Let's just assume you have a perfectly polished screenplay. I say that because the number one step to selling your screenplay is having a great script! So, let's just assume you already did the work, the rewrites, the polishes, the analyzing of feedback.
Here are the tools I have used over the years to help me get ready for pitch meetings and find executives who might be interested in reading my scripts:
1. Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds: The Guaranteed Way to Get Your Screenplay or Novel Read- I've personally used Michael Hauge as a coach to help me craft a compelling pitch. Michael reveals a one-minute technique for getting your screenplay or novel read by the major powers of Hollywood. His advice is straightforward and dead on. A must read before any pitching event.
2. No B.S. For Screenwriters: Advice from the Executive's Perspective - I'm a big believer in gathering intel on anyone I'm dealing with. That's the best way to know if you're pitching the right person and learn anything and everything you can to help your odds of having a successful meeting. Danny Manus gives great insights into the mind of an executive in his book (which you can immediately download in digital format). Topics in the book cover everything from pitching and pitchfests to how to read your script from the executive perspective, the top notes executives give on scripts, advice and tips on dialogue, tone, transitions, writing the period piece and the autobiography, the development process, loglines, treatments, one-sheets, query letters, synopses, branding, titles and much, much more! Danny delivers it the best way... with brutal honesty.
3. Screenwriters World Conference - I'm a firm believer in online networking, but at some point, you need to get yourself to L.A. and in front of executives. The experiences I've had pitching at pitchfests over the years have directly helped me in studio meetings with some of the top production companies in TV and film. Get yourself to L.A. this September 27-29 and see for yourself. Here's a full list of speakers, of which I'll be one. Don't forget to say hi.
NOTE: We just landed our keynote speaker, Davis Seidler, the screenwriter of The Kings Speech! Sign up before July 15th and get the early bird discount!
4. Hollywood Screenwriting Directory - The Writers Store has been helping writers hone their craft and break into the industry for over 30 years. With all that knowledge and experience, they created The Hollywood Screenwriter Directory to help you get in to direct contact with over 2,500 industry executives right from your own home. How easy is that?
5. Balls of Steel: Yep, you need them in order to sell your work. Sadly, they can't be purchased... yet. Before you pitch and before you send your script to an executive, read Balls of Steel: Pitching Insights and Tips for Before You Submit Your Script. I wrote it after sitting in on some pitch sessions at Screenwriters World Conference East in NYC last April. See what it's like from the exec's side of the table.
Jeanne Veillette Bowerman is the Editor and Online Community Manager of Script Magazine and a webinar instructor for The Writers Store. She is Co-Founder and moderator of the weekly Twitter screenwriters’ chat, #Scriptchat, and wrote the narrative adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, with its author, Douglas A. Blackmon, former senior national correspondent of The Wall Street Journal. Jeanne also is President of Implicit Productions and consults with writers on how to build and strengthen their online and offline networks as well as face their fears in order to succeed in writing and in personal peace - a screenwriter's therapist. More information can be found on her blog, ramblings of a recovered insecureaholic. Follow @jeannevb on Twitter.