Indie author signs deal with Simon and Schuster with 50 Shades meets Basic Instinct pitch

The release of Lisa Renee Jones's first book in her INSIDE OUT TRILOGY -- IF I WERE YOU -- as an indie book August 24th was followed by a negotiated sale to Simon and Schuster only three days later, and inked on September 12th. In the short window of time the story was released it climbed to Barnes and Nobles top 100 and broke the top 50 at Amazon, while garnering more than 1000 reviews at Goodreads. Inspired by a journal her fiancee found when buying and selling storage units (yes like the show but before the show) Lisa calls this her SHADES OF GREY meets BASIC INSTINCT.

Why Shades of Grey? The dark, damaged characters and passion. Why Basic Instinct? Because the main character Sara finds an erotic journal and begins to read. Sara becomes as obsessed with the writer of the journal as the writer is with the two men in the journal, and they with her. She seeks out the woman to be sure she is safe and becomes absorbed in her life, where she meets two powerful men -- one of which draws her into an intensely passionate affair. Simon and Schuster has re-released IF I WERE YOU in e-book and is coordinating the print release of the entire trilogy for early 2013. Sales to at least six foreign markets, several with pre-empts and in negations.

Below is the Publishers Marketplace announcement:

Indie books phenom Lisa Renee Jones's INSIDE OUT trilogy, pitched as 50 Shades of Grey meets Basic Instinct, to Micki Nuding at Gallery, in a major deal, in a three-book deal, with Gallery re-issuing the first book in the series as an ebook on September 13, 2012, by Louise Fury at L. Perkins Agency (world).

Film rights: Shari Smiley(recently sold Gone Girl which has Reese Witherspoon attached)

Donate To Cuca-Kickstarter!

Check out the press release below from the lovely folks at Cucalorus!

Cucalorus needs your help! We’re looking to you, our friends, fellow artists, and casual encounters, to make a donation to Cucalorus. Your donation will support more than 300 artists who will be presenting new work at the 18th annual Cucalorus Film Festival in November. Roughly half of your donation will go directly to filmmakers. Each year Cucalorus provides artists with over $30,000 in direct financial support (that’s more than half of all ticket sales!). The remainder of the funding will be used to rent the equipment we need to show some of the world's greatest movies! It’s really that basic. We hope you’ll help us in our mission to bring people together to celebrate, discover and create independent films.

More than 170 independent and international films will hit the screen at the festival this fall, with special programs focusing on social justice, North Carolina artists, dance, music videos, emerging directors, and hits from the festival circuit. In order to pull it off, we need your help. We’ll be providing financial support to at least 80 of the 300+ artists in attendance. These talented and provocative creatures will be coming from all over the world to share stories and build community. Your dollars will help to support their work, their travel and their future artistic pursuits.

Cucalorians are motivated by one simple purpose: to provide an intimate opportunity for artists and audiences to connect on their own terms. No big corporate sponsors, no big marquee stealing funders – just filmmakers and film fans getting together to celebrate (code word: party like monsters). Cucalorus presents provocative works in a wide range of disciplines - bringing the most talented and innovative artists together to conceive new works, launch new projects and make new friends.

This Kickstarter project funds the Cucalorus financial support program for attending filmmakers. Through this program (and with matching funds from sponsors and donors) attending filmmakers receive travel support, lodging, and enough cash to stay fed and fueled for the festival. The program’s long term goal is to help sustain the work of independent artists by helping them to make some money!!

The launch party is on Sept 30th at 128 South Front from 5PM-9PM. A $5 donation to kickstarter gets you into the party and we will have computer set up at the door for people who haven't donated yet.

The site is here:


Tribeca Film has acquired U.S. rights to Bert Marcus Productions’ How to Make Money Selling Drugs, which had its world premiere on Friday night at the Toronto International Film Festival. The provocative documentary offers an in-depth look at the high-stakes world of drug dealing and drug enforcement by blending authentic reportage with pop culture references. Directed by Matthew Cooke, the film reunites producers Bert Marcus of Bert Marcus Productions and Adrian Grenier (HBO’s Entourage), the team that created the breakout hit Teenage Paparazzo.

Tribeca Film plans a 2013 theatrical release day and date with on-demand platforms, where it will be available in more than 40 million homes through a variety of video-on-demand offerings, as well as iTunes, Amazon Watch Instantly, VUDU and Xbox.

How To Make Money Selling Drugs offers a captivating glimpse into the lives of those on both sides of the “war on drugs,” delivering a diverse and unique perspective on the controversial subject through interviews with 50 Cent, The Wire producer David Simon, Arianna Huffington, Woody Harrelson, Eminem and Susan Sarandon, as well as infamous drug kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross. Presenting a shockingly candid examination of how a street dealer can rise to cartel lord with relative ease, the documentary reveals how public policy and government drug enforcement have struggled to creatively adapt to and effectively disincentive Americans from dealing drugs. Bert Marcus Productions was granted unprecedented access from top‐ranking government officials, from the U.S. Drug Czar to the Drug Enforcement Agency, all providing unique and honest viewpoints on this pervasive global topic.

“This is a work that resonates with truth, anger and insight by an extremely talented filmmaker,” said Geoff Gilmore, Chief Creative Officer of Tribeca Enterprises. “From politics to the police and drug dealers to drug users, the scope of Matthew Cooke’s examination of these illicit networks is extraordinary.”

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with Tribeca Film," said Bert Marcus, Chief Executive Officer of Bert Marcus Productions.  "Given the history of Tribeca Film as an industry pioneer with an esteemed track record of connecting audiences to unique, thought-provoking work, we cannot think of a better home for our documentary that seeks to enlighten and entertain audiences about the complexities of the 'war on drugs.'  We look forward to a productive and creative partnership and believe there is no better fit in terms of culture and vision for our movie to reach the public."

“Seeing this film find a home with Tribeca after all this time is definitely a dream come true. And the timing couldn't be better,” said Matthew Cooke. “Today America consumes a majority of the marijuana and 40% of the world's cocaine while simultaneously incarcerating more of its citizens than any country in the history of the world. We hope to encourage a national conversation on one of the worst public policy failures of the last 50 years. And do so in a way that's engaging, entertaining and inspiring.”

The deal was negotiated for Tribeca Film by Nick Savva, Director of Acquisitions, and by ICM Partners and Lawrence Kopeikin on behalf of the filmmakers.

Why Students Should Take Over Kickstarter

If you’ve got an idea for a creative project, launching a pitch on Kickstarter might be your best shot at getting funded. The site accepts and posts 75% of applicant ideas. And nearly half of these end up raising enough pledges to receive full funding. This is ideal for students and recent graduates with fresh ideas but low budgets. With project backers giving as little as $20 to projects, the incentives and interests of investors on Kickstarter are also younger and newer than anyplace else. The crowdfunding site (and others like it) is changing the way that small creative projects, startups and products are launched. Of the 28,000 projects successfully funded on the site in the past four years, the average funding goals were low—under $5,000. So, if you’ve got an idea for a new food truck, solo album or an app, consider testing it out on tens of thousands of Kickstarter fans

Kickstarter Infographic

The Documentary Summit: Raleigh & Durham

The Documentary Summit is a two day non-fiction conference. With seminars from expert speakers and structured networking, it offers a unique opportunity to connect, share, learn and collaborate. Join the movement now. Speakers include Eric Johnson from Trailblazer Studios on a composer panel, filmmaker Cynthia Hill (February One), DP/filmmaker Rex Miller, Rachel Raney of The Southern Documentary Fund, filmmaker/editor Elizabeth Haviland James, a funding panel and much more.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit NC Indie Seen blog members, affiliates and friends use the promotional code INDIESEEN to get the discount price of $139 (normally $179).

Find collaborators. Get insight. Leave inspired.

The Documentary Summit is presented by The Documentary Film Makers Handbook, Trailblazer Studios, The Southern Documentary Fund and The Empowerment Project.