Wednesday, April 3, 2013
If you're not the predator, you're the prey!
I don't know who this "reputable script advisor" (the writer's words) was, but I'd like to shake her until her teeth rattle. the writer also admitted that he wasn't a professional writer in the ad, which raises even more warning flags for me. I breifly worked for a service that provided notes for would-be screenwriters and while I saw several promising scripts, I never saw one that simply needed re-formatting to "be a movie."
It's an insanely competitive business. Being told all you need to do is reformat your work and you're good to go would be like an agent telling me all I need to do is change the margins on my novel manuscript and I'm on my way to a seven figure sale at Simon & Schuster. JUST. NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.
Wolves aren't just out there preying on screenwriters, though. I see ads for "publishing packages" every day in which people offer their services to writers who want to self-publish. If you don't have photoshop or art skills, you are going to have to buy a cover from someone, but it shouldn't cost you $500. (Go to Indie Author Serivices and get something great for under $100. They often run specials in the summer for WAY under.) There are online tools to help format manuscripts for upload to the various sites. And Smashwords has a tutorial that can walk even a techno-challenged newbie through their process. In other words...don't pay some predator money you could be spending on promtion or travel to a convention or even just on groceries.