Another Scam that Preys on the Self-Published

I’ve been getting this come-on in my emailbox for days now:

Why join Some of the best movies have been based on
books – Cold Mountain, The Godfather, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil, Prince of Tides, Forrest Gump, L.A. Confidential.

Your book could be next! Wouldn’t you like to have your book or screenplay made
into a movie? publishes 2 catalogs per year which are
distributed to over 2500 film producers, directors, studios, and film agents
nationwide.  Get your full-page color ad in our catalog containing book
summary, book review, book photo, book ordering information, author bio, author
contact information, and representation information.

Email us today at to get your listing in our Catalog.

It’s a fascinating bit of bullshit.  They list a bunch of books that have been turned into movies, the subtle implication being that this catalog had something to do with it.

It didn’t.

None of those books became movies because of this catalog. In fact, the folks at bookstofilm don’t list a single book that has sold to TV or film because of the catalog.

Gee, I wonder why…. could it be, because there aren’t any? Studio & Production Company execs find out about books the old-fashioned way…they read bestseller lists, they read reviews, they talk to agents, they read book industry trade publications, they attend the BEA, they talk to publishers, and they walk into bookstores.

If you visit the bookstofilm website, they make a big deal out of saying they are based in Wilmington, NC…

…fondly known as "Hollywood
East" and home of Screen Gems Studios. Screen Gems is the largest full service
motion picture facility in the United States east of California.  Wilmington has
been the heart of the North Carolina film industry for over two decades. A few
local projects have been Domestic Disturbance, Year of the Dragon, The
Hudsucker Proxy, The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles, Billy Bathgate, Day of the Jackal, One Tree Hill, Matlock
and Dawson’s Creek .

They say that as if mere proximity to the Screen Gems soundstages, or just breathing that Wilmington air, gives them legitimacy and insider access to Hollywood.  They list no other qualifications or credits…what a shock.

Only a fool would read this material and think that they are paying for anything besides an ad in a piece of junkmail that’s going to end up in garbage cans throughout L.A…. assuming the catalog is actually sent out to anybody besides the suckers who take out ads.

Pity the poor, self-published author who falls for this transparent scam.

Rose at reports that bookstofilm  is being run by John Weaver, the same guy behind,  a program that purports to get "book store orders" from brick-and-mortar store for self-published authors (I talked about here a few weeks ago).  Do you see a trend here? I bet it’s only a matter of weeks before Weaver launches a service to get self-published authors publicity in 100s of publications and thousand  of TV and Radio broadcasts.

18 thoughts on “Another Scam that Preys on the Self-Published”

  1. Unless you have proof to support ….”this transparent scam” you are slandering and defaming and you can be very responsible for any loss of business now or in the future. You are a smart guy, you know the drill.
    You have the right to your opinion but unless you have hired any of these companies you are so liberally slandering then you have no proof of falsehoods and therefore can be liable for damages to their business today and many years from now – Have any idea how much this could be? There was one such case before the Holidays that rang the Christmas bells of $100,000.00 – And that fella probably doesn’t make as much money as you may –
    I suggest you remove your misleading reports as soon as possible.

  2. How would you know they are “misleading reports?” Are you aware of some inaccuracies in my posts regarding and If so, please correct me on anything you believe I got wrong.

  3. You better cease and desist, Lee, or else you and…ABOUT 8000 DIFFERENT PEOPLE SAYING THE SAME THING might just get sued. Though I am apt to think that taking legal advice from someone calling themselves Legal Steve does appear sound. Just for fun, I searched around a bit. Legal Steve should email all these people, too, in addition to the millions of people who got spammed by them and then called them a-holes as they deleted the mail, and the other forums mentioned above:
    Out of curiosity, I did visit the site and I have to tell you, with the rights to Fake Liar Cheat coming back up in February, I immediatly fired my screen agent and sent in $125 to get in their catalogue. What better selling point on earth is there than that they are located in Wilmington, NC? The sad thing is, in all seriousness, is that desperate people will get duped into thinking this is how business is done. If you’re smart enough to visit Lee’s blog, be smart enough to realize that those ads are the print equivalent of that guy whose been hanging around Sunset Blvd. all these years in that oddly decorated stationwagon bearing his face and resume (what is his name? it’s driving me nuts now…)…except its in Wilmington, NC…where no one will ever see you.

  4. Hello Lee,
    I’m going to make this very simple – John Weaver was judged fair and reasonable with dealings with Steve Carney by the Better Business Bureau and the Attny General –
    BBB File# 1003196 Call Samatha Hightower at 843-626-6882 Weaver vs Carney
    Attny General File # 0415723 Call Julie Daniel at North Carolina Department of Justice / Roy Cooper, Attorney General (919) 716-6400 Weaver vs Carney Case closed and was not ruled for Carney – The attn general never rules for either side – They simply prosecute if a fraud was committed. In this case they saw no fraud so “Case Closed”
    Check it out for yourself — Mr. Carney is spreading falsehoods regarding his dealings and you (like many others) are supporting him. In fact this is typical protocol of Carney – He’s being doing this for years. It’s a type of extortion. I hire you, you perform the work and then I say “I’m unhappy I want my money back” after I’ve profited and benefited. Carney had hundreds of book orders from work done by John – And he has done this to many other businesses over the years. We have a stack of letters from these businessee if you would like to see them.
    As for Rose at Todays Women – John doesn’t know her and has never been hired by her or anyone in her family or her business so the comments she has made that you are publishing on your site have no merit and are false and could be considered slander.
    You are supporting all of this so that makes you as responsible and liable as the above mentioned. You are also being lead by the blind and you are not checking your facts. Very surprising from a seasoned writer like yourself.
    Again, John has lost business and clients because of the false posts like the ones on your site. He’s a good guy who works hard and is very affordable. Probably because of the legal fees to just simply defend himself from these falsehoods his services may go up but that’s the way it goes right? For every Steve Carney there is 30 others who say he is honest and has integrity. Again, we have letters and these are authors, publishers and other publicists that have paid and hired him and his services. I would like to put an emphasis on “paid and hired.”
    The problem in today’s society is folks want to “Slander” at will without checking facts – You are either on the side of the “Good Guys” or you are on the “Other side” – I’m sure you are a “Good Guy” and want to do the right thing and rewrite a wrong.

  5. Steve,
    My posts have nothing to do with Steve Carny, whoever he is, or anybody else. I’m sharing my views about the repeated, unsolicited emails I’ve received from “Writersuniverse” and “bookstofilm,” my impressions of those two web sites and the services they purport to offer.

  6. Lee,
    But you are supporting Carney as well Rose – You list their posts on your site so it looks like you are attempting to support their falsehoods. I gave yout the file #’s and the case #’s and the phone numbers and the contact names – Do your homework and find out the truth before you allow the blind posters from placing bad and wrong info on your site. It really doesn’t present yourself as a professional writer. It hurts your credability as a writer.
    Do the right thing.

  7. Lee,
    Now you are doing that but what I have printed out that you just recently removed shares a different view – One from someone who was going on info from others who didn’t know what they were talking about and were misleading. Others like you who don’t check the facts before posting.
    What I have from your site yesterday is plenty — What was done is done. What damage you caused has been caused. John will never be able to recoup the clienst who left him because of the posts you postes but have no removed. Like I said I have those before they were removed.
    It would be best if you remove all posts that mention John Weaver and Writers Universe from your posts — Unless you have hired John or know someone who has that they have “SCammed” as you said….If you don’t then you are continuing to be misleading and offereing a damaging product with your face and name stamped on it.

  8. I don’t see posts from Carny or Rose as any different than yours nor am I worried about *my* credibility in this discussion. As you accurately point out, my face and name are stamped on everything I do unlike, say, John Weaver.
    And since I haven’t removed any posts or comments here, I have to assume your previous comment here was one of the boiler-plate emails you have apparently been sending to forums all over the web.
    I think the many unwanted email solicitations I’ve received from “Writersuniverse” and “Bookstofilm,” as well as your behavior and the content of your missives, say more about the quality of the services Mr. Weaver offers than I ever could.
    When something smells rotten, it usually is.

  9. I would like to post on this site that unlike many here that have posted , I have hired John and many times whith good fortune each and everytime.
    The above posts by Steve Carney and Rose are false and have no experience with John or his companies. Carney is a “Habitual Slander and practicer of extortion” which has been proven to the Attny General. No credit should be given to any of his comments. Rose doesn’t know or has ever hired John – So her misleading comments have no merit.
    Now let me share with you auhtors and publishers like me who have hired JOhn and and with GOOD outcomes. And again let me point out that we do have experience with these companies – Anyone who doesn’t and posts lies is committing slander and defamation.
    Sibyl Avery Jackson, author of award-winning novel Degree of Caution, says, “John Weaver is a person of immense integrity, one who has gone above and beyond our contractual agreement. I have the utmost respect for him and believe him to be a man of his word.”
    Frank Weaver, no relation to John Weaver & author of Crabcake and Pepper, states, “Don’t ever change. You are a beacon of light….Believe me when I say, your honesty is refreshing.”
    Author Cliff Chandler says, “I will say that I have walked with the lamp and found an honest young man. Your conduct will guarantee your success.”
    Author Carol White says, “John Weaver has been great to work with over the last several months getting our book flowing into the book chains. Our orders….have risen steadily as a result of his initiative and hard work.
    Beverly, Editor
    Day Break
    Posted by: Bev

  10. Bev trumpets the endorsement of “Sibyl Avery Jackson, author of award-winning novel Degree of Caution”
    The award was, of course, the hotly pursued and very presitigious “2002 Self-Published African African American Award” for Best Mystery. I kid you not…
    This is the best plug Weaver can cough up? Kinda says it all, don’t it?

  11. That’s great Bev. Now, tell me one single solitary movie option that has been tendered by a major studio from the ads in And, save for the authors you mentioned, who it seems, published primarily through PublishAmerica, are there any authors from reputable houses (you know, places in NY for instance, or houses that stock books on shelves at B&N)who have found great success using these services you trumpet and which arrive montly in my email box? Something doesn’t have to be illegal to be a bad idea, or an idea that takes money from people for services that don’t end up accomplishing the ends from which most authors get their means. So John Weaver has fans. So people have used his services and not subsequently sued him afterwards. McDonalds serves hamburgers, it doesn’t mean they are good hamburgers, but people eat them nonetheless.

  12. I was up for that award, too. I have to tell you, the competition was INTENSE. I still can’t believe I lost out just because I’m not self-published or black.
    I think I’ve got a good shot, though, at the very respected “2004 Published White Guy TV Tie-In Award” for Best Mystery With The Picture of a Cast Member From a Classic Sitcom On The Cover.

  13. Dear Lee:
    I feel badly that John Weaver has pulled you into this. I think your site is great and you seem to be a very accomplished writer. I know real writers applaud you!
    You also seem to be onto Weaver and his spams and scams. I have been tracking his various aliases through their IP addresses for weeks. I count more than 10, with about 10 more on other sites (he repeats himself a lot).
    They include Legal Steve who sent you (and many of us) those fake legal threats. (When we realized it was Weaver, we understood why “LegalSteveP” didn’t know the difference between slander and libel.) Ironically, those of us who have been spammed and scammed have posted truthful info. on sites like WritersWeekley whereas Weaver has used aliases to pose a clients or lawyers repeatedly to post defamatory accusations.
    Weaver has harassed and taunted numerous people at this point. I have been in contact with several lawyers (real ones) and I hope to make a decision soon.
    My prediction is that Mr. Weaver’s harassment campaign of us will be ending.
    Take care!

  14. If you want to know how “honest” John Weaver is, click on the “Bev Park” link above (January 5 post). That link takes you to, tada!, Weavers company! I thought that might happen because I checked and could find no publication called “Day Break.” Weaver makes this stuff up hourly. He’s got well-over 20
    aliases online. Is this how an honest person behaves? The attorneys I’ve talked to are amazed with how bizzare this is!

  15. My husband and I were in the process of sending in an application (and $150) to be listed on, a service that purports to act as a sort of speaker’s bureau for radio interviewees.
    After reading your postings — I’ve heard enough to realize that this is another John Weaver scam.
    We are photographer/writer team and after checking the other photographers on the site — we found only one — and neither of us has ever heard of him.
    Glad I found your site. You saved us $150.


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