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Should you include marketing ideas in your screenplay query letter?

I got this question recently:

“I have some very interesting marketing ideas for my screenplay that could produce hundreds of millions for the production company. But for my first shot with the query letter should I mention anything about marketing ideas or not? And do I attach a synopsis, or just stick with a pitch line and paragraph about the screenplay in the body of the query letter like your smaple shows?”

Keep in mind there is no sure fire 100% correct way to do this. Sending out cold query letters and trying to sell your screenplay is an art not a science. I have some experience doing this but anything I say is just my opinion. One thing I do know about marketing is that you should always test what you’re doing. Try a bunch of query letters one way and then try another batch another way and see which one yields the best results.

I’ve never had any great marketing ideas for my scripts (which is probably a bad thing) so I’ve never thought to include them, but I actually think this is an excellent idea. Showing that you understand the marketing side of film, I think, would be a great way to show producers that your project is marketable. I recently sent out a query letter for a writer using my screenwriting marketing tools that had a nice paragraph about the marketability of his story. His story took place in Southern Louisiana and he briefly mentioned how much interest in Southern Louisiana there was and mentioned all the television shows that take place in this area to back up his claim. I think it added to his overall query letter. So many writers spend zero time thinking about the marketability of their story that if you actually have thought about it I think it will help make your query letter stand out.

Now you don’t want to go overboard with this. I would boil your plan down to two or three sentences and include them as one of the last paragraphs of your query letter. You just want to highlight the fact that your project is marketable and can earn money for the company but you don’t want to spend a lot of time on this at stage of the game.

Recently the query letters I’ve been sending out have been on one page. So it’s a log line, a short synopsis (like 5 sentences), and a brief paragraph about my writing background. The shorter you can make your pitch letter the better. The people reading these letters are very busy and get tons of pitches so keeping it short is essential.