As a writer, getting your book turned into a movie is the ultimate dream. It seems like nearly all the movies in theaters lately are book to movie adaptations. Unfortunately, the chances are slim. Slim, but not impossible.

If seeing your book on the big screen is your ultimate goal, we’re here to inform you how to turn passion project novel into a blockbuster movie!

First, let’s take a look at the best and worst book to movie adaptations of all time.

After all, translating a book to the screen can be a challenge, so it’s important to see how it’s been done before. Often, this requires changing certain elements of a book to make it successful as a movie.

We can see how these changes can result in amazing movies: ones that complement their book counterparts very well. But unfortunately, sometimes certain changes or lack of changes can result in really bad movies, too!

How Do Some of Your Favorite Books Fare on the Big Screen?

The best book to movie adaptations are the ones that complement their source material (the book!), but still, hold up as movies in their own right! Unfortunately, some adaptations simply didn’t do their books justice at all. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst of the lot.

Best Book-to-Movie Adaptations

The Harry Potter Franchise

Harry Potter is one of the most popular and well-known examples of a successful book to movie adaptation. What makes it all the more impressive is that it’s not just one or two movies. All seven of J.K Rowling’s original books were adapted for the big screen! If that’s not an author’s ultimate dream come true, we don’t know what is!

To this day, Rowling’s epic series is a treasure for book nerds and movie enthusiast with a passion for the wizarding world!

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

As part of many U.S. school curricula, you’ve likely heard teacher after teacher praise both this book and its movie adaptation—for good reason!

The praise has held up in both critic and general public ratings and reviews for more than 50 years. The film must have done something right, then! Thankfully, Harper Lee loved the adaptation, too!

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Based on the book by Thomas Harris, Anthony Hopkins is brilliant in this crime thriller that still delivers nearly 30 years later.

The Silence of the Lambs is one of the most disturbing yet well-made book to movie adaptations to date, with superb acting to boot!

Worst Book-to-Movie Adaptations

The Great Gatsby (2013)

The next movie leaves much to be desired from its recent book to movie adaptation. While the book still stands as a promising read, The Great Gatsby movie fails to capture the same romantic, sad atmosphere that the book creates so well.

The main complaints?

The movie is simply too flashy, and the scenes jar together ungracefully.

A Walk to Remember (2002)

Nicolas Sparks is known for his romantic dramas that sometimes come across as too cheesy. But in this case, the movie does all its curdling in terms of cheesiness.

Sparks’ book is a spiritual romance about goodness, not teen drama, like the movie portrays. Set in more contemporary times, with poor acting, this movie veers away from its source. Instead, it comes across as cheesy and contrived, instead of heartfelt.

The Cat in the Hat (2003)

Had it been successful, this book to movie adaptation would accurately portray the picture book. It would translate the fun and havoc of the delightfully mischievous cat in a hat in a fun kid-friendly way. Instead, this movie evokes terror and confusion at a vulgar man in a horrible catsuit. Dr. Seuss fans everywhere collectively cringe in memory of this messy failure.

cat in the hat movie adaptation

How to Turn a Book into a Movie

There’s no easy answer for how to turn a book into a movie. However, here’s what you can do to improve your chances at success!

It may go without saying, but you need to publish a book first before it is adapted into a movie. Without a book, there’s no book to movie adaptation.

After you’ve published your book, make sure you do your very best to distribute, market, and sell your book.

Bestsellers usually have the highest chance of being adapted to film. Odds are your book won’t become a bestseller unless you put in the time, money, and effort to give it its best chance.

Once you’ve done that, professionals in the film industry might take notice of your book all on their own.

But just in case they don’t, you can try writing your book into a screenplay (or hiring someone to) and submitting your script to film professionals. Don’t be impatient, just like the publishing process, the film industry sometimes moves at a snail’s pace.

Take the First Step to Bring Your Story to Life!

Now you know how to turn a book into a movie! You know that getting your book to the big screen has to start with publishing and distributing your book.

So, take the next step toward your dreams by getting a quote or free consultation from Gatekeeper Press!