Story ‘valuations’ – can an agent put a price on a story?
Many interviewees ask for a ‘valuation’ on their story
“I have a really clear video of a shocking event? How much can you offer?’
Most weeks someone contacts Featureworld with this very question. So is it possible for any agent to tell someone how much they can expect to earn without even seeing the video or photo?
Incredibly many people contacting Featureworld expect to be given a price based on a few sentences. Or they think an agent can tell you how much money a photo or video is worth from their description of it. If any agent tells you a price without seeing a photo, your video or story then steer clear!
Understandably for interviewees dealing with the media for the first time is a worrying event. Naturally they worry they might be ripped off so they hesitate about sending out a video or photo.
But this is the situation. No publication offers on a story, photo or video they have not viewed for themselves. So you will always have to send your video or photo to a trusted agent or a publication to ascertain whether or not it is potentially saleable.
Then no agent I know buys your video or story themselves. This is the process – your story or video or photo is sent to editors who will then say if they want to buy it. If they do, they will say how much they will pay.
Every story is unique. There is no price list because your story is different from everyone else’s. The price will depend on how good your video or photo is – and while you think your video is amazing, the judge will be the editor and not you.
So here are the golden rules:
- Research the agent you send anything to. Google their name.
- Don’t play annoying little games. Be honest. Send your photo or video to the agent so they can evaluate it for you
- A bona fide agent cannot possibly give you a price or valuation. All they can say is they think it is a great story/good story/borderline story/not a placeable story.
- Don’t approach publications yourself. If you do you are on your own and selling a story is an unregulated business.
- An agent will always get you more money because they can approach many publications at once. They can ensure you retain copyright by only sending your video or photo out under contracts. Then they can sell it on for you – this is where a lot of money is earned.
Most of all – OBVIOUSLY you have to actually send the video or the photo to the agent or they cannot possibly help you! If you don’t want to send your video/photo/documents out then you will not get any deal.
Remember, at Featureworld if I don’t find a deal for you that you want to go ahead with, then you won’t go ahead.
Read more: Sell your video