Hollywood: Richard Russo Should Hang It Up

Brendan Deneen, Luke Janklow, Producer Alysia Cotter, Joel Gotler Photo: Photo 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.”