POSSIBLE SCAM ALERT- “SCRIPT BUYERS GUIDE”

scamalert  Recently, I was contacted by a screenwriter, well aware of my “Scam Alert” series, who wanted to share an email he received from “Script Buyers Guide”. The “guide” is reportedly a book of script titles and loglines from screenwriters like YOU, packaged and prepared for “major film markets including Berlin EFM, Cannes and the American Film Market AFM.

The author of said guide is unknown at the time of this posting.

This screenwriter friend forwarded me the original email he received back in August 2014. He paid $50.00, for “space in the next printing of the book” where he could advertise his many completed screenplay concepts. He was also told that these books were going to be distributed among those in the industry who “buy screenplays”.

In March, 2015, a full six-plus months after the transaction, he received a free guide, with his screenplay posting on page 154. He later found out that the guide is currently being sold on Amazon, which was NOT what he was led to believe. The Amazon listing was for $19.99.

That’s when he contacted us.

A cursory search of the “Script Buyers Guide” reveals that their website is no longer active. Emails addressed to “Karen Moore” (a name found on the original email ad), and “Steve Howard” (customer service) came back “undeliverable”.

We did manage to find the guide advertised on Amazon for $20, with 172 pages of screenplay titles, brief screenplay description, screenwriter’s name and page count. At $50 a post, with an average of 6-8 posts over the 172 pages, they made a lot of money putting this guide together. It is unclear and unknown at this time IF, in fact, these guides were ever distributed to 30,000 filmmakers- as our friend was led to believe.

“Fifty dollars is not a terrible loss”…our friend said, “…it’s the lies. Distributing a booklet of scripts for sale at film markets is actually a good idea, but, no – these people turn around, make a half-ass book and dump it on Amazon so they can double dip and sucker people on both ends. No one is going to BUY a book of scripts for sale!”

Inasmuch as there is no way to contact this company, one might fear that this was, in fact, a scam, but there is no way to be 100% sure. Someone might want to maximize the monetary take while delivering something much less than what was promised, then repeating this process annually. To date, our writer “victim” has NOT been contacted by ANY producer claiming to have gotten his information through this guidebook.

We discovered, and contacted, a second writer who had received an email regarding this guidebook a few years earlier. He did NOT send them any money, but had reached out to other writers in various screenwriting forum groups inquiring if anyone had any knowledge of the book or the people involved.

To date, he has received no positive response.

Our recommendation would be to NOT spend money on the placement of your screenplay in a guide book, presumably being distributed to producers for free, until you can be assured that this is where the books are going. It is very hard to independently verify that this distribution is even taking place. Putting the book on sale through Amazon is NOT an effective way to disseminate this information; producers are just not going to “buy” a list of available screenplays. In effect, our writer friend paid fifty dollars to have his logline posted in a homemade book, where it is then sold, probably back to those who originally posted their loglines!

Thus far, there have been zero reviews on the 2015 version of the guide.

You would be much better off paying to have your logline and concepts posted in a newsletter like INK TIP, where there is a long record of successful options and sales from their producer database.

We will continue to research this book, the authors and others involved, and periodically check on the website to determine if it ever becomes activated again.

Until then, we recommend…AVOID!

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