I was laying about with the kids the other day and the land line rang. I never pick up the phone. Since I have no friends, the only people I expect to call me are organizations asking for money or votes or doctors reminding us about appointments. But this time I got a strange message. Some guy who’s name I couldn’t make out said he read one of my novels written under one of my pen names, said it was perfect, and was interested in the movie rights.
Of course my cognitive empathy kicked in and I grabbed a pen and paper and played the message a few times to write the details down with no emotion going through my being.
“Mike, someone wants to make one of your books into a movie,” you ask. “Why aren’t you jumping out of your skin?”
I’ll get to that.
Okay. So I still can’t make out this guys name but I got his company name and number. Readers Magnet. 619 – 354-2643 ext 1743. Call back Monday – Friday through the hours of 10 and 7.
My son, who was behind me and watching TV, asked, “What’s that about?”
“Probably nothing,” I said.
Instead of calling the guy back, I grabbed my phone and did a search on Readers Magnet and found out that they are some kind of POD, vanity press scam company. Most likely they would take me for a rube who would pay them hundreds or thousands of dollars to shop my movie rights or whatever service they offer.
The rights would never be shopped no matter what excuse they claim.
They are another company like good old Publish America that promises new authors fame and fortune if they shell out lots of cash.
Now why more than just my autistic mind kicked in. I come from a film background. I studied film law and contracts and I’m also familiar with literary contracts. Also, I have worked as a screenwriter before. Any gig that I’ve gotten was through referral, a friend of a friend or whatever. No one ever cold calls in this biz. It’s either referral or a talent approaches or auditions for the job.
Yeah, maybe a foreign publisher would be interested in my rights for their country but I doubt they would call me. They would probably email me.
And if someone were interested in movie rights of my book it would surely not be someone called Readers Magnet.
So if no one has ever heard of them or if you get a phone call of someone kissing your ass about your book, be weary.