Is the website Script Mailer/Talent Mailer a scam or can I submit my query letter to them?
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It looks like a scam to me, Cody. I'd steer clear. Here's a thread from two years ago, most feel the same: https://www.stage32.com/lounge/screenwriting/Talentmailer-com.
Hmmmmm.... well, I used the site once and they were kind enough to give me tips on my query letter. There were a lot of bounced emails and "no submissions" and "we don't do feature films" and such, but I also got requests to read my script from three separate producers, and now have a relationship with one of them who was truly kind and helpful. She explained why my 68 page story wasn't a screenplay (seriously, I had no idea what I was doing! I sat up all night one night writing down an inspired movie idea, not a screenplay, but I didn't know that) and then she helped me turn it into one. I got that connection directly because of Talent Mailer, so it wasn't a scam for me. (This is the one I assume you mean? http://www.talentmailer.com/ )
Tsara, your experience seems to be the exception. There's no way to VERIFY that they do indeed have the database that they claim to have — that's a problem. Personally, I would never use this type of service. It's much better to target your query letters so they go to the right people, not just some random scattering across a "database" of industry names — names of which you have no idea who they are or if they are real people. Do read the thread I posted above. :)
I totally get it, Beth! I wasn't suggesting that people should use such services. As was just sharing my experience so that people would know they actually do send to many producers and agencies. I got plenty of proof - but, admittedly, only after I had used the service - via my own email. For a few weeks after using the service my inbox was flooded with replies, many automatic and not at all personalized. Some "undeliverable" and such. That's why I included that in my comment, to make sure it was clear that the database isn't great, but it's real. I completely agree with you, Beth, that it's WAY better to target query letters and do our best to get them to the agencies and producers who are likely to actually have an interest in our work. I got a giggle out of a response by a gentleman who only produces children's plays. Not at all my target audience! Although, I did chat with him and connected him with a friend of mine who writes children's shows. Like with so many of the things we choose to try, what matters most is making the most of it. :D I did peek at the thread you posted the other day. And (though I'll admit I mostly scanned the comments) I saw that all of the important stuff had been brought up (ie not targeted, not verifiable, not a strong plan of action). I just wanted to be sure I shared my experience as well, so that people would understand that it's not exactly a scam so much as a choice to spend money instead of time. My query letter DID go out to agencies and producers, but it wasn't targeted and not all the emails made it to the inboxes of people who would even see it. Which, as we know, happens to us sometimes even when we spend our time doing the research ourselves. Of course, a greater bang for your buck would be using Stage 32's pitch sessions! Targeted, and guaranteed to get to the producer! My experience with Talent Mailer was wonderful. It was the catalyst for me tweaking and trying and actually getting truly started. Not because it's THE clever way to spend forty-five dollars but because I made it work for me. I hope that's a little bit clearer! Hugs!! ~Tsara
What I said in the linked thread...
I smell fish.