Getting a Pilot Picked Up Vs. Book Series Picked Up

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I have several ideas for both TV series and book series. My question is: what’s easier to get your foot in the door for?

I know getting a pilot looked at and filmed is tough, but I don’t really know the full process. And when I ask about getting a book series published, I mean a full series. Like, if I went and said “I have an idea for a book series, it will be nine books in total, can I get it published?” How likely is it to be picked up versus say a single novel. I guess I’m also curious as to the difficulty of getting a TV pilot script looked at versus a movie script.

The last time I knew anything about fiction publishing, a series was more likely to get picked up than a single novel, all things being equal. The publisher would probably offer a two- or three-book contract if the series had appeal, and publication of more books would depend on sales.

I have no idea how the recent collapse of the financial world has affected publishing.

But if you’re a first-time novelist you will probably have to write the first book, and a synopsis of the second book, before anyone will bite. That is, nobody’s going to give you money just on your synopsis. However, this is something you can do.

Whereas getting a pilot scripted, cast, filmed, and picked up by a network involves a whole slew of other people.

Definately a book is easier, because you can get exposure online.

TV shows are cutting back and sitcoms are basically gone, dramas are not being made new but more versions of old (CSI series)

A number of authors have gotten in the door by writing and giving away free book material in the form of blogs and websites.

This is very difficult to do.

If you have a very low budget a TV like pilot may be do-able on YouTube, especially if your script is heavily based on dialog and not interaction.

Fleshout a script and put it on YouTube in a series and people can look at. It’s not at all likely you’ll sell anything but you can get exposoure and feedback to correct your errors before you have to go to a publisher with a series.

A lot of the series of books I read have started out as single books but than later expanded.

You have zero chance of having a pilot shot, so any chances of a book series would be better. Pilots only go to established writers with long track records on other shows. Movies are so slightly better that it’s not worth talking about the difference.

A series will quite likely sell if it’s good enough. I agree with Hilarity N. Suze in that you absolutely must have your complete first book written. If you want a nine-book series you need a synopsis of all the remaining books, not just the second. You will not get a contract for all nine books, though. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that from an unpublished writer. You might get three books with an option for more. That means your first three books either have to be capable of being read as stand-alones or have an arc that completes in the third book rather than just a cliffhanger.

Finally, ideas aren’t worth even a dime a dozen. Only finished product is. Stop talking about having an idea and write it up.

I’ll second that… nobody cares about an idea for a book series. It’s like having an idea for a rocket car. What matters is execution.

Yeah, my idea for my novel series is something I’ve been cooking up since the beginning of high school. It’s rattled in my brain for a good 8-9 years now so honestly I’m a bit scared to put it on paper because I’m afraid it won’t turn out the way I’ve imagined it. But to clarify, my question was based on the (unsaid by me in the post) idea that I would have the pilot/book written out already before going to the publisher/agent/whatever.

Thank you for the help.

It won’t. It never does. That’s true for every writer of every book.

Just try to get as close as possible. And incorporate all the things that you learn while writing it.