The LA Times reported today about the tragic downfall of screenwriter Eric Monte… a story that could serve as a cautionary tale for both TV writers and vanity press authors. The once high-flying comedy writer, who had a tumultuous relationship with the Industry even during his heyday, is now living in a homeless shelter. Two big lessons from the article — stay away from crack cocaine and don’t flush your money down the vanity press toilet:
A year of crack cocaine abuse robbed him of money,
dignity and a circle of Hollywood friends. Attempts to sell a
self-published book drained the last of his savings.[…]
With $10,000 from a "Good Times" movie option, Monte self-published a book, "Blueprint for Peace." In it he wrote that peace could be achieved if humanity followed seven basic principles: merge all nations into one, stop manufacturing weapons of war, adopt one universal language, eliminate money as the medium of exchange, abandon the concept of land ownership, abandon the concept of inheritance, and control population growth. Monte rented a booth at last April’s Los Angeles Times Book Festival, but he failed to sell a single copy of his book.
"I just have to figure out how to market it," he says. "I know that as soon as it starts selling, it will sell for 1,000 years."