Vanity Press Screenwriting

I've been having some creative problems with the spec script I am writing, which is loosely based on an unfinished novel of mine. But then, in my moment of darkest despair, I got this life saving tweet from Brien Jones at Jones Harvest, an obscure vanity press:

Have you ever wanted to see your novel as a movie? Contact us about about our screenplay writing services! 

Wow. What a great opportunity! I had to learn more. So I immediately went to their site, and saw this under their services tab:

Screenplay – One of our professional editors will write an industry standard screenplay from your provided manuscript.

They don't offer any more details, but even that little bit filled me with confidence. I could just send them my manuscript and their editors would make it into a script. What other publisher offers that great service? 

I was curious what makes the "professional editors" at Jones Harvest think that, just because they can edit a book, they can also write a script. Aren't they very different skills? 

So I looked up the screenwriting credits of Brien Jones, the publisher and editor of Jones Harvest, to see if he's a member of the Writers Guild of America or if he's had any produced screenwriting credits. He's not a WGA member and I couldn't find a single movie or TV credit to his name…but according to his site and photos, he has visited Los Angeles and taken a studio tour, so he probably knows his stuff.

Where do I send the check?

7 thoughts on “Vanity Press Screenwriting”

  1. Another piece of really good investigative journalism! In particular, I really the persona of the investigator, who is very interested in the promises of the scam and lets the reader come to their own conclusion.
    But if the spec is in need of a second set of eyes, I’m available to read the script for free and offer whatever ideas come to mind. Be glad to help as giving something back to the blog.
    It’s a shame Mr Jones doesn’t become an expert in turning novels into screenplays–he might just have found a legit way to make a lot of money and to help a lot of people.

  2. Lee,
    First, thank you for linking our site and bringing attention to it. We’d like to state that at several times, via Twitter, we’ve mentioned that by calling our number – which is toll free, by the way – we’d be more than happy to explain our services to you and our credentials. Instead of doing this, you’ve chosen to spread negativity for your own amusement. We have absolutely no problem providing information to potential or current clients.
    Second, we’ve also explained that while Brien Jones is the CEO, he is not a screenwriter. We have a staff of writers who are more than capable of editing books, as well as writing screenplays. Writing a screenplay does not simply involve us changing prose. There are many high-paid and well-known screenwriters that shouldn’t be, just as there are many unknown screenwriters that should be. We take our jobs and our company seriously, which is one reason we request interested clients call us.
    If you search other self-publishing companies, it is evident that their main goal is to take money from you without results. We, however, strive to make our authors a success.
    We also maintain a successful bookstore that houses thousands of our clients books and is host to author signings and other events. I’m not aware of other self-publishing companies that offer this. I can also assume by your blog, that you and your readers are not aware that we give 100% of sales to our authors, unlike other publishers.
    Finally, your “investigation” of our company was nothing more than you reading our website and making a rash judgment based on your opinion and no facts.
    Thank you and we wish you success in all of your endeavors.
    Jones Harvest Publishing


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