Over the past two or three months, you may have begun to notice that nearly every time you get around to catching up on your digital publishing news, yet another media outlet is announcing their new e-book division. And that’s definitely a good thing—don’t get me wrong. But so many of the bigger media companies launching digital imprints today seem to be repurposing much more old content than they are creating new stories. To me, that sometimes comes as a bit of a disappointment. It seems a little cheap, almost.
But a new company that refers to itself as a digital book packager, SL eBooks, has stumbled upon a clever way to repurpose quality content that almost no one has ever read. They work with various managers and agencies in the film industry in an effort to find readable screenplays that, for one reason or another, were either sold, optioned or overlooked by the studios before being given the green light that turns a script into a silver screen feature. Those screenplays are then massaged into e-book novellas, as the company is calling them.
“There are so many wonderful scripts that are written that never get made into movies,” says Zach Tann, literary manager and partner at Magnet Management. “And this process of converting those high-potential, compelling scripts into e-books gives the material its chance to be read and enjoyed by a wide audience.”
The CEO of SL eBooks, James West, likes to refer to the genre he’s promoting as “script lit;” that’s what the “SL” stands for in the company’s name. His goal, of course, is to eventually turn the screenplays that were once turned down by Hollywood agents into best-selling, blockbuster e-novellas.
That sort of success remains to be seen, of course, although the company’s first offering is already available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo; it’ll be on the iBookstore soon. Titled Mom of the Year and written by Denise Pischinger, it tells the story of a thirtysomething soccer mom who finds herself in a fight with the school district’s pompous “Class Mom” for the coveted title of “Mom of the Year.” In June, a horror e-single by Brian Sieve will be released, followed by an action/fantasy tale called The Enders, and then a crime/drama titled Federales. All three stories are going for $2.99 each.
The company’s website, slebooks.com, has its official launch tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7. If you’d like to learn more in the meantime, you can click on over to SL’s Indiegogo page, where they’re in the process of attempting to raise funds for the production of future e-singles.