You’ve heard the story. Disney purchased Star Wars. A few years ago, Disney bought Marvel. Before that, they bought Pixar, and the Muppets before that.
These big entertainment conglomerates are buying up everything that they can get their hands on. It’s a big deal with a lot of big money involved.
Before you start having fantasies about how much money you could make, you should realize something: Uncle Scrooge already has a Money Bin.
It takes a lot of talent and work to get Disney’s attention, or any other big company’s. And for every George Lucas or Jim Henson, there are thousands of people who had to sell their intellectual property and only get a check for all their hard work. No creative position, no ongoing royalty, just a check and it’s Disney’s to do with as they please.
No, thank you.
I have plans for what I’m working on. Yes, I’d like to see movies made of my works. I’d love to experience comics and video games, toys and posters, all of it. But I know I don’t have to give up what I love and what I want to see those things through.
I want to make a deal like the Burroughs family did for Tarzan.
In 1999, Tarzan made a metric shit ton of money. It was a good movie, one that opened the door of the Tarzan books to a lot of readers. At the end of the day, Disney made a lot of money with the character, but the Burroughs family maintained the rights and held a lot of creative control throughout the process.
That’s the kind of deal I want. Getting there is another story.
This is not the time to dwell on how much money a rich man made by selling the rights to his movies. This is (according to the time of the posting) November 1, the first day of NaNoWriMo. Thirty days of literary abandon. A number of writers, successful writers from a number of genres have gone on to publish their works. Sometimes those works are later versions of their NaNo projects, sometimes they are wholly new works. Either way, these writers have all decided they wanted to write and create.
It is only through those initial bouts of creation that we care capable of discovering the great works lying inside us.
Start typing, start writing, and don’t let anything stop you. Focus on your writing and making yourself happy with it. Only when you’ve done that can you even start to think about some eventual deal you might make in the future.
Besides, once your work is finished and solid enough, there will be people looking for new and original ideas, something outside what the big companies have total control over. Start with your work, not with how you’ll get rid of your work.