TaleFlick, a company that fosters relationships between Hollywood and the publishing world, has just launched “The Marketplace,” an online platform where producers, publishers, agents, and writers can connect. For a fee, authors and publishers can now add their books to a searchable library that is reviewed by studios, production companies, and producers who have registered for access to the service.
“I thought there must be a better way to find good books. Not necessarily bestsellers, but good stories,” said producer Uri Singer, the founder of TaleFlick, who declined to reveal how many books have been submitted to the service. “A platform where anyone, from anywhere in the world, could upload a book.”
Singer also runs a production company called Passage Pictures, and has found most of his adapted material through referrals, rather than chasing hot bestsellers. Singer’s producing credits include Marjorie Prime, an adaptation of Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play by the same name, and the producer is currently developing White Noise by Don DeLillo, The King of Oil by Daniel Ammann, and The Zero by Jess Walter.
TaleFlick charges writers and publishers $88 per book for a year-long listing and access to its Marketplace. Once uploaded and approved for the platform, the proprietary TaleFlick algorithm crawls all submissions (along with human readers), cataloguing each property and highlighting books for additional exposure in a special "Top Picks" category. For the $399 “Plus” package, the TaleFlick team will also read the book and write a short “pitch page” that sits alongside the listing to appeal to Hollywood readers. Writers always have the option to compose their own pitch page to post alongside the listing.
TaleFlick COO George Berry helped develop the tech side of the company, bringing experience in movie and TV operations for Apple and content operations for Netflix. While building the platform, TaleFlick acquired the rights to 300 books, using these literary works to train the selection algorithm that categorizes the material. “We're not an agent and we're not a publisher. We're a curation platform,” Singer said.
Authors keep all rights to the original work posted on TaleFlick, but the company retains right of first refusal in the bidding process for any book on the platform. If the adaptation goes into production, TaleFlick also takes a 2% commission from the deal—but only if the movie is actually being made.
The service has already inspired some options from producers. Fortitude International acquired Nicole Evelina's Madame Presidentess, a work of historical fiction about an almost forgotten woman who ran for the United States presidency in 1872. Fortitude has worked on a number of adaptations, including The End Of The Tour (adapted from Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself by David Lipsky), The Tribes Of Palos Verdes (based on Joy Nicholson’s novel of the same name) and The Clapper (based on Eddie Krumble Is the Clapper by Dito Montiel). “I've got my books out there, exposed to these people that I wouldn't otherwise have access to,” she said. “It's very, very hard for indie authors to get this type of connection to Hollywood.”
In May, The Traveling Picture Show Company optioned South of Main Street, a 2005 novel by Robert Gately. “I always had this idea in my head that I was going to write the great American novel,” said Gately. “Today, writers talk about writing the great American screenplay.”