“My publisher wants me to attend a Hollywood pitch festival but I have to pay them for it. Have you heard of this?”

“My publisher wants me to attend a Hollywood pitch festival but I have to pay them for it. Have you heard of this?”

Q –

“My publisher is trying to get me to pay to attend a Hollywood pitch festival, saying my book can be discovered by a producer, and be made into a movie. It’s tempting but it’s also very expensive. I’d have to go into debt putting that on my credit card. Are these things really worth it?

– RJ


A –

I was contacted recently by an author who did attend one of these. He was initially impressed and excited because “so many” publishers had authors in attendance. He went on to list the publishers.

He also said the publisher had received some requests for free copies of his book to send to some people who’d attended, who’d allegedly expressed an interest in his book. Of course, the author had the pay the publisher for those copies. He said the only thing that bothered him was that the authors were not provided with info. about the movie companies that were allegedly involved. He had no idea who he was talking to, nor if they were really with a movie company at all. He was highly suspicious of the secrecy involved.

I had to tell him that, unfortunately, all of the so-called “publishers” he’d listed are owned by the same company.

I then sent him the link to this article, which is disturbing, to say the least:

Why Are So Many Wannabe Screenwriters Getting Scammed?

EXCERPT: “A few weeks after Manny Fonseca arrived in Los Angeles in the early part of this decade, having left his native Michigan with the hope of becoming a Hollywood writer or executive, the then 30-year-old was at a party when a producer asked if he’d “like to make a hundred bucks.” Sure, he replied. What would he have to do? The answer was to show up the next day at a “pitch fest,” one of dozens of such gatherings each year in which hopefuls pay hundreds of dollars to serve up their story ideas to agents and executives who, in theory, will buy them if they’re good.”

Think about it. The publisher makes money by charging authors to attend the event. And, then they make money when the authors need to buy copies to send out to “interested parties” for free. My recommendation? Avoid going into debt. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than you do selling movie rights to your book through one of these events.

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