Can I Send a Publisher My Script?

I got this email the other day:

I recently wrote a heady sci-fi thriller that has gotten good response
from people, but my manager calls "unmarketable". You see, apparently,
if Hollywood wants a Phillip K. Dick type of story, they go buy a real
Phillip K. Dick story. But, unless the budget is under 10mil, they
won’t touch it without his name on it.   So, I was thinking, since book publishers don’t have "shootable"
constraints, would they ever read scripts with an eye on the author
building them out into novel form? I’d love to make it a novel, if I
thought others would love it to be one.   Would Del Rey read a script? Would they even consider, let alone pay for, a property not in novel form?

I’m not sure your manager is right about your script. If it’s good, people will buy it. If it’s not, they won’t.  My guess is that either he’s lazy or he thinks your script is unmarketable because it isn’t very good.  That aside, the answer to your question is no, a publisher/editor won’t read the script. They buy books, not scripts. They don’t know how
to read a script. And most important of all, they can’t tell from a script if you can write a
book.  You might be able to get way with writing a 100 sample manuscript pages and
an outline of the rest if you have a good literary agent that editors trust.

Stop Whining

Garrison Keillor is tired of writers who whine about how hard it is to write:

It’s the
purest form of arrogance: Lest you don’t notice what a brilliant artist I am,
let me tell you how I agonize over my work. To which I say: Get a job. Try
teaching eighth-grade English, five classes a day, 35 kids in a class, from
September to June, and then tell us about suffering.

The fact
of the matter is that the people who struggle most with writing are drunks.
They get hammered at night and in the morning their heads are full of pain and
adverbs. Writing is hard for them, but so would golf be, or planting alfalfa,
or assembling parts in a factory.

biggest whiners are the writers who get prizes and fellowships for writing
stuff that’s painful to read, and so they accumulate long résumés
and few readers and wind up teaching in universities where they inflict their
gloomy pretensions on the young. Writers who write for a living don’t complain
about the difficulty of it. It does nothing for the reader to know you went
through 14 drafts of a book, so why mention it?

Law & Order Deja Vu

Okay, so I was watching the teaser for LAW AND ORDER tonight and it goes like this: two cops are driving along. They get a domestic disturbance call. They park in front of a building and — WHAM — a body lands on their windshield. The scene was so familiar that I knew the body was going to land on the car before it happened. I was sure I was watching a rerun…but the TV Guide listed it as a new episode. And, as it turned out, it was new show. So my question is this… am I just imagining that I saw the exact same teaser before or did a LAW & ORDER: SVU also begin the same way this season?

IAMTW Announces The Scribe Awards


The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW) is dedicated to enhancing the professional and public image
of tie-in writers…to working with the media to review tie-in novels
and publicize their authors…and to providing a forum for tie-in writers to share
information, support one another, and discuss issues relating to our
field (via a monthly e-newsletter, our website, and our active yahoo discussion group).
Our members include authors active in many other professional writer
organizations (MWA, PWA, WGA, SFWA, etc.) and who share their unique
perspectives with their fellow tie-in writers.

It is with great pleasure that the IAMTW announces that we are now accepting submissions for the first annual Scribe Awards, recognizing excellence in the field of media tie-in writing.

The Scribe Awards and How You Can Enter:

Read more

The Name is Poster, Bond Poster

I’ve got all the Bond movie posters, which I started collecting when I was a kid. I bought most of them from the now-defunct
Cinema Shop in San Francisco and, later, from Hollywood Book & Poster Co. in LA. When I was single, I had them up all over my apartment. But for the last 16 years of marital bliss, the posters have
been relegated to my small office, where I rotate them in, two at-a-time. I
love those posters, many of which feature art by the legendary Robert McGinnis.
Posterwire reports that a NY gallery is hosting an exhibit of Bond posters from mid-May through July. The news of the exhibit coincides with
the release this week of the new trailer and the teaser poster for CASINO ROYALE.

Engines for Bootlegging

I was looking for information on the TV series HARRY O today…and one of the sponsored Google
listings took me to a slick site that sells bootleg DVDs of TV shows. So did the same search on Yahoo.Top_banner_1

At (which also does business under the name,, and and probably a whole bunch of others) you can buy complete series boxed sets of shows
OF SAN FRANCISCO, all of which are currently not being sold commercially by
their rights-holders.   Tvdvdplanet

But DVDAvenue doesn’t stop there…they are even selling
bootleg versions of shows like REMINGTON STEELE, KNIGHTRIDER, SEAQUEST, THE
readily available at your local Best Buy…only they charge a lot more for them. That’s assuming they actually send you the bootlegs  and aren’t just a honey-trap to get credit card numbers from TV geeks.Top_banner2

I’m stunned that the legal departments of Warner Brothers,
NBC/Universal, and Paramount Television haven’t caught on to these guys yet.
It’s not like is being discreet about their law-breaking.

Google and Yahoo take money from these bootleggers to make their listings show up at the top of any search for a TV show. And these search engines get paid for click-throughs to the bootlegging sites… doesn’t that mean they are profitting off an illegal activity? Don’t they screen their advertisers at all?

UPDATE 1-22-07:  I received this comment from one of my readers:

I too was ripped off by these
guys. I made a number of inquiries abou them. It turns out they are
already under investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, this
because they are in fact located in Canada. I spoke with a Sgt.
Jean-Yves Ducharme, who told me that they have been conducting an
investigation since late 2006 and he would welcome any call from those
defrauded by these guys. Here is his contact info:

Sgt. Jean-Yves Ducharme
Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Federal Investigations Section


Show Him the Money

Robert B. Parker tells Zap2it that he has no hesitations
about selling his books to TV. 

The good-humored, Massachusetts-based Parker claims
"how much?" was his only question when the screen deal was made for
his Stone books.

"Seriously, somebody once asked me, ‘Why do you sell your books to Hollywood?’ I answered,
‘For money! What other reason is there?’ That’s not just for the television rights, but the books sell better. My latest Jesse Stone novel (‘Sea Change’) started higher and lasted longer on the New York Times best-seller list than any other. And gee whiz, Tom Selleck has done several Stone movies in the past year or so. I wonder if there’s a connection." 

That said, Parker is mightily impressed with the TV versions of his Jesse Stone novels. So am I. I’ve enjoyed all three of them and am looking forward to more.

"Selling your book is like selling your house," he
reasons. "You can go by it a year later, and they’ve painted it an ugly
color, but it’s not your problem anymore. In this case, when I saw the first
movie (last year’s ‘Stone Cold’), I actually got tears in my eyes. It was the
first time I’d ever seen stuff that I wrote come to life like that on the
screen. I think Tom has so nailed the character, it’s almost

TV News

The trades are reporting that ABC has renewed BOSTON LEGAL
for a third season and yanked COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF from the airwaves for May
sweeps…and, most likely, for good. CinC went from the biggest hit of the new
season to one of its most disasterous flops in record time…at least Geena Davis
got a Golden Globe out of the deal before she was impeached.

TV Geeks Rejoice

The news that Jeri Ryan, who played the Busty Borg on STAR TREK VOYAGER, will be guest-starring on the two-hour season finale of BOSTON LEGAL is going to send Trekkies into a galatic tizzy. Why? Because the episode represents a cross-over rift in the casting time/space continuum between three different STAR TREK series. Jeri and her Borg boobs will be sharing the screen with William ShatnerDmtrek (STAR TREK) and Rene Auberjonois (a regular on DEEP SPACE NINE and a guest-star in one STAR TREK movie).

It’s just the kind of stunt-casting we were famous for on DIAGNOSIS MURDER. Obviously, someone on BOSTON LEGAL is a TV geek after my own heart. It was only a few months ago that they paired Shatner up with his TJ HOOKER co-star Heather Locklear. I kept waiting for James Darren to show up.

If BOSTON LEGAL comes back next season, I wouldn’t be surprised if Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig, George Takei, Joe Regalbuto, Faith Ford, and Grant Shaud appear in episodes…