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Hollywood: Richard Russo Should Hang It Up

Brendan Deneen, Luke Janklow, Producer Alysia Cotter, Joel GotlerPhoto by Dan Kois

The two best jokes at this morning's Book Expo America panel on selling books for film:

Audience member: “Should I write a treatment or a screenplay of my book to help sell it for the movies?”

Brendan Deneen, the Weinstein Company: “Honestly, don’t worry about that stuff. If you’re an author, concentrate on writing a great book. Studios don’t want to read your treatment. They want to read a great book and option it and go from there.”

Luke Janklow, literary agent: “I’d amend that. They want someone else to read the book and tell them it’s great, then option it and go from there.”

Joel Gotler, book and film agent: “Studio coverage is something else. I have a copy of coverage from a major studio, I won’t say who, of Richard Russo’s book Empire Falls, which won the Pulitzer Prize. The coverage says, ‘This guy can’t write. He should give up and never write again.’”

Deneen: “… And clearly I was wrong.”