Tag Archives: self pub tip

A Call For Movie Rights

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.

You can read about previous complaints HERE HERE and HERE.

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.

police money finance funny
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Advertisements

Facing the Other Way

Haven’t been writing anything new lately. I still have two pages of that crime story I started many weeks ago that I want to finish. I’m pretty sure I can finish it in Dec before I start the new novel in January. Pretty sure.

I have finished up editing that longer sci-fi short story Orange Flecks and sent it out to a market. Got two other sci-fis waiting to hear back from, plus a handful of other markets that are taking forever to respond. Pony express. So there’s that.

Been working more as a publisher lately than as a writer so it’s not like I haven’t been Peanut Shellsproductive. Did the holiday sale (all miki novels on sale thru holidays) and publishing a new short story every month. Been consistent the last three months. Just uploaded Decembers story early, Peanut Shells, so expect that in the next few days.

So yeah, I should be able to finish that crime short for the year.

Been also researching the new novel. Lots of reading on 1920 and 1960. Funny how I picked those years. Seems they both had similar social upheaval. Some cosmic force must have been tainting my subconscious. I don’t know. Or maybe not. Just hope I can make a good story out of it.

Speaking of reading, I finished this monster of a story called Facing the Other Way: the story of 4AD. You know the British record label with the amazing art design that started in 1980 by Ivo. Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coyle, Cocteau Twins to Throwing Muses, Lush, Pixies, Breeders, and on.


Like I said, a monster of a book chock full of POV/quotes, but so worth it. The writer not only delves into Ivo and the staff’s head, but also into the designer, Vaughn, and the band’s stories, which I found interesting since a lot of my favorites were in there. I’m a big Pixie, Throwing Muses, and Lush head, and even through I read a lot of books and press about them, this one gave me even more.

 

I’m not a writing guru but…

subs: 2

reject: o

Damn, wish I had more rejections.

Revised The Creative down to 5,943 words. Feels solid. The core, the meaning, of the story finally screamed out to me. In a few weeks I’ll give it a final run through and see if I still feel the same. Tomorrow I’ll start a new story to distract myself.

I turned 43 this week. Although I feel tired and achy, I don’t feel old. I don’t know why. Probably because I’m not. My life is content at this point. The life my wife and I built has been holding steady and there are many lights ahead of us. And if those lights should keep going further back, that’s still okay. Like I said, I feel content.

I have been writing since I was 16, 15? Before then I had been obsessed with story. I wrote scripts, novels, short stories, and made movies. I’ve learned many things. I continue to do so. Especially in this self-publishing game. I won’t get into why I do it. My reasons are my own. Strictly political. I also sell short stories to magazines and zines, etc. So mull over that.

During my time self publishing (I think I put out my first book in 2011), I have learned a crap load of stuff. I waded through the gurus and the marketers and information. It can be depressing and overwhelming for a newbie. I am not a guru. This will not be a blog for such information. There are others out there who  do it better. But I will drop a tip here and there. Like now:

Self Pub Tip

Sometimes I see on Twitter or Facebook the SP writers tooting their own horn about how they are “fulltime writers” and “professionals” and how “they are living the dream” and they have these blogs reveling on what it’s like being a writer. So I check out their books and read their samples on Amazon and SMACK!

They can’t write. What do I mean?

  • They can’t form a sentence.
  • They misuse punctuation or create new punctuation.
  • They’re unaware of scene construction, how to pull a reader in, or how to create an original or interesting character.
  • Their work is redundant.

 

They can’t form a sentence

I’m  aware that something happens to our brains when we turn into an adult. We regress into apes and write as we speak instead of writing correctly. Writing and speaking are two different things, two languages. If you are picking up writing late in your adulthood and you forgot your basics, I suggest you study a writing manual. I preferred The Elements of Style. It’s tiny, clear, and concise.

 

They misuse punctuation or create new punctuation.

I spot this one a lot.

Example: “My dog is in the hospital.” He said.

Huh? Shouldn’t it be: “My dog is in the hospital,” he said.

If I find the son of a bitch whose been teaching writers this I’m going to pull his scrotum over his head. It is everywhere.

 
They’re unaware of scene construction, how to pull a reader in, or how to create an original or interesting character.

 

There are millions of books, videos, and classes out there that will teach you how to write a story. A majority will teach you how to write a bestseller. They will give you the secrets on how to pull a reader’s heart strings or expectations and thrill them to no end. That’s great. Pick ONE of those books up and keep it as a reference. Something to inspire or to look back on.

You ever read clickbait on the world’s greatest writers tips for writers? One of those tips are always READ. Wanna know why? Reading is how you learn to write structure, character, and setting. Reading all kinds of genres and stories. It’s the best kind of education and it’s free to cheap. How do you think the pulp writers learned to write back in the 30s-50s? Hell, how do you think Shakespear or the guys who wrote the Bobe learned? They didn’t have writing gurus. They READ the writers before them and learned.

Now this is the important part. YOU NEED TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO LEARN. You have to be aware of what you are reading. You have to see what the author is doing and how they are doing it. Once you achieve this then you can add these tricks to your tool box and use them for your own work. Then you can mix and match these tools with your voice to develop a style as you write more and more.

A writer needs the ability to learn or they will never be a good writer. The only one that can teach you to write is yourself. You have to do the work.

 

Their work is redundant.

There are many reasons why a publisher would not be interested in your book. Primarily because they don’t think it’s marketable. A publisher is a business. They are responsible to their shareholders and keeping their doors open. Agents need to make a living and do not want to take on books that are not marketable.

What is marketable? I don’t know.

But now with the digital revolution one can publish the unmarketable and give those books a chance. A chunk of those unmarketable books seem to be books that tell the same stories that are already marketable bestsellers. Another form of the popular military sci-fi or the young adult romance. Some of these with their expensive covers stand out and make the bestsellers for a moment until the writer can make another carbon copy to chase another fad or just fade away. But there are many that gather dust by authors tooting their horn and wade in the points I mentioned above.

Although I feel the urge to condemn writers for resisting originality in independent publishing, I will say this instead. If you feel being redundant is your calling please be professional. In my experience readers can be forgiving with minor typos but not with shoddy storytelling.

So for now, the last episode of Stainboy: