Hi, does anyone have any insight regarding the paid sites there are where you can advertise your scripts for sale? Thanks.
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Hi Lauran! If you're looking to get your script out there, it's pretty likely that the writing services we offer here as part of Stage 32 will be more useful to you than the paid sites you mention. While those sites technically "get your script out there", there's very little in the way of guarantees or control over who is actually reading it. Here on the Happy Writers side, we offer Coverage/Consulting services that put your script directly into the hands of working executives - of your choice! You can't get that anywhere else. Check out all our offerings at the link below, and please feel free to comment/message me here with any questions! https://www.stage32.com/happy-writers/coverage
That's exactly what The Happy Writers does, Jim. I've had multiple requests and secured 1 meeting. The guy who invited me here got signed to his manager through COVERAGE here. That's pretty incredible when you think about it. Just a remarkable service and one I wish was available to me when I was starting out.
Hi Lauran! Welcome to Stage 32! Going off of what Matt, Jim and James responded with - that's our mission here is to help writers like you who are ready to take your script and career to the next level. If you ever have any questions about Happy Writers, feel free to contact me or any Stage 32 team member anytime.
Thanks guys! I wonder how many sales are made through this site though? The 'successes' I mostly see are about meetings but if they don't result in a sale that doesn't seem too attractive to me.
Lauran, while I understand the desire to jump straight to a sale, I think it's crucial to remember that the meetings you see spoken/posted about here (https://www.stage32.com/happy-writers/success-stories) are the all-important first step towards that sale. A first meeting will rarely (if ever) end with a "sign on the dotted line" - but it may well end with an executive/agent saying "What else do you have?" or "I like this project. Let me pass it on to a friend/colleague." From there, anything can and does happen.
Hi Lauran, I actually wrote a blog about these meetings and what they can mean. The gist is, no pitch session will ever end with a "SOLD!" unless you're already an established writer/director. It always leads to a general meeting... what happens from there is on you. Check out the blog here: https://www.stage32.com/blog/A-Summation-of-Successful-Successes
Lauran you have to realize too, it's very rare for a script to be "sold". Spec screenplays are considered a calling card to showcase that writers talent. Which is why most meetings include them asking what else you have. Most screenwriters make their money doing rewrites and work for hire projects. An exec liking your screenplay is what can get your foot in the door, but it's not likely to result in a sale.
I would list it on Inktip (and subscribe to their newsletter) and Virtual Pitch Fest. Both have long track records of getting results (options and sales) for writers, myself and a few others I know included. I would also pitch it to the most appropriate execs here on Stage 32. I would also consider putting it on the Black List. I would also consider networking on LinkedIn - that has led to good results for at least two writers that I know. I would also try to enter it in some contests, and I would also try to attend the FadeIn/Hollywood Pitch Fest if I could. I would also query produces via email or via telephone. I know I went a bit beyond the scope of your question regarding paid Internet listing sites....my apologies. Those are a lot of great marketing options for a screenwriter. But before doing some/any/all of that....I would have a reputable script consultant go over my script. Good luck and happy writing, Lauran! And welcome to the Screenplay Marketing World and the Marketing Lauran Childs As a Writer World!
How do you get on the Black List?
Don't be passive, be active. Query producers and managers. Make connections.
Bill Costantini, as Carisia Switala asked, how do you get on the Black List? it is my understanding that a specific person compiles the list from scripts that have unsuccessfully made the rounds in hollywood, but which the generator of the list feels have been detrimentally overlooked (that being detrimental to the industry).
So for as long as I've been on Stage32, the Black List was universally bad-rapped by members here as being too pricey and as not delivering for unsold writers - until someone posted a link to a couple stories about writers whose works were first viewed on the BlackList, and sold as a result of those exposures. I changed my views of the Black List after I read those story links. Even though the cumulative stats might still be very sketchy regarding the sell rates for (previously) unsold writers who sold their work as a result of the listing on the Black List....I have to conclude that any site that helps writers - previously unsold writers or WGA members - sell a script is a good site. After all, selling a spec script is like....well....we all know what it's like, right? Here is a link to the Black List. James - there are two parts to the Black List. There is the one that you mentioned (the...uh..."Best Scripts That Aren't in Production List"...for lack of a better term), and there is the other part - the Script Database - that lists/rates/exposes scripts that are placed there by the writer for Black List industry members to see. And they have other resources and cool stuff, too. https://blcklst.com/
thanks for the link, bill
Thank you for the link, Bill!
hmm, 4 different S32 employees mentioned their services in this thread but other people aren't allowed to promote their services...? In terms of script hosting, most sites are pointless. InkTip is great if you have a project that can be done for $5M or less. Blacklist is fine if you have a more prestige project that is manager bait and you don't mind paying $150 a month. All the others aren't well known enough to matter. There are consultants, like myself and others, who will give you great notes and IF the script is ready, will send it out to our contacts for free. the difference is you'll actually get feedback to know IF your script is ready to be seen.
Hi Danny, your consulting service sounds interesting. I would like to learn more. Thanks.
Here's an older thread in which The Black List website and its services were discussed at length, particularly TBL's readers and their evaluations (it's not coverage nor notes). TBL scoring and evaluations are to prove your script is worth reading. It should be well noted that the annual list that circles around the industry and the website are effectively separate. They are not one and the same. So before jumping in and investing a lot of money on TBL website services perhaps read over this thorough discussion: https://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/Received-my-eval-from-the-B.... ...Personally, I think CJ's comment about TBL bringing the casino mentality to script exposure is dead on—as you know with casinos the house always wins.
...And, sorry, Danny, but you have received A LOT of exposure over the years here at Stage 32: you've been highlighted on the blog; you've done a couple of webinars; you're active in the Lounge and thus very visible; you're often mentioned in forum threads by RB, myself and others... It's better to have someone else recommend your services than self-promote, is it not? Plus feel free to self-promote in Your Stage—perhaps post various articles from your web site. Every member has their own profile page to promote their services to their heart's content! There's plenty of opportunity to promote one's services on this site.
Like William said contact producers yourself because the only way to get your foot in the door is to make contacts in the business other wise you are just playing the lottery.
Thanks guys, very helpful. Bill - how does one network on LinkedIn? I know you can befriend people, are you suggesting to contact producers on there?
Regarding consultation and feedback: I have had script feedback from Danny Manus. I got way more than I paid for. Lots of pages of detailed notes, ideas and excellent comments. Plus constructive critique that made me think. Also encouraging. He is very accessible and answers emails. I have another round of consultation paid with him (I bought one of his 'special' packages) and look forward to working with him. I've also had Charlie Reeves do "You First Ten Pages" and was very pleased with his comments and critique. His encouragement and 'grading system' helped show me my strengths and validated I was on the right track.
I am an industry member of The Black List, and I usually glance over the weekly emails they send out. I've never read Inktip personally. I'm really posting because I think some people have over-estimated the cost of uploading a script to The Black List. I just cut and pasted the below from the website. Apologies if others are referring to a different service. If I've made an error, it's unintentional. HOSTING SCRIPTS Upload your script, and make it available for immediate download by industry members. For Guild members, all of our paid services are 20% off. $25 / script / month https://blcklst.com/
That said, I agree with others who've advised targeting appropriate managers and producers. Build your credibility with a contest win if possible, as prestigious contest recognition will make your query letter stronger. Use your college network, friends, and family to get introductions. I'm a Board member and volunteer contest judge at the CineStory Foundation. I read a TV contest finalist script this year that I really liked. I offered to help the writer meet with managers if s/he can improve the script. So if you're read by the right person in the business, we/they will make those intros for you. We all look good if we can help find a great new project/writer!
Yes, other costs for The Black List (besides the monthly $25 hosting fee) include their evaluations—which are strongly recommended by the site to purchase so that your script receives a "score." That score will either help or hinder its viewership, downloads, etc. Plus not purchasing an evaluation(s) may also hinder your overall chances. So if you don't like it or there's an issue (often the case) or you don't agree with a score given by one of their readers you are tempted/expected to pay for another, and another, and another—rolling that dice for a higher score number (many people do!). For some this may be fine, for others it's problematic and quickly becomes costly with little benefit. Again, perhaps look over the thread link I posted earlier—great comments! Here are the costs for TBL evaluations: "Prices vary based on the length the material. Original pilots meant for broadcast of 30 minutes or less cost $50 per evaluation. Feature screenplays, miniseries, and one-hour pilots cost $75 per evaluation."
Anyhoo, personally, I agree with Regina and others; targeting appropriate managers and producers, networking, building relationships, gaining experience and credibility, etc, are great ways to create possibilities. :)