really focus on diversity and inclusion. And so all of their movies, they want to have characters that represent different cultures and different backgrounds. There are others that want to make sure that their movies have a type of mission. If it's a documentary, for example, it needs to be helping the world become a better place.

And this is part of why I also focus on cause publishing when I publish books because I think it's important for us to be able to reach the masses by doing the work that we're doing. So yeah, absolutely people need to do their homework and see what type of projects a production company will accept and what they're looking for. But if you're going for a certain production company, make sure that you're writing that screenplay in line with what types of projects they want to work on.

Susan Friedmann:        

Now, would you deliver a screenplay in its entirety, or would you, just like with a book, you might submit just one chapter and maybe your marketing platform as you would to a traditional publisher?

Susie Schaefer:            

That's a really good question. Again, when you go to a production company, they will tell you what the requirements are. Usually, they will ask for the entire screenplay because they want to be able to look at the arc of the story and see how it ends, is there a possible alternate ending, things like that. And they also want to look at location and what are the production costs going to be around something.

The screenplay that has big production, that has, for example, planes and helicopters and things like that are obviously more expensive than something that is set in a rural town in Nebraska or something like that. You definitely want to make sure that those kinds of details are included, that you have what we call a log sheet, which is almost like a little press release for your screenplay, and that you follow whatever the guidelines are for that production company.

Susan Friedmann:        

WOW. A lot to think about in this area. And it's just opened a door to something, as I said, I know absolutely nothing about. I think when you and I spoke for the first time, I was like, wow, this is so fascinating because we watch movies all the time. And as you say, I mean, even more so now, people are glued to the sets because they can't go out to the movies. Screenplays are really important. How about the expense? Would a writer be involved in the production expense, or would that be something a production company would take on themselves?

Susie Schaefer:            

Generally the production company will take on the cost of producing the film. And it depends on how the agreement is written. Just like in publishing books, if you're working with a traditional publisher, they're going to have a contract that says what your rights are, what your royalty share is, that type of thing. It's the same thing when you submit a screenplay, so it's really not a whole lot different. It'll talk about how they may actually purchase the screenplay. If they like it, then they would take on any editing.

Then again, a writer might pitch it to a production company saying, "I'd like to be paid on the backend. If the production happens, then I would be paid a percentage on the produced film," those types of things. It's all negotiable, but each production company usually has kind of a standard method of how they work with screenwriters.

Susan Friedmann:        

And looking at it, you mentioned the rights. Are there some basic things that we should be aware of when it comes to the rights? If we go in green, we might be giving up things that we don't even realize we shouldn't be giving up, for instance. Can you give us any guidance on that?

Susie Schaefer:            

Yeah. And of course, I'm not an entertainment or publishing attorney, so don't quote me on this, but really you just need to look at the fine print. And when in question, have an attorney look at any of the contracts or the agreements. Certainly, that's something that I do offer to help people with. If they want someone to look into an agreement that they've been offered, I can do that, although, as I said, I'm not an attorney. But a lot of it's going to be common sense, but you want to watch out for things like getting no royalty share if they don't purchase the whole screenplay.

You have to kind of look at the big picture and then work down to the details. Every agreement is going to be different.

Susan Friedmann:        

And of course, there are specialist attorneys who just specialize in this area, the entertainment field. Is that correct?

Susie Schaefer:             Exactly. Yes. There are. They're called entertainment attorneys actually.

Susan Friedmann:         What a concept.

Susie Schaefer:             Yes.

Susan Friedmann:        

And it's funny you should say that because in my book, Riches in Niches, I've got little vignettes of different entrepreneurs who have found niches for themselves. And actually one of the people I interviewed many years ago was somebody who specialized in entertainment. And I was like, oh, well, that's interesting. I never even knew that there were specialists in that area.

Susie Schaefer:            

Exactly. These are the same people that may help someone with publishing a book and as far as negotiating their agreement or reviewing an agreement when it comes to a traditional publisher or even a small independent press. They might even help you if you're going after using song lyrics in your book. These attorneys are well-versed in the entertainment industry as far as screenplays, a lot of times publishing, all of those things.

It's important that you do get the right help and use professionals where you need because you don't want to make a mistake and then not get paid what you're owed.

Susan Friedmann:        

Now, would you recommend that they have a book beforehand? You mentioned the two concepts in the book and then just having the concept idea. Does it stand an author in better stead if they have the book that's already been published and let's say has become an Amazon or a bestseller?

Susie Schaefer:            

Yes, absolutely. In fact, especially for first-time screenwriters or someone that doesn't have a lot of screenwriting background on their resume, you absolutely want to publish your book first. You get it to bestseller, sell a bunch of copies, create your big platform, make sure that you have a lot of followers on social media. That will put you in a much better position to pitch your screenplay to any production company. It's really important.

If you don't have a name like Oprah Winfrey and don't have a huge following, it's going to be tough for you to pitch a screenplay if you're an unknown. Again, publish your book first, get it to bestseller. Do a good job on your book too. Production companies will look at the book as well as the screenplay. They will look at how well it was edited. They'll look at your rankings. They'll look at your reviews, all those things.

If you're going to write a book first and then do a screenplay, which is my recommendation, make sure that you're doing everything right when you're publishing the book. Don't take any shortcuts there.

Susan Friedmann:        

Some sage advice though. I'm thinking of something you said earlier and that was because publishing and you sort of let that drift into something that you said. But let's go down that route and talk a little bit about that if you've got a book that has to do with a cause or you benefit a cause from it. Talk to us more about that whole concept.

Susie Schaefer:            

It's a concept that I have created really with the mission of my business because I realized that I had the ability to help people, impact communities, organizations, the world. Cause publishing is really just that, it's publishing your book regardless of what the topic is. And there may be an organization that you support. There may be an organization that ties into the topic of your book. For example, your book might be about becoming vegan and how being vegan can help improve just the production of food on our planet.

You might, for example, have an organization where you're saving the rainforest and that might be an organization that you note in your book, in the back of your book primarily. You may be donating a portion of your proceeds to fund an organization or more than one. Then that becomes cause publishing because you're really trying to impact the greater good through your book.

And think of it this way, if you sell books and you have $500 worth of profits and you donate a dollar from each one of your books to an organization, you then have the ability when you're selling multiple books to impact those organizations by funding it, but also getting your book out to people around the world.

Now, when I use cause publishing and I work with authors, say, for example, I'm working with a dozen authors, now that impact from that one author, it can actually be exponentially greater, because every author I work with, it has a cause and is affecting change and making a difference in the world. It has a ripple effect. Cause publishing became a cornerstone of what I do. And while I don't require it of my authors, I do encourage it. And a lot of times authors will come to me and they have never heard of this before.

And then when I open their eyes to the possibilities and the ability to impact global change, they're on board because they realize that, wow, my book and what I'm doing can make a difference. Especially if they are writing a book, for example, a business book, and part of the mission of their business is to impact change in organizations. It's really interesting because when I discuss it with an author, I can see the light bulb go on and they have an aha moment about, wow, I'm publishing my book already, but I have the ability to impact change. That's huge.

Susan Friedmann:        

And if we take that step further and go back to the whole idea of a screenplay, talk to us about that transition from that book then to a screenplay, obviously where it'd be more a documentary in those cases.

Susie Schaefer:            

It doesn't necessarily need to be a documentary. There can be fiction movies that do support a cost. For example, domestic violence is one that has been rampant in the US and around the world, sex trafficking, saving the rainforest. But there are also other things that are out there. Even health organizations like cancer research. When you think about it, it doesn't necessarily have to be a documentary, but it can be even a fiction movie or a fiction movie based on a true story possibly that can actually benefit organizations and make the change.

The possibilities are endless, and that's why I'm encouraging authors and even screenwriters to think about how you're creating a piece of art in this world. How will your art impact change on a global basis? How does that work? And then when you put that out there, it creates this ripple effect. And it's pretty amazing.

Susan Friedmann:        

Absolutely. And I always love those movies that at the end, they said, "Well, this was based on a true story about this person," and then they give you in the credits what happened to this person and that whole history. I'm like, oh, that's so fascinating. I never even knew this person existed and what they did. It really is a great education. Susie, I'm sure our listeners are chomping at the bit to find out more about how they can find out more about you and what you do. Take it away.

Susie Schaefer:            

Okay. Well, you can always find me through my website at finishthebookpublishing.com. I do have a little consultation button on my website, and I do offer a free 30-minute consultation, whether it's for a screenplay or production of your book, or even book marketing. I do offer those services too. I encourage people to go to my website, click the little schedule here button, and I would love to have a 30-minute chat with anyone who wants to learn more about this or discuss it further, or bring their idea to the table and see, how can this impact the world?

How can my book become a screenplay? I encourage people just to reach out. I love to have conversations like this. It's what I love to do. I get really jazzed about hearing about people's concepts and where we can go with it. As I said, the possibilities are endless.

Susan Friedmann:        

I think sometimes we don't see it ourselves, but putting it and discussing it with somebody as brilliant as you in this area. As you say, you never know what opportunities are out there and things that you never even dreamt about where you can take your message. Because it's more about the message than the actual physical book, as you and I know, but it's the value of that message and what can you do with it, as you say, to impact the world. That's why so many of our authors write these books is because they want to impact and make a difference in the world.

Thank you. That's amazing. As you know, we always like to end the show with a golden nugget. What's your golden nugget that you'd like to leave our listeners with, Susie?

Susie Schaefer:            

My golden nugget is to encourage people to get out there, speak their truth, make an impact, but don't try and go it alone. Get help when you need it. There are people all over that offer services and can give you guidance, whether it's a book angel or a movie muse, that can help you determine your path. Do it to get out there and make the world a better place, but get help where you need it.

Susan Friedmann:        

We're all about making the world a better place in so many ways. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. And this was something so different, and I'm so excited to have had you here sharing this, because we've touched on a subject that, as I said, in the four years that we've been doing Book Marketing Mentors, we haven't talked about at all. I think it was missing, but now it isn't anymore. So really appreciate that, Susie. Thank you and thank you all for taking time out of your precious day to listen to this interview.

And I sincerely hope that it sparked some ideas you can use to sell more books. Here's wishing you much book marketing success.